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Scripture & Grace - A Common Problem of Faith?

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: waiting with faith

Submitted by Tom H. (United States), Aug 30, 2007 at 07:54

Dear Rebecca,

I too am a Christian, perhaps of a slightly different sort, and I applaud your more moderate/liberal Christian ethic of responding out of love. To me as well, that clearly seems to be the central message of the Bible yet too many Christians want to usurp God's role as judge, and with less than the perfect love that God has for each of His children. With few exceptions (e.g. a clear statement about slavery, equal rights for women, etc.), I too believe your statement "the entire truth of the world can be found in the Holy Scriptures". However, this is not the same as saying that the Holy Scriptures are all true, and therein I believe lies the rub of Christianity as well as other faiths.

The Bible has been written and translated by men, and because of its less than concise nature and lack of clarity on many issues, it must be interpreted by men. Though many Christians ascribe divine inspriation to its origins and journey throughout the centuries, other sincere believers and non-believers question the unquestioning acceptance of every verse of scripture purely on the basis of tradition, and not on the basis of facts and reasoned judgment as a better means for interpreting what the scriptures might tell us in total. Muslims have faced this same issue with respect to the Quran over the centuries.

Given the sovereignty of God and the fact there have always been exegetically sound alternative interpretations of the Bible and God's plan for the world other than that which prevails within evangelical Christianity today, it would seem to me it would be far more gracious if Christians would acknowledge that perhaps God may be working His will through other faiths as well, even if we may not understand it today. Certainly God is not behind the evil that may come out of the various religions, including Christianity (e.g. think of the Inquisition and slavery among others).

You are precisely right when you say we should "get the mite out of our own eye, not judge others". I would also say we should go one step further and we should not condemn others with respect to their eternal destiny. That too is soley within God's sovereignty and there are numerous verses of scripture ignored by most Christians which would support the view that perhaps God has a broader plan than that ascribed to by most contemporary Christians, even though the majority of early Christians fully understood and believed it.


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