"How to defend the faith from the Bible"
It's been over a month now and I am still shaking my head. I was cleaning the work area where my spouse and I produce most of our presentations and plans. As I was shuffling around getting things in order in two major categories: Trash and File, I came across this gem. It is a small 40 page compilations of Bible parries that are meant to counter the thrusts of the attacker, thus the "defender" language. This is the style of Catholicism that I think is the most insulting to our Catholic life.
I am totally befuddled by the "defend your faith" concept. I don't have to defend my faith. I don't have to defend your faith. I know that there is nothing that you can do to destroy my faith. Others (many) have tried and failed. What makes you so cock sure that you're any better than they? I know that you can't do it because your first and only approach is to desecrate the Sacred Scriptures in order to do it. Your whole approach of attack by quoting out-of-context verses is blasphemous in it roots. I don't need to protect myself from that.
If you call answering the attack by a counter-attack from the Bible defending the faith, then you're not talking about my faith. My faith doesn't reside in the ability to thrust and parry from Bible verse to Bible verse in order to win a human debate. My faith resides in a loving relationship that I have with the Trinitarian God and His Spouse, the Church.
So the first thing that turned me away from this little rag was the whole concept of defending my faith.
The second thing was a language usage "thing." I was piqued to quasi total disgust by the expression, "How to defend the faith FROM the Bible." Ohhh, really. May I ask what it is in faith that has to be defended from the Bible? Is the Bible attacking faith all of a sudden? That certainly is a strange turn of thought. I am under the impression that in the whole thrust and parry pas-a-deux that it is the Bible that is being attacked by the blatant invincible ignorance of well developed hermeneutics and exegesis. So are we talking about the Bible defending itself from itself? I think that it is important that the Bible should be able to defend itself, or at least find some strong protectors who can assure its safety.
The danger to the Bible comes from Catholics as they try to engage non-Catholic "Bible Christians" About six weeks ago a Catholic friend of mine and I engaged in a discussion about prayer and the indwelling of God in His Creatures. This was all on the Internet. The discussion dragged on and from the beginning I told my friend that I would not abide by "proof texts" since they are out of context babblings that have no real theological meaning because of the detachment from the body to which they belong. He persisted in "proof texting" and I resisted at every syllable. Finally, about two or three weeks ago he quoted a text from the Old Testament. It was so out of context and so execrably out of logic in its lack of germane context, that I didn't respond for about three days.
On about the fourth night, we saw one another at the Bible study. I asked him the name of the person whom he had quoted. He didn't know. I asked him if he knew where the person might be from. He didn't know. I asked him if he had read the entire book. 'No, not yet' was the response. I asked if he knew the outcome of the person whom he had quoted at the end of the book. No. I told him never to proof text me again. I told him that all the proof texts he has in his head don't amount to a hill of beans detached from the context of the whole book and the whole canon of Scripture.
His last words to me were, "You're crazy." I have been comfortably and silently crazy since then.
YEP, I am certifiably crazy when it comes to the FAITH. Knowing that makes it easy for you not to cry at my funeral.