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We Want a Boys’ Band

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Archeology is clearly of enormous value in reconstructing the general biblical world. It is far less secure as a means of validating the specific biblical world. Archaeological evidence is more indirect than direct…. It may indeed be the case, though perhaps less common than we might expect, that archaeological data do confirm individual biblical passages. Yet what is meant by the truth of the Bible is not in fact subject to the kind of confirmation that archaeology can provide” (Oxford Study Bible, page 53).

Here again we return to this phenomenon of information: facts can be verified, but it’s not facts we’re after. What we want is truth, and truth is a function of story. The story itself may be challenged or confirmed by the facts it contains. Facts are the music man’s credentials, you see – everyone wants to check his credentials, but in the end, what they really want is a boys’ band. What they’re hoping for from his credentials is a reason to believe that he’s a dynamic musician who can transform their children into musicians, too. No sheet of paper can do that. Facts are merely a sheet of paper compared to the power of the story, the truth it embodies, a truth which, if you let yourself believe it, will change your world. Facts can be verified, but truth is a function of belief. And truth is ultimately the only thing we care about.

Let science be the assist. Let truth be the goal.

“Through the new analytical possibilities… perhaps we can come closer than ever before to reconstructing the life experiences that caused our biblical ancestors to draw their profound and powerful conclusions about the role of God in their lives and to make their compelling assertions about the ongoing relationship between God and humanity” (Oxford Study Bible, page 55).

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