Whatever the Bible is in its original purpose, composition, authenticity, and inspiration, it has since constituted a veritable playground for the cognitive miser. Millions who have neither the time, the inclination, nor the facility for keeping track of massive amounts of data, are quite inclined to tell us boldly what "the Bible says", as if such is never in question.
Many assure us that the Bible is "easy to understand", that "it says what it means and it means what it says". They, of course, can scarcely answer, then, why there is so much confusion afoot as to its meaning and application today. They may try to pass it off as the confusion of those who are not "true" Christians, yet they have never ventured far enough in search of a definition of the word Christian as to discover that no such definition exists in the pages of the Bible.
For them, the Bible is "simple" because they do not think about it---or at least not about ALL of it.
Millions abuse the Bible, using it to justify all manner of things it did not originally justify. Meanwhile, millions more draw negative conclusions about the Bible, not from studying the documents that comprise it, but from witnessing the irrationality of millions of Bible fans who do not seem to be able to get a firm grasp on reality.
They split up into camps of various kinds---most of which would never exist if all people gave comprehensive thought to such matters. They leave one camp for another, having "proven" the latter to be the better one, but will stop investigating at that point, scarcely maintaining the same zeal for improvement that prompted the move. Even those who discount the Bible normally do so with much too little thought and investigation. Like the believers whom they despise, they draw erroneous conclusions. There is very little difference between them in this regard.
One man wants to blame his woes on the Bible, and another on Christianity. Yet another wants to blame the government and someone else on a godless society. Few, however---very few---have any basis of sound work from which to be able to draw sound conclusions about what "the Bible says". Indeed, they do not even figure out that "The Bible" is a manufactured title for a collection of documents that is merely IMAGINED to be the God-prescribed canon. "The Bible", however, is silent on this question. And it holds no God-ordained table of contents.
The grand irony in all this, then, is that fans of the Bible have no more clue whether it--or any particular part of it---is from God than atheists have that it is not. Cognitive misers thrive on "either" side in this field of debate and are prone to make ill-supported assumptions routinely. Meanwhile, churches and lecture halls alike thrive on the regrettable fact that hardly an adherent is interested in anything more certain than hearsay. So they continue to churn out their one-liners and their adherents continue to repeat them as if they themselves know something.
The Bible is a fascinating collection. To date, however, I have never met anyone who thinks he understands it all, more or less, who is not also self-deceived. Indeed, the Bible raises more questions than it answers about the topics it addresses. Yet the Christians never seem to notice. This is because they are generally incurious, and are taught to be thus at church, just as the science students in the lecture hall are also taught to be incurious.
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