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madmatt112  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I'm glad you're engaging, and I can handle some barbs - I am a Christian in the modern world, and barbs are common and not always misguided.

I apologize if I mis-characterized your reading of the bible. I certainly made some assumptions based on your reply, and it seems many of them were incorrect. I'm sorry for that - poor debate and discussion skill on my part.

So, I would argue that if you used a single passage to negate the bible because of that passage's seeming contradictions, then yes you have cherry-picked, but I don't cherry-pick when I disagree that the same passage is not contradictory. But let me explain why.

In my understanding, from my own readings and from the teachings I've received from others in the faith, the bible taken as a whole and understood properly as a collection of different writings with different objectives (this is important - not every passage in the bible should be taken literally, and this is supported by the context of the literature of the day in which each piece was written and the historical reading thereof), the New Testament tells the story of how the Passion Story and Jesus' Resurrection (etc.etc.) not only creates a new paradigm between man and God, but also abolishes a lot of the Old Testament legal structures because in Jesus is found the New Law, the New Way. For O.T. Israelites, the Law was the only way to godliness/heaven. The N.T. creates a radically new narrative in which the Law is no longer that Way. Jesus is the Way now. I'm sure none of this is new to you, having been raised in the community. But it's key, because I find it supports my claim that cherry-picking is not necessary for the bible as a whole to be consistent and true. It's holistic in its entirety, and the key is the radical change that Jesus brings to reality.

It follow that moral supremacy is a valid claim, because I'm not "discredit[ing] the text based on [my] preferences". I'm informing passages that SEEM contradictory at first blush with the wider context of the rest of the biblical narrative. And this is where the argument that I'm cherry-picking becomes weak for me - I don't see it as cherry-picking. I see it as reading the passages into the greater context. Inter-textual (between the books in the bible) reading is critical because the work is complete in its wholeness, not in specific passages.

If you have some more blatant passages to point out, I'd appreciate it. I may not be able to refute your claims, as I'm only human and still have a long life journey ahead.