Perry uses the sleight of hand of the magician and the religious: millions believe, it must be right. He says there are thousands of documents of provenance for biblical authorship by god, but cannot produce one that passes critical peer review.
The thing is this; not only is there no provenance for thinking a supreme being authored or coached the bible along, centuries of exhaustive study by Wellhausen et al have provided credible evidence that there are at least 4 sources for the OT, blended together, redacted, between 700 and 400.
The redacters portrayed the ancient israelites as being law abiding, sacrificing, priest respecting people; ergo, all now should respect the priesthood.
When they were in trouble, the redacters showed them as being disobedient.
Kings? BAD. Priests? GOOD. If we must have kings, the judean ones were tolerable. David, described as a murdering adulterer, is portrayed as the best even of the judean kings.
The effect? Exactly like Terry's example of Reagan; Reagan was responsible for great growth, he was as conservative as us, therefore we are as right as Reagan. Rewriting the past lets them control the conversation in the present.
That is classic redaction, and retrojection; another example is the right's claim that the founders of the US were christian. Of course, they are thinking of their own brand of christian, which is hard right and involves religious influence in government. The founders were actually deists, they were slaveholders and they were rich white landowners, not fundamental christians.
The bible is not historically accurate but is of great value; it documents the trials of a people who could not understand why bad things happened to them, and invented reasons for it. It is filled with stories that document the development of ethics that really were unique to the area for the time.
It is a living document that, when studied in it's context, sketches the growth of 2 of the world's "great" religions.
Perry, if you have faith that God wrote the bible, you don't need proof. Abandon the idea that there is proof, proof is NOT your friend.
You accept Jesus as the Christ; that is your choice, based on a theological understanding of who you think he was.
I do not accept him as christ, but I am astounded at the unique ideas and teachings. He was a social and religious radical; he favored tipping over the existing religious and social order.
How can that radicalism inform our view of today's social order and religious culture? Is the same hypocrisy and class structure present today?
Jesus ate with whores and sinners; his parable of the Samaritan must have revolted his listeners. Who are the modern outcasts? AIDS patients? Gays?
Illegal immigrants? Who would the Samaritan be? A Muslim?
This matters more to me than being reassured that my moral failings are abetted by his being prematurely killed.