Could God Do It?
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20.
Is it unreasonable to think that God could give a perfect bible to 21st century English-speaking people? If you were a Deist like Thomas Jefferson the answer would be , "no". A Deist believed that God created everything and gave all things their start. They then believed that God washed his hands of human affairs. In other words, God started the ball rolling but does not intervene. The Merriam Webster Dictionary says this in regard to Deism:
Belief in God based on reason rather than revelation or the teaching of any specific religion is known as deism. The word originated in England in the early 17th century as a rejection of orthodox Christianity. Deists asserted that reason could find evidence of God in nature and that God had created the world and then left it to operate under the natural laws devised by God. By the late 18th century, deism was the dominant religious attitude among Europe’s educated classes; it was accepted by many upper-class Americans of the same era, including the first three US presidents.
Oddly, that philosophy is alive and well with bible critics. The last two centuries have spawned a Deist theology concerning the bible itself. It is strange to see divergent theologies in such things as God's sovereignty, wherein men proclaim that God's will is impregnable and that no intervention of man can thwart his will, but God never willed to preserve his word. Please do not take what I say as a rebuke to Calvinism, some of the King James Bible's best scholars uphold that doctrine. It is a rebuke to men so blind that they argue for the supremacy of God as opposed to human will, and yet using the other side of their mouth say the natural tendencies of men defiled a perfect bible.
What do we say to a Pentecostal who argues that all of God's gifts are alive and active in his people today, but they doubt the integrity of his written words? Again, there are Pentecostals who stand in the forefront of godly research into the King James Bible. This is not written to rebuke Pentecostalism. It is written to expose the hypocrisy of anyone so blind as to see God enabling all of the Spiritual gifts but somehow neglecting the word of God itself.
Look at today's militant Fundamentalist. With his three piece suit, his perfect hair and with his perfect placement in the hierarchy of his peer group, he trumpets the infallibility of the word of God. He wants the president to believe the bible. He mocks congress for not believing it and he mourns the fact that the courts have rejected it. But if those same institutions were dumb enough to believe his Deist take on the bible, they would be just as foolish as him to put credence in a book that God himself abandoned 2000 years ago.
Abandoned? They would object to that word. They think that God is still working through that book even though they think that he took his hands off of its inerrancy over two millennia ago. They see themselves as grave minutemen holding their bibles in a solemn defense of the word of God. I picture them as little boys marching around the church with kazoos playing We've Come this Far by Faith.
When a college professor of biology attempts to identify himself as a believer in God, but then stipulates that God got the ball rolling, but since then evolution has been in charge, our stalwart Fundamentalists howl with indignation. When an astronomer tries to identify as a Christian, but after acknowledging that God created everything goes on to say that since that creation the Big Bang has guided celestial events, these Fundamentalists are downright indignant.
Then the ball is put into their court. The world looks to them to explain the mystery of the bible. This is their niche in the world of academics. This is their chance to show those terrible biologists and astronomers how God really works. They fail. Just like their weaselly counterparts in the secular world, these men who think of themselves as the great defenders of the Christian Faith punt the ball down the road. They proclaim to the world that God gave us the scriptures but then left those same scriptures to the devices of incompetent men. That my friends is Deism.
Modern day bible critics are in reality the resurgence of Deism. The men who decry Deism the most resort to it in the only academic discipline that is unique to them.