If you are being affected, or have been affected, by a long wait for surgery in the Tasmanian Health System consider joining the Waiting List Tasmania facebook group.  It’s a place to share your story and raise your voice.

Delayed surgery is a situation felt by many.  It affects not only the person who needs surgery but their friends and family.

Let’s talk to each other and encourage one another.  Maybe we’ll get noticed.

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Antionin asks: Do you believe that there are contradictions or errors in the Bible

Hi Antionin,

Thanks for the question.  It depends what you mean by “contradictions” or “errors.”  Your question interacts with the nature and communication of truth, which is not always simplistically propositional.

For instance in Job 38:4-7 we read

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone —
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

I assert that this paragraph is true.  Yet it is ‘false’ and “in error” in some literal sense: Surely the earth does not have literal cornerstones and foundations; surely God did not use an actual measuring line!  Yet the intention of this passage is clear and it is achieved – Job’s finitude in comparison to God’s magnitude is thoroughly and effectively communicated.

It is for this reason that I personally prefer to use the term “infallibility” when referring to the veracity of the Bible.  It’s an imprecise term which some use to water things down to mean that Scripture is only true when it needs to be.  I don’t mean it like that.  I mean that Scripture always communicates truth, it achieves what it needs to be achieved, and this is infallibly true.

As for contradictions, it is hard to respond without specific examples to consider.  Most of those that I have googled for usually end up at imprecision in language (or translation), different-perspectives on the same thing that aren’t actually contradictory, or forcing one part of the Bible to speak to the context of another part.  Even the most famous “contradiction” of the supposedly irreconcilable resurrection accounts can be analysed using these sorts of concepts. (I’ve had a quick look at this page and it seems to be a good example)

So to answer your question, in the sense that I’ve outlined, I do not believer that there are errors or contradictions in the Bible.

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Anonymous asks: When do you think the rapture will happen than? There are now wars and rumors of war (IRAN), we will not know the day or the hour, but we will know the season. Is fall 2012 the season?

Yes, absolutely, autumn 2012 is the season.  And so was winter 2011, and spring of 1804, and, and…. pick a random date.  We have been in the end times for approximately 2000 years and there has never failed to be wars and rumours of wars.  Every war or rumour that occurs is a testimony that we are living in an age where the work of Christ’s faithfulness must, in faith, be exercised.

I don’t care when the rapture will or if it will happen.   How will the answer to that help me fulfil God’s purpose for my life?   I suspect those who are still living will meet Christ “in the sky” somehow to welcome him to his eternal kingdom.  But in the meantime I will continue to worship him in every part of my life, whether it be planting a tree or writing a sermon, sharing fellowship in my church or drinking coffee with a new-found friend; with all my strength and by the love of Christ doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with my God.

Arguments about eschatological precision have always struck me as useless and vain controversies – they have no relevance to the real world!  The Scriptures assures me that his kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven and so I will continue to pray that prayer and work that work with a sure and certain hope.  That is enough.

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