Hey brothers, good to see you guys.
Jess, you must have gotten my message... :) Thank you for stopping by again.
This is a fascinating subject which we can casually explore over time. Thank you Dan for opening it. Somewhere beyond the extremes and reactions must be the truth. Agree or not, we can respect the views of others as best we are able.
Jess, I can understand what you mean by "nice and neat". Haha. "Messy" would be a little more like it with regard to the canon of scripture, especially the New Testament. Does not mankind usually make a mess of things? True, God could have given us golden plates instead of paper and ink. But he didn't. Lucky Mormons.
I suppose you are familiar with Dr. Bart Erhman over in the next big town in NC. He's a famous skeptic, author, and university professor. He rightfully shows how non-simplistic some of these issues really are and therefore rejects the whole thing himself. He's a skeptic with atheistic leanings, so he claims.
Thankfully, he does acknowledge that Jesus Christ really existed and that the Scriptures are the best attested works in ancient literature!
But the Gospel is to believe in Jesus - not to believe that the Bible is 100% free from any sort of error. Therefore, the faith of some of his students is "lost" because... it was a mis-placed faith to begin with. That's sad.
The church was built upon Christ and the apostles. Therefore I am interested in what Christ and his apostles have to say. Most, like their Master, died a martyr's death which gives their writings serious credibility and authority. I am also touched by the fact that they were not trying to profit from the Story. Paul could say: We do not seek yours - but YOU. Where are those kind of preachers today? Instead, too many popular preachers expect us to send them money so that God can make us rich. Smile.
Me, I don't see a contradiction that Jesus and the written truth are the word of God, in some real sense. From the point of a human being, I don't understand why the scriptures and the church itself were not more perfectly preserved - but they were not. Thankfully, no major doctrines of faith are affected, at least in my understanding.
Jesus could pray to his Father: Sanctify them through your word. Your word is truth. Me, I want more Jesus and I want more truth AND more "patient fellowship", as Jess mentioned above.
Have a good weekend, every one.