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On-line version ISSN 2305-445X
Print version ISSN 0254-1807


SPANGENBERG, Izak J.J.. Is God a ventriloquist and is the Bible God's dummy? Critical reflections on the use of the Bible as a warrant for doctrines, policies and moral values. Scriptura [online]. 2017, vol.116, pp.208-223. ISSN 2305-445X.

Two newspaper articles prompted the writing of this academic article. The first one concerns the theological conference "Gateway to the future from a deconstructed past" held at the University of Pretoria earlier this year. The second concerns Christians' convictions that they adhere to "biblical norms and values". Both articles reflect on the use of the Bible - either in the past: the Bible and the apartheid policy (the first article), or the present: theological debates concerning the role of women in the church (the second article). Both articles evoked reactions which were published in the relevant newspaper. The articles and the reactions (letters to the press) give evidence to the fact that reformed Christians still struggle to accept that God is not a ventriloquist or the prime author of the biblical books. The current article engages the two newspaper articles as well as the reactions and promotes the ideas of reading the biblical books as ordinary literature, of embracing the contemporary world view, and of accepting contemporary human rights.

Keywords : Apartheid; Authority of the Bible; Biblical Norms and Values; Decalogue; Evangelical Norms and Values; Fundamentalism; Human Rights; Ordination of Women.

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