"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos." -- Stephen Jay Gould
So, I was listening to the latest Way of the Master radio show (I'm a masochist), and there was something very revealing about the way theists think about Scripture and why we hear what we do with them about science. A person had emailed them about the new perspective on Paul, and he responds as such:
Why do we need a new perspective on Paul? There's an assumption that is built into the premise of the question and that is there is something wrong with the old perspective. Or is it that time has changed the Gospel that Paul delivered? Either one is ridiculous, so out of the shoot I say: if I'm going to take a look at a new perspective on Paul that means that every great man, every great woman who have [sic] gone before me and studied Scriptures and understood very clearly what Paul's perspective was, they were an idiot! I'm not buying that. [... brief digression on recent trend to bring new perspectives or thoughts...] It's not needed and it's not good!That... is very revealing. Firstly, Scripture does change. It has changed a lot. How many hands has it gone through? You must not only have faith that it is the word of God, but you also must have faith that it has not been corrupted by intent or accident as it has been passed along. Then, it is a fact that it has been through many translations and you can look up where things have been lost in translation, lost to scribal errors, and lost in the evolution of language.
But let's just take the false premise as true, that it does not change. You know what else doesn't change? The physical world; how it operates. The mechanics which governed the natural world three millenia ago (the oldest that the Bible is dated) govern it today. Science is all out understanding it. When Newton put forward his law of universal gravitation, it was based on the unchanging world. If scientists were as obstinate as you, Einstein would have simply said:
Why do we need a new perspective on gravity? There's an assumption that is built into the premise of the question and that is there is something wrong with the old perspective. Or is it that time has changed the way gravity operates? Either one is ridiculous, so out of the shoot I say: if I'm going to take a look at a new perspective on gravity that means that every great man, such as Isaac Newton, who has gone before me and studied gravity and the physical world and understood very clearly what Newton's perspective on gravity was, they were an idiot! It's not needed and it's not good!You know why it's needed and why it's good? Because if you are seeking veracity of your beliefs and not just the confirmation of them, you are continually open to new ideas in one area as new truths have been discovered in others. This is why it is good that men do not live forever, or else our understanding would be so bound to those who have come before us that no new understanding can gain ground and we lose something quite profound -- or rather, we will fail to gain something profound.
This should be something you would think people would be more than willing to embrace about the Bible. If they think it is truly the Word of God, that means that they think a perfect being, with perfect understanding and perfect wisdom and perfect knowledge wrote the Book. Shouldn't that, by the very premise, mean that they could not possibly perfectly understand it, if even at all? As Ray would say: how dare you? You are not omniscient! Only God is.
Arrogance, ignorance, intransigence, and obstinance.