Stronger Than Dirt

Restating the obvious – 6

Yes, this takes me back to those TV commercials from the 1950s. A white knight comes riding in, “stronger than dirt.” My Navy Reserve boot camp training included sessions on morale and patriotism. They needed to be sure we knew what side we were on. The message of our enemy was portrayed as a white knight proclaiming to be “stronger than dirt.” The uninformed were proposed to fall for this line, but not us. We were well-indoctrinated capitalist.

And that was a lot of fun in those days, but the message is still out there, and to me it is the same. A white knight wants you to know, “it’s stronger than dirt.” We shall see.

A reader proposed I go to two links to see for myself why attacks on biblical inerrancy are foolhardy. Here are the links:

I’m going to the first one put up by the Young Earth Creationist group Answers in Genesis. I have already addressed two of AiG’s points. Here is one from 1 Samuel:

For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them. (1 Samuel 2:8)

He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. (Job 26:7)

At first glance, these verses appear to contradict each other: how can the earth rest on pillars and at the same time hang on nothing?

AiG contributor Erik Lutz goes on to explain:

The supposed contradiction quickly disappears when we examine the context of each passage and recognize it as figurative language. First Samuel 2:8 was spoken during a prayer by Hannah after she dedicated her son Samuel into the Lord’s service. Job spoke the other verse while talking with his friends about man’s weakness in light of God’s majestic power. This sort of poetic imagery (pillars, foundations, etc.) is commonly used in Scripture to describe how God upholds the world. For example, consider what the Lord said to Job:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone[?] (Job 38:4–6)

We know that the earth does not literally have foundations and a cornerstone like a building; instead, God uses this figurative language to create a mental picture for Job. In the same way, animals do not talk and laugh, yet God also tells Job that the horse “laughs at fear” and “when the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’” (Job 39:22, 25, ESV).

So the explanation is that God uses figurative language. That’s good to know. It’s good to know, because we are now allowed to conclude the teachings in the Bible are figurative and are not to be taken literally. We are free to interpret them as we desire, which is what seems to have been going on all along. We are told the Bible is the source of human morality, and now we know the source of human morality is the person who interprets the Bible for us. That person can be a man standing at a podium, or it can be a white knight astride a magnificent horse, proclaiming to be “stronger than dirt.”

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