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Reading the Bible the Logical Way (?)

A guy who calls himself the Thinking Christian has a Facebook post in which he attempts to make the case that his way of reading the Bible is the logical way, and therefore the only way.

In every situation, there is only ONE truth. 2+2 always = 4; P always = P; a lie always = a lie; etc.

Likewise, there is only ONE way to interpret the Word of God. He is not the God of confusion; why would He purposely try to confuse us by making His Word hard to understand?

But his premise that the Bible has only one interpretation is demonstrably false. Even the Bible writers found multiple meanings in older Scriptures.

For example, the instructions for building the temple and performing sacrifices were actual, literal commands for the original community, but the author of Hebrews reinterprets them as "a sketch and a shadow of what is in heaven"; likewise King Melchizedek is understood in Hebrews as not merely a historical figure, but a symbolic "priest forever" prefiguring Christ.

Paul also often pulls secondary meanings from Old Testament stories. In Romans, Adam is "a type of one who is to come". In Galatians, the women Sarah and Hagar are "two covenants".

Matthew finds foreshadowing in numerous Old Testament  passages, for example, "Out of Egypt I called my son," in Hosea, referring to the Exodus, Matthew applies to Jesus. The famous phrase from Isaiah that Matthew applies to Jesus' birth, "the virgin will be with child," referred originally to a young woman (probably not even a virgin) in Isaiah's time.

And then there are instances where two NT writers take the same passage and interpret it differently. For example, Paul and James disagree about whether Abraham was justified by faith or by works (see Romans 4:2 and James 2:24). Matthew and Luke disagree about what the "sign of Jonah" means (see Matthew 12:40 and Luke 11:30).

The reality is, many passages have multiple ways to interpret them correctly. That's not to say they can't be misinterpreted, because they can, and they are. But getting all the doctrines right is not the most critical part of being a faithful Christian.

In 1 Corinthians Paul describes the church as a body of believers, using actual body parts to extend the metaphor.

If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?

The idea is, all the parts work together toward the same goal. They take care of each other so no one is seen as inferior, and no one suffers alone.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Arguments about the "one true interpretation" of the Bible only serve to tear down the body of believers. The greatest threat faced by Christianity is the fundamentalist-inspired redefinition of itself as a set of propositions to be accepted, rather than as a set of relationships to build.

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