I am a modern.
Somewhere deep within me exist biases and prejudices towards modern and Western ways of thinking. As new information about the world is observed and discovered, it is perfectly natural to me that our models of the world would change and shift to fit the new information. Our models are in flux; they are only the best we have now. This is the scientific method. This is The Fixation of Belief.
But, also, I am a Bible-believer. I receive the Holy Scriptures, and I receive whatever they teach. I receive them as the very Word of God, meaning the models contained in them are not up for debate. Whatever truths are contained in them, are true forever. No analysis, no new information can change them or make them better.
Of course, this is not at all to say that new information can’t inform and change our understanding of Scripture. The 19th and 20th centuries brought vast amounts of new archaeological information that has altered our interpretations of many, many parts of the Bible. But it only changed what we think the texts are saying, not (at least for me) the underlying conviction that whatever the text does in fact say, is true.
Consider with me the risk of that conviction for a moment. I have committed myself to an unbelievably anti-modern proposition—that whatever is in this Book is true. What if I find something inside of it that… rubs me the wrong way? That seems… wrong. Maybe even something that horrifies me. I have decided that rather than adjusting the text to follow my belief, I will adjust my belief to follow the text (all the while keeping in mind the above paragraph). This is something a modern would never do. The idea is absurd. The text is wrong, therefore evolve past it into better models.
I am self-consciously modern and mostly approve of the modernity within myself, and yet at the same time, I look at this Book and declare, “No matter what it says, I believe that what it says is true.” This is surely a profound tension. I marvel that the incoherence somehow feels perfectly comfortable. Perhaps it is truly the case that perfect love casts out fear—when I trust the Author, the feeling of risk dissipates.
There are libraries more to be said on this topic, and these short paragraphs are deeply incomplete. I trust your wisdom to ponder this Kierkegaard-esque contemplation well, with nuance and qualifications and new, excellent connections.