My musing/meditation this morning has ventured, or adventured, about the place the Bible plays in my life, specifically. And, some related thoughts about the place of the Bible in Christianity in general.
Just the way I am doing it now...my OT reading included Joshua 10-12. I love the courage of Joshua! And, I am reading through the NT just to give balance! Plus, I am reading and re-reading Ephesians just because I want to!
Re. my OT reading. I think it has to do with all the Islam/radical Islam controversy these days, that I have lots of inner resistance to our "Way" resembling theirs (radical Islam). However, when I read the account of the settling of Canaan, I have to be honest and admit that I cannot explain the cruelty of Joshua and the "armies of God."
Over the years I have read of Joshua's conquest and every year I see more resemblance, back then, between radical Islam and us. This morning it stood out more than in the past, "The Lord hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites." (10:33) This passage, if I am honest, also implicates God.
If I describe this in detail, it will be too long and no one will read. So, suffice it to say, that city after city is put to the sword by the people of God and there seems to be rejoicing over the fact that...no survivors are left.
This leaves me to wrestle with issues that I think have the capacity to rob me of my faith in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If I do not wrestle, my faith is built on the shallow acceptance of an unexplored, untested belief system.
If I jettison my faith in the Word of God, I become the authority of and for my life. That would suggest, I think, that everyone should be their own authority and our world would (or, at least, have the capacity to) demonstrate approximately 8 billion individual belief systems!
When I think about this in a large sense, it really seems that there is a strong possibility that what we are observing on a rather large scale is either the Christian societal abandonment of belief in the teachings of the Bible or some kind of highly personal syncretism that includes the Bible as a piece of the personal belief system.
How do we, how do you, how do I, keep the Bible as authority when so many societal arguments vie against it?