You’re Right, Paul
And here, strangely enough, lies the watershed both of the ancient and the modern worlds. Where is the locus of God’s truth to be found? To the pagan who heard the voice of the gods within, who listened to the whisperings of intuition, and to the modern who similarly listens within for the voice of self, the answer is the same. For the Israelite it was different. The Bible is not a remarkable illustration of what we have already heard within ourselves; it is a remarkable discovery of what we have not and cannot hear within ourselves. Thus, our inward sense of God and our intuitions about meaning are irrelevant in any effort to differentiate biblical truth from pagan belief. It is how we apply ourselves to learn what God has disclosed of himself in a realm outside ourselves that is important. An unless we steadfastly maintain this distinction in the face of the modern pressures to destroy it, we will soon find that we are using the Bible merely to corroborate the validity of what we have already found within our own religious consciousness – which is another way of saying that we are putting ourselves in the place of the Bible. It is another way of reasserting the old paganism. When that happens, theology is irredeemably reduced to autobiography, and preaching degenerates into mere storytelling.