Some biblical context for discussion

Please read the Bible stories you are criticizing.

God loves Larry Benson. I love Larry Benson, at the very least because God does and because Larry was created in the image of God. I even like Larry, having mostly enjoyed his company at two or three “Brewskis with the Newsies” events. He seems good humored and has good stories to tell.

He mentioned things I said (or thought I said) in a recent letter (“Beyond the basics, the Bible is inconsistent and absurd,” published July 27), and that is the basis of my writing my very first letter to The Courier-Herald.

I really do not expect Larry to get or accept the Bible, though I heartily pray for just that. It takes the gift of faith and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern the truth contained within. However, before attacking portions of it, I would like him at least to read the passages he is disputing.

The account of the flood begins after a time when humans — if they were following God’s statements for their provision of food, and there is no indication that they were not — were vegetarians and animals were eating green plants.

There did not have to be millions of animals on the ark because only seven pairs of “clean” animals and two pairs of “unclean” animals of each species were all that were required. From one pair of dogs, for example, all the varieties of dogs could have arisen.

As far as what the people at the time of the Tower of Babel were building or thinking they were building, I did not say that I thought it was a portal, but that I had read someone saying that they might have been trying to build a portal. God did not say He was stopping them merely because they were building a tower (that of course He knew would not reach to heaven, even if they may have thought so), but because they were disobeying his command to multiply and spread out around the planet, and that if he didn’t confuse their language, they would (eventually) be able to do anything they imagined.

Please at least understand that if many of us believe that every human being is created in the image of God Almighty, and that life begins at conception (which it does), that we are going to favor laws that protect the frail and innocent, and enforcement that administers justice for the greatest good of the most citizens.

For further reading, I recommend “The Attributes of God” by either A. W. Tozer (Volumes 1 & 2) and/or Arthur W. Pink. I am pleased to buy Larry his own copies if he will agree to read or listen to them.

Michael Merker