Puff Dougie asks a pretty dang good question about my view of the Bible. Essentially this: If you (Brant) don't think people should "worship" it, how can I then refer authoritatively to it regarding Jesus, whom you do worship?
I responded in the comments, then thought I'd just post it here, in case anyone else is interested, and, you know, needs just that one more thing to convince them I'm a liberal. (Hilarious, given my background as a conservative talk-show host, high-profile defense of absolutism in public debates with professors and authors and philosophers, etc. I get a kick out of that.)
Doug -- Cool thing is, it's not either/or. It's not "Idolize the Bible" or "Disregard it."
I think another view is to regard it very highly, see it as God-breathed, but apply our understanding and ability to see context.
As you know, the Bible says there is no afterlife. It's quite plain, in the book of Ecclesiastes. Fortunately, we can contextualize and make use of literary tools. Problem is, you do that to someone's pet verses, they think you've not only unravelled that verse -- you've rejected Christianity. It all crumbles! It's logical: If the Bible is God's ultimate gift to man, and my interpretation is right-on, then, well, the conclusion's obvious. It's all over.
And yes, people can and do idolize just about everything, mostly themselves. (I'm guilty of this.) Really, idolizing scripture is pretty popular. Jesus dealt with people all the time who did it. It's easier to relate to a book -- or, more honestly, one's understanding of a book -- than a living God.
By the way, man can know God's qualities without the Bible. (This I know; the Bible tells me so, in Romans 1.)
I kinda think the Bible is NOT "the path to God". (That people will be offended by this statement is indicative of the prescience of my silly cartoon.) It lights my path, certainly, but it is not the path. Jesus is the path, folks.
Further, if Christianity means primarily relating to a book, you can have it. Seriously. I know you, Doug, don't believe it is, but just thought I'd say it. I have no interest in that kind of religion. Between you and me, nothing bores me more than playing scripture run-n-gun, missing the point, entirely.
Jesus flat-out BLASTED people for using their interpretations of scripture to thrust their vaunted tradition at him. How in heck we manage to miss that is beyond me. He blasted them.
Oh, Jesus regarded scriptures highly -- but not high enough for them. They had their book, their interpretation, and he kept veering from it.
I do not believe that this attitude -- did I mention He blasted it? -- is monopolized by the Jews. I see it nearly on a daily basis. And He blasted it because it was idolatry. Hence the cartoon.
Sorry to veer a bit from your point. Just writin' on my blog...
Oh, and Monica: Your John 1:1 comment was appropriate. But please know, "The Word" is Jesus, without question, in that chapter.
The Word is not the Bible, and the Bible is not Jesus. The Bible is not prophesied about in the O.T. as part of God's redemption plan for the world.
Genesis through Revelation -- all about Jesus.
Jesus didn't promise us the Bible to lead us into all truth, but the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not be command-and-controlled, and He will not be flow-charted, and He will not be voted upon, and will not be reduced to formulae, and, if we think He can't lead people into all truth without a Bible, stand by to have our little ideas again blown to bits.