The Bible

This Chapter seem interesting as Stevenson’s questions forced me to question my own religion as I read. He offers up question after question – maybe because he assumes most readers would be Christian since it is the most popular religion- but either way he brings up incredible ideas that I hadn’t thought of before. For example he asks on page 112, “where should we draw the line between symbolic or metaphorical talk of God and realistic, literal talk of Him?” This made me wonder because as a Catholic I have noticed that many times God is clearly viewed as a being as the Bible states that we were made in His own image, yet the Bible also includes stories of him being a spirit and being a part of metaphors. Nowhere in the Bible does it say which passages to read and consider God as a person versus a symbolic image- which can confuse some followers. Stevenson also goes on with connecting this same idea to the Psalms- for which Psalms do we believe literally versus figuratively? God is spoken as being a shield, making heaven with his fingers, setting things on fire with anger but then also as being a person on top of a mountain, or being seen by a prophet.

Stevenson’s tone is also interesting to me as it seems he has sarcasm in a few of his lines. For example he is discussing that God is sometimes mentioned as being a person OR spirit and Stevenson comments quite cynically “note the implication that God is visible and has a face! More usually, God is represented as having a voice, but not a body or a locatable spatial presence” (111) in which he seems to be mocking the Bible that how can God have a face but not the rest of a body? How can he be “ever present” if he sometimes does not have a locatable spatial presence? Stevenson does a good job of challenging the Bible and having readers consider the possible gaps or flaws of certain aspects.

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