Joshua Orsak e-mails,
I really enjoyed your recent post on various ways to approach revelation. I, too, opt for something like option C. It is similar to Karl Barth's position: that the Bible is NOT the revelation of God, but a record of God's revelation to mankind. I find that shift to be vital. Many Christians engage in a kind of biblolatry, they seek to have a relationship with a book. I don't want to have a relationship with a book, I want to have a relationship with God. I am a minister, I love the Bible, I study it every day and I find it to be an important part OF my relationship with God, but it is NOT the sum total of that relationship.
Let me see if I understand the shift. You seem to be distinguishing between the (human) record of God's revelation of certain truths to man and God's revelation of these truths. That is a good distinction and I accept it. You may also be distinguishing between God's revelation of certain truths to mankind and God's revelation of himself. It could be that God reveals little or nothing about himself while revealing certain truths to mankind. (In the same way that an anonymous caller to the police could reveal the whereabouts of a bank robber without revealing anything about himself.) The phrase 'revelation of God' can be interpreted as either an objective or a subjective genitive. Thus one could deny that the Bible is the revelation of God (objective genitive) while maintaining that the Bible is the revelation of God (subjective genitive). Putting the two distinctions together, I interpret you to be saying that the Bible is the human record of the revelation by God to mankind of certain truths. If that is what you mean, then I agree. This allows us to rule out two notions that ought to be ruled out, namely, scriptural inerrancy and the notion that the Biblical revelation is final. Once we admit that the Bible is a human product, though not merely a human product, we will give up preposterous claims to inerrancy. And if we grant that God does not primarily reveal himself in the Bible, then we will have much less reason to think that there cannot be any further divine-to-human communications.
I think that 'finding God' within scripture takes place because we have access to revelation that is outside scripture. We find some passage, some moment that 'links up' to an experience we have in our own lives, and we say 'yes, this matches, this fits'. It is because the Bible deepens and enlightens my own encounter with God's revelation that it has the weight it does with me. Peter Berger talks about a 'nexus' forming between our own experiences and scripture.So thank you for your thoughts on this matter. I think they are spot on. Peace and Blessings.