the weblog of Alan Knox

Do we even realize it?

Posted by on Jan 7, 2010 in blog links | 3 comments

Arthur at “the voice of one crying out in suburbia” has written an excellent post called “Academic responsibility.” He takes an author to task for making statements about Scripture that are simply not true… that is, the facts are not in Scripture. Instead, Arthur says, the facts are found in the author’s tradition or theological system.

I’ve found the same thing, especially when the church is concerned. People have made statements to me that are not found in Scripture. They stand by these statements and believe them to be 100% true. When I point out that this or that is not actually said in Scripture, I usually hear something like this: “Well, I haven’t studied it for myself, so I really can’t discuss it with you.”

To be honest, I think many people (myself included) believe many things to be scriptural which are not found in Scripture at all. Of course, Arthur is right… if someone is writing a book, they should probably check their facts. But, many of these traditions are simply taken for granted. In other words, we often don’t even consider the possibility that what we believe may in fact be wrong.


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  1. 1-7-2010

    Mark Twain said: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    Stephen Hawking said: “The Greatest Enemy Of Knowledge Is Not Ignorance… …It Is The Illusion Of Knowledge” —

    Some of us tend to believe everything we are told and never remember where we learned anything. We do tend to take for granted that if it is written in a book or taught in a class that it must have been scrutinized thoroughly beforehand. We need to study it for ourselves instead of relying on the pastor or
    Sunday school teacher or worse — TV preacher to tell us what it says.

    I know this may not apply to academic responsibitly, but people believe all kinds of things they “think” are in the Bible. Back during the presidential campaign I got an email from a member of my senior adult Sunday school class stating that Barack Obama was the antichrist and that it was all right there in Revelation about the antichrist being a man in his 40’s, of Muslim descent, etc. This was an email that had been forwarded already by and to hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

  2. 1-8-2010

    Funny, I had the same email forwarded to me. When I sent out a “reply all” asking for the scriptural references to this “fact”, I didn’t get one reply. I doubt that everyone ran out and grabbed a Bible to see if this was, in fact, in the Bible…I think it was far too convenient to believe that one for many people to resist.

    Another one is the rapture. Not whether the Bible mentions one, but the matter of when it will occur. I’ve found that many people base their theology on this topic on The Left Behind series. I’m sure this is just my personal experience. I even had a woman tell me that she believed these books to be doctrinally accurate because she had met Tim Lahaye and he was a really nice guy….seriously.

  3. 1-8-2010

    Joy and Brandon,

    Thank you for the great examples!