My friend Justin posted a few questions on his blog but my answer got too long and so I decided to move it to a post rather than clog up his post. Here is his questions and my attempt at an answer.
What role does/should the bible play in our lives?
How much authority should we give the bible?
Is the Bible fallible? How do you define fallibility?
Why are you a Christian?
All I know is that I find the Bible meaningful because
1. It tells me what my identity. I can trace my faith back to the people that are recorded in it.
2. I can relate to many of the emotions and characters expressed within it.
3.It has challenged and encouraged me many times.
This all being said, I don't think all parts of it should have the same weight or role within our life. The Gospels should have a bigger impact on our ethics than Song of Solomon or Revelation.
Maybe I am making a double standard, but this is the order of which I give Scripture authority (In descending order) The Gospels, Rest of the New Testament. OT.
There is definitely a human element in the Bible and so I think it is fallible. Fallible in the sense that not all places or names may be right. Fallible in the sense that Paul clearly states that parts of his letters are his own opinion and therefore not necessarily correct. It is also fallible in the sense that it is usually a theological narrative and so it can't always give us scientific and historical data. I am still working out in my mind to what extent the bible is fallible and infallible.
Why am I a Christian? It is the only thing I have heard that truly gives any type of hope. I want to say that its the only thing that makes sense to me, but if I'm honest it doesn't always make sense to me. I'd also like to say that I have a peace in my heart and Christ constantly talks to me, but that would be a lie. A peaceful emotion is usually pretty fleeting and I am usually asking Jesus to talk to me or at least acknowledge that I'm speaking to him, but I rarely get a response. Despite all this I can't escape it. I've tried a couple of times and I was miserable. I keep coming back because I still get choked and sometimes outright cry when I read about the cross or take communion. I still get chills when I read about Pentecost and the things the early followers did even simple "non-miraculous" things like sharing their possessions. I can't help but cling to the glimpses of and short bursts of hope I find in Christianity.
Sorry about the length. I'd like to hear your answers to the questions though.