With apologies to my Christian believing friends, I have to say I don't put much trust in the Bible. Oh, I do believe in a divine creator, our God....I just have a really hard time believing in a book written by a bunch of Middle Eastern people thousands of years ago....then translated in and out of several dozen languages since, watered down, and translated according to a writer's own beliefs.
That doesn't mean I don't read the Bible. I find parts of it some of the most beautiful and comforting literature we have, and some of it highly poetic. My favorite part of the Bible comes in the red lettering of my old family Bible.......the red highlighting the words of a fine fellow named Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that a man named Jesus lived. Whether he was the son of God, to me, is another question. But that too has never mattered to me....the teachings of Jesus Christ is something we can all learn from. We would all live better lives were we to heed his words of guidance. The old religion was nearly as harsh and hard to live by as Islam before Christ came along and said that it was okay to fail, that forgiveness is possible, that our creator is a kind and forgiving God, and not the vengeful god of Abraham.
And forgive me again here, but I believe the Garden of Eden story is just a crock of shit. I don't believe God for one moment intended man to be perfect and without sin. I believe we are made fallible, that we are allowed to make mistakes for the specific purpose of refining our immortal soul.
If you believe in a God supreme you almost have to believe that God would not have programmed us to be little breathing automatons. Consider the computer code that drives the operations of the desktop computer you are even now using to read this. That code is nothing more than a series of "0"s and "1"'s listed in billions of variations in order to accomplish a programming task.
God could have easily just filled our brains with bunches of 0's and 1's and made us incapable of sin and failure. But how boring would we be....how limited in our capacity to fail and achieve redemption. How incapable would we be in being heroic, in stumbling and falling, then reveling when we succeed in pulling ourselves upright again, and carrying on with the challenges of life.
Atheists love to argue that, if there were really a God, he wouldn't allow innocent children to get cancer, or starve to death on an African plain, or drown in a catastrophic flood. To that, I can only say "who am I to question God?" Maybe we are reincarnated souls, sent back to earth to endure what we must in order to achieve a greater degree of perfection of our soul...and if that comes with enduring the hardships as an infant, so be it, as we might have well chosen that path while sitting up there awaiting reincarnation. Whether that is true or not, it is as good an explanation as any.
As little as I do know about God's grand design, I do believe, just as Des Cartes and Plato believed, that we have within ourselves an innate knowledge of what is moral, and what is right and wrong. If something feels bad it probably is....and those things that leave us feel good after, probable are good.
But, with all my doubts about the veracity of the Bible, I have never had a doubt about the existence of our Creator. I just don't believe that so much beauty around us was created by happenstance. I believe our world was all part of a grand design and that God's power is limitless.
And I'm even glad that the wise man upstairs didn't program us with those 0's and 01's...what dreadful, soulless beings would we be had He done so. Sin and failure are part of our nature...but redemption is a fine thing indeed, and makes us better people because we stumbled and then pulled ourselves up and kept going.