Blogger Wade G writes in his blog "Evolution of the Mystery":
The fact is, it is okay to just say that in certain respects the Bible can be wrong. Dead wrong, about facts and morals, and even world views. People can read into the Bible pretty much anything they want, but think of this: if someone could prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Bible truly taught that women should be subordinate would that make it true? Of course not. It would mean that the Bible was WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Why is that so hard for folk to understand? The Bible is here for us - we are not here to serve the Bible.I think he is right, of course, and I do think that even among liberal Christians there is sometimes a tendency to approach the Bible with a kind of reverence or to assign it a kind of authority that I don't think it necessarily deserves. I believe that the word "authority" is problematic in this case; if the Bible is clearly wrong about some things, and if we are honest with ourselves in accepting this, then it is hard to see whence comes this authority.
Some Christians try to balance out the Bible as an authority with other sources; for example, there is the Wesleyan quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. But I think this view still assigns a kind of authority to the Bible, and I look at this issue from a different angle. The value of the Bible as I see it lies not in its absolute "rightness" but rather in that it gives us a record of the kinds of issues that people struggled with in certain formative periods of Judaism and Christianity--and, despite its flaws, it also contains some inspirational literature to boot. An analogy I would make is with philosophers who study Plato; they do this, not because Plato was right about everything, but because he was a foundational figure in Western philosopher who touched on nearly all the issues that philosophy has struggled with ever since. Similarly, the Bible touched on virtually all the important issues that monotheistic Western faith has grappled with ever since.
The Bible is a starting point, not an end point. It is instructive for not just the things it got right, but for the things it got wrong as well. Part of the process of discovery is learning from past mistakes, and if religion is a journey towards the mystery, then part of understanding the journey is knowing where we made some wrong turns.