My grandma used to make a chocolate pie and a lemon pie. It was one of the highlights of any big family meal. They were both quite good. I am a chocolate lover but I probably liked the lemon better. This did sort of confuse me as a child. One of my first forays into the paradox of life!
I do not know if that pie was the best pie in the world. I am of a mind that such a claim is probably unprovable. I have seen enough "best ever" claims to know that they seldom match up to the hype. What I know is those pies were delicious. What I also know is grandma made it. She is dead over a decade. If I could get a piece of her pie today it would be very moving emotionally. Because it is from her. I have not had contact with her in a long time.
In many ways, the Bible is like that pie. It is a wonderful work of literature. It provides great fodder for reflection. It also has a message of salvation in it.I do not know if it is the best book in the world (setting aside it is really many books). Sometimes I have found commentaries and theology books more helpful than the Biblical text. Probably because of the style of writing. Probably because I am not from the Ancient Near East so am unable to read in the actual language and context.
I do not know if the Bible is "the best literature in the world" but I do know it is precious because it is from HIM! That, in the end, is the central meaning of inspiration to me. It is from God (in and through human tools) and it is for us. It is a place where we can encounter Him (through the veil). In a sense, it lifts the veil (apocalypse=revelation=unveiling), though only a small section. We get a glimpse, an insight, into God and His mysterious plans and ways. This is why I read the Bible daily and study it for hours each week
God spoke to them long ago. Now God speaks to us, here and now. We need to listen. And listening entails the same self emptying that God's speaking entailed. It is about openness to Him.
So many Christians want to argue about "Truth" with those who do not believe what they want them to believe. They make claims about the Bible which seem to be more focused on arguing than reading and listening. They are more intent on fighting about evolution than entering into the texts of Genesis 1 & 2 and asking, "What is God telling me here?"
The Bible is inspired, it is filled with God's Spirit. God talks to us in a special way through the Bible. For that reason it is true and trustworthy. Words like inerrant and perfect confuse me. They seem to be categorically inappropriate. By that I mean, they are focused in the wrong direction. God is God. He creates. He saves. He communicates with His people.If Christians spent more time listening with humble and obedient hearts there would be less need to fight about the Bible. Unbelievers would see the power of the Word of God at work. That would be more effective evangelism than any battles about inerrancy.
The Bible is precious because it is from Him. That is enough for me.
I am taking a two week sabbatical from the blog. I intend to write again then.