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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Comparing views of the Bible

In preparation for our first main topic in the "When Christians Disagree" series, I've posted some links reflecting different views of and approaches to the Bible among Christians. Hopefully those who are planning to attend will manage to at least glance at one short article from each category - just pick one at random, since it will be more interesting if different people have read different things!


Progressive/Liberal Christian
Borg, Marcus

Brown, Delwin, "Understanding Biblical Authority"
Dodd, C. H., The Bible Today
Common Sense Christianity: "The Bible"


Moderate Christian
Keck, Leander E., Taking the Bible Seriously
Bruggeman, Walter, "Biblical Authority"
Placher, William C., "Is the Bible True?"
Sanders, James A., "The Bible as Canon"
Taylor, Barbara Brown, "Caution: Bible Class in Session"
Noyce, Gaylord, "Bible Stories, Literalists and the Sunday School"
Hyers, Conrad, "Biblical Literalism"
Dayton, Donald W., "The Battle for the Bible"
Goodspeed, Edgar J., The Story of the New Testament
Fosdick, Harry Emerson, A Guide to Understanding the Bible
Davis & Hays, "Learning to Read the Bible Again"
Hays, Richard B., "Salvation by Trust"
Wink, Walter, "How I Have Been Snagged by the Seat of My Pants While Reading the Bible"
Newsom, Carol, "Probing Scripture"
Worden, Ronald D., "Taking the Bible on its Own Terms"
Christian Bible Reference Site: "What is the Bible?"; "How To Study the Bible


Conservative Christian
Bruce, F. F.
Johnston, Robert K.,


Noll, Mark A., "Battle for the Bible"
Boa, Kenneth, "Is the Bible Trustworthy?"
Keathley, J. Hampton, "The Holy Canon of Scripture"
Packer, James I., "In Quest of Canonical Interpretation"
Dryness, William A., "How Does The Bible Function in the Christian Life?"
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, "The Bible"
Don Carson mp3s (including two on the reliability of the New Testament)
Posts on inerrancy at Parchment and Pen blog


It was impossible to read all articles on even the above mentioned sites, and thus the characterization of the theological outlook of each may be imprecise or inaccurate. The categorizations are themselves problematic, since we are dealing with a spectrum of views rather than watertight categories.

I have also made available scans of excerpts from two books. The first represents an American Baptist moderate, with replies from a conservative and a liberal. The second is an excerpt from Keith Ward's book What the Bible Really Teaches which I found helpful. There is also a two part piece by Rudolf Bultmann on the Gospel message (Greek kerygma) and myth (i.e. a pre-scientific understanding of the world), which is part of a larger conversation on the subject, and which helpfully brings into focus the issues of the cultural and historical background of the Bible in relation to readers in our time. You may also want to take a look at some web materials I've created, including an interactive Bible textbook and a page entitled "Is the Bible true?"

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