So my mother told me that she and my dad have begun to question their faith and the morality of the god of their faith in particular. She said they had read some passages in church that they found disturbing and I thought this was a very good thing. I enouraged her to look into it and find out what it was that bothered her most, So she and dad started reading the entirety of the bible, a few chapters a day over their dinners. I thought that I would offer myself in assistance and try to let them see by example that not believing doesn't negate the possibility of living happily.
So the next time I was over I offered to join them in their reading and discussion. Come to find out they're reading the Appologetic's Study Bible.
If you have not seen this book it is filled with side articles and notations containing every logical fallacy imaginable in an effort to try to make sense of the passages that give people problems with their faith. Needless to say I was appalled to see that these arguments and fallacies were coaxing my parents back into quiescence. When I attempted to point this out it became a big argument and my parents got fairly upset and I went home with no idea where to go next.
Please advise! What do I do so as not to seem as though I am actively trying to destroy their faith?
I'll have to look into this myself. Sounds good!
In the spirit of my last reply to this thread, "There's enough good arguments you can make without having to use historical arguments which rely on oversimplification.", here I am again.
"The bible is clear in that it states that it is meant to be taken literary and in its entirety."
Really? Where does it say that?
Considering the Bible is simply a large collection of different books by different authors over almost a millenia of Jewish-Christian thought, "the Bible" never refers to "it" as to be taken literary and in its entierity. In fact the Bible never refers to itself at all, because as I said, none of the individual authors were aware that they were writing something which would later be regarded as Scripture.
Besides, the idea that the Bible is meant to be taken literary is a modern protestant invention and one that has little or no scriptural basis; much of the stories in the Bible are clearly symbolic and allegorical. It is unclear to us to what extent Jews and Christians of the time would have actually thought that -say- the miracles of Jesus literally happened and to what extent they saw them as symbolic ways of making a point.
But that it was not regarded as literary in its entierity is beyond dispute. You will have to go to great lengths to find any early Church Father at all who expressed any literalist belief. Most of them (thinkers like Augustine included) quickly gravitated towards the understanding that scriptural texts werecomposed of several layers of meaning (literal, moral, allegorical or eschatological); if one meaning did not make sense or seemed to not tell the whole story, they sought for meaning on a different level of interpretation. The Catholic Church uses these criteria to this day.
Hope that reality check doesn't interfere with the polemical point you were making.