Sunday, 1 February 2015

The original Christadelphian position on inspiration - not as fundamentalist as you would think.

Fundamentalists in our community who think a dictation theory of inspiration which makes no concession to the cultural context of the human author is the original Christadelphian position would do well to look at what some of the leading figures in our community actually believed. Hint: it wasn't a dictation theory of inspiration. Christadelphians in our community who peddle an extreme dictation theory are advancing something which not only cannot be reconciled with the Biblical text (synoptic problem, anyone?) but which deviates from the eminently sensible view that many in our community once held:
"The Bible does not speak in the literal and strictly scientific language of the nineteenth century, but in the language of the day in which it was written (although it frequently anticipates the discoveries of modern science and uses word in harmony therewith). Any other style of writing would have failed to give information to those reading it." [1] 
"Moses’ testimony was given to Israel in what might be called the infancy of the world, when men did not know the extent of the earth, let alone that of the sun, moon, and stars. And, as we believe, it was given (by God through Moses), not so much to instruct Israel in cosmogony in detail, as to impress upon them the idea that The Most High God is the Possessor of Heaven and Earth (Gen. 14:22). And this against the claims of the gods of the nations, as was abundantly proved in Israel’s history."

1. D. Clement, quoted with approval by Robert Roberts in "The Creative Order—Mosaic and Geological". The Christadelphian (1884) 21:176
2. Walker C.C. ‘Is it wrong to believe that the earth is a sphere?", The Christadelphian (1913) 50:348