The Bible Is a Parable: A Middle Ground Between Science and Religion
13 years experience as a parish minister and two theological degrees. For me it was this
typical Protestant conundrum: It‘s all true or none of it is true. [Literalism?]
-My sainted mother once said to me, =If I can‘t believe that the whale swallowed
Jonah, I can‘t believe any of it‘…I [Dever] discovered the works of George Ernest
Wright—and his little book God Who Acts...=In biblical faith,‘ Earnest said, =everything
depends on whether the original events actually happened‘ and I thought they had, so I
went to Harvard to study O ld Testament theology with Earnest.
-I got disabused of that in the first semester, so I shifted to archaeology…My long
experience in Israel and my growing uncertainty about the historicity of the Bible meant
that it was the end for me. |
In each case the acceleration of knowledge has turned belief into unbelief. And who
has been hurt the most? Certainly the scientist and theologian have hurt themselves with
their well- intended search for more knowledge. The one deceived into believing that his
knowledge is sufficient in and of itself, and the other convinced that what he knew (was
taught) was not reliable. But who -observes | them as they engage their -destiny | in this
Within the vast audience of the common man there are those who witness the
arrogance of the scientist, in his studied self- sufficiency, and become anti-scientific. In
the almost-as-vast audience of the laity there are those who watch the highly respected
scholar stumble over knowledge that was more than he could handle.
They wonder whether it‘s smart to know that much, or whether it might be better to
skate along in semi- ignorance, taking the chance of drifting into a form of agnosticism
rather than daring to learn where the real truth may lie. Many others have tried to rely on
faith alone to be able to ignore what appear to be more complete answers. Largely
because of the aforementioned occurrences, there are many questions that appear to swirl
among those of the multitude who harbor secret doubts that make them feel like
As for me, I have had my -Eureka | moment. I have found it. This is the lodestone of
my new assurance. The Bible is a parable of God‘s Word! With this touchstone of
theological understanding I am now assured that all scientific knowledge is allowed.
Whether it is used for good or evil is Man‘s choice, except as he places himself under
And the Bible? As a parable it doesn‘t have to be perfectly worded to project the
perfect Word of God, which is not offended by Man‘s inability to get it right the first
time. My new understanding, that this parable that is the Bible, is God‘s gift to me, given
in the fervent hope that I can learn to raise the sights of my understanding high enough to
come within view of the real thing without succumbing to the shock and awe inherent in
coming under the influence of such a vision of perfection.
I believe that I can make it, and I believe that I can take it, all the way to my
encounter with eternity.
The Man within, who searches long
Finding naught, he gropes along.
Finding aught, he casts about
For support, he cannot doubt.
What he finds, he cannot see
For what he grasps, just cannot be.