Every morning I read a little bit from the theologian and Christian apologist John Frame. If you follow our Twitter and Facebook page you will see our daily John Frame quote.
I thought this particular passage from his book The Doctrine of the Word of God was helpful in thinking through one subset of criticisms against the Bible based upon the behaviors of the characters within its pages:
Criticisms of Scripture have been urged both against the ethical teachings of Scripture and against the actions of God and Biblical characters. As for the action of Bible characters, it should be remembered that Scripture does not endorse all the actions of the people it describes, even those with a reputation for holiness. Even the greatest people in the Bible, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, fell into grievous sin. This is only what we should expect, since Scripture teaches that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).
(Source: John Frame, Doctrine of the Word of God, 186)
I was evangelizing last night and it never amazes me how often people bring up their reason for the rejection of the Bible has to do with the sinfulness of characters within the Bible. This is done usually without the understanding or the conscious consideration of the larger canon of Scripture and what it teaches about human nature. I also find it ironic that often the same individuals within the same dialogue can also reject the Bible’s teaching on the sinfulness of man as too negative when it is the most realistic that all are sinners including Bible characters.