Ever read something that makes you go, “What?!”
That is the what one is left with after reading proof 26 from “God is imaginary”, titled, “Notice that the bible’s author is not “all-knowing”.
The question that is raised by such a title is, what does Marshall Brain think that Christians believe about the authorship of the Bible?
Well what do we believe? What the Apostle Paul taught,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21 ESV)
He lists 12 passages of Scripture: Deuteronomy 25:11-12, 22:13-23, and 21:18-21; Genesis 38:8-10; Exodus 35:2 and 21:20-21; Isaiah 13:13-16 and 40:8; 1Timothy 2:11-12; Colossians 3:22-23; Luke 14:26. After listing them, he writes,
These verses feel like utter nonsense. (my emphasis)
I would like to assert that is the problem. He is reading them emotionally rather that logically, which requires that the reader use the principles of hermeneutics and exegesis, that modern believers, and ancient, use to draw out application to our time and place.
Mr. Brain, (cough) has obviously not done any research into how believers, such as myself, here for example, draw out the truth of these verses which applied to specific contexts, but truly fulfill the truth found in Isaiah 40:8 (ESV),
The grass withers, the flower fades,but the word of our God will stand forever.
But that does lead us, as well as Mr. Brain, to ask a very valid question,
[…]Why doesn’t a book written by God leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement?
Quite simple, sir, we don’t believe that it is “a book written by God”. We know that it is a collection of books, written over a period of 1500 years by more than 40 authors from varying backgrounds (shepherds, kings, governors, priests, doctors, lawyers), all of which import their experiences into the text, giving every book that it contains a distinct style and flavor. And if you are not amazed by the fact that the documents have travelled through time, arriving in our hands with remarkable preservation as one of the best attested works of antiquity, you’re beyond help. In fact, that “book” describes you with perfection: that you “claim to be wise” but are yet “acting like a fool”. That maybe the reason why you are “dumbfounded” by it.
As to why “[…] the knowledge is limited to the primitive men who wrote (it)”, it’s because they were writing it so people in their time and context could understand it. It would not make sense to write information that the people who initially received the revelation would not understand. But we can stand here, in our present looking back and see foundations being laid for greater thoughts, thoughts that we live in receipt of, thoughts that we can see prefiguring knowledge that we presently have. It is a fallacy of anachronism to attempt to look back on those writers and judge what they had based on all of the struggles that humanity has endured to bring us to our present levels, as well as ingratitude.
If the question is, “what does God know”? The answer is that He knows everything that He has decreed by His power, and there is nothing that exists outside of that, even your disbelief, Mr. Brain. And even though you know the decrees of the God who made you in His own image, you continue to reject Him because you love your sinful rebellion, and yet, in His mercy He extends you another minute, another hour, and another day to give you an opportunity to repent and come to Him. In fact, He sent His Son to make Him known to you and to act as your mediator, but you reject Him and His offer, even though you know that He intends to restore justice and holiness to His creation, thereby making a place that is same for His people. My hope, my prayer, is that God will work through His Spirit to remove your heart of rebellion that is as hard as stone, and give you one made of flesh, willing and able to respond to Him, so that you can know Him as He knows you.