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The ultimate source of authority

Posted by Chance on September 7, 2007

In Christianity, typically the measure of how conservative or liberal someone is theologically hinges on their viewpoint of the Bible. Theological conservatives tend to believe the Bible literally and believe in it’s infallibility, whereas liberals may tend to view the Bible less literally. This is quite a spectrum. Many believe that the Bible is inspired by God, yet view many stories and accounts of miracles as merely symbolic. Others see the Bible as their Holy Book, yet believe it is full of errors since it was written by men.

I don’t want to get too much into the debate about the overall veracity or how literal the Bible is. From my own viewpoint, I am pretty conservative, so I believe the Bible completely. I tend not to dismiss elements of stories simply because they contain accounts of the supernatural.

Those who believe that the Bible is completely true view the Bible as the ultimate source of authority. Any other philosophy, whether it be presented by our pastor, a self-help book, the slick-haired man asking for money on TV, it is weighed against Scripture. If things don’t line up with the Bible, it is rejected; hopefully, however, it illuminates our understanding of something already found in the Bible. This is, of course, not a perfect process. We are humans, so we can often misunderstand what the Bible says. Nevertheless, we do have a reference source that helps us greatly.

Many people believe the Bible for the most part, but believe that it can or does contain errors since it was written by men. However, when one doubts certain parts of the Bible, how does one know what parts to accept and what parts to reject? That person’s internal philosophy ultimately becomes the lens through which the Bible is viewed. Instead of weighing everything against the Bible, they weigh the Bible, and everything else, against their own personal philosophy.

As I said, this is not really an argument that the Bible is completely true, though I believe it is. However, something has to be our ultimate source of authority. If we make evaluations about which parts of the Bible are true, we become our own source of authority.


4 Responses to “The ultimate source of authority”

  1. Josh said

    Chance, you’re way off target on this one, buddy. Gabbatha is the ultimate source of authority when it comes to philosophy. You should know that.

  2. preacherman said

    The ultimate source of authority is God and his Word. Next in a joking sense like josh said, would be Gabbatha. :-). LOL.

    Oh, love for you to add to the discussion on my blog buddy.

  3. Chance said

    Preacherman, you bet. I’m been busy lately so I haven’t been commenting lately, save for a particular post on Neil Simpson’s blog which is somewhat related to this. I’ll try to stop by soon.

    And Josh, I was wrong to question your royal holiness. Please don’t excommunicate me from your blog!

  4. Dan Trabue said

    Chance, I’d like to comment on this when I have time to think a little more clearly. In the meantime, let me just say you are a peach of a fella. You do your People honor. May your tribe increase and prosper.

    [thanks for the words of support at Neil’s…]

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