Showing posts with label Literalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Literalism. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Illustrations and Authority

“These stories are neither history … nor empirical science. Instead, they are investigations into the structure of Being itself and calls to action within that Being. They have deep psychological significance.”

— Jordan Peterson

“There is no future for the Bible … where a literalist reading of the text is the only option.”

— Steve McSwain, The Huffington Post

You can find hundreds of such quotes about the Bible online these days, many of which, like the second one above, claim to be the product of a Christian worldview. All assure us the scripture is still good for something — faith production, psychological insight, good moral teaching — even if parts of it are historically false.

Most prefer to use the word “mythical” rather than “false”.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Magination Run Wild

Ah, liberal Christians.

How they do let their Maginations run wild sometimes.

You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

First, a little history ...

Lining Things Up

The Maginot Line was a massive French fortification that ran 943 miles between the Alps and the English Channel. The brainchild of Minister of War André Maginot, it was designed to repel attacks from Germany. The horrors of the trench warfare in the first “War to End All Wars” had persuaded the French of the need for better national defenses. The Maginot Line had everything going for it: super thick concrete, steel-wedge gun turrets that were impervious to bombardment, large, air-conditioned living areas for troops, supply storehouses, its own railway …

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Magination Run Wild

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Wrong Way Round

In a previous post I pointed out that Christ’s disciples, unlike many modernists, were seekers after objective truth.

But the process of discovering that truth was anything but easy or natural. The disciples made some pretty entertaining mistakes.

Not that I would’ve done any better, I assure you. But they had an uncanny knack for getting things the wrong way round.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cage Match: Zechariah 14 vs Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Bible has gained a reputation as the “best and most widely used work of its kind”. I have its three bulky volumes on my own bookshelf and have found it surprisingly useful at times given its age and the limited number of translations and study tools available when it was written in the early decades of the 18th century. Philip Doddridge said, “Henry is, perhaps, the only commentator … that deserves to be entirely and attentively read through”. Evangelist George Whitfield is said to have read Henry’s commentary daily with his devotions.

So this is not me having another “Rachel Held Evans” moment. Critiquing the opinions of a social justice wannabe looking to amp up pageviews, book sales and personal appearance invitations is not in the same league as tackling a respected and serious writer whose work has been influential for almost three centuries.

That said, there here is no better way to highlight the absurdities inherent in some methods of interpretation — even well accepted and venerable methods — than to simply lay a commentary side-by-side with the word of God.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I’ll Wait, Thanks (or, I guess this makes me a ‘Huddle Person’)

Uh oh. Apparently, I’m told (and not for the first time) biblical literalism is not healthy. Not healthy for those I would like to win to Christ, and not healthy for me. It’s (at least potentially) repressive, and possibly worse.


In it, Michael Gungor coins the term ‘huddle people’ to describe me and my ilk, then gives us a lecture about the dangers of failing to accommodate ‘science’ in our Christian worldview: 
“... you can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us. Not all of you will be ready to do that, and that’s perfectly ok. But know that if you create these dichotomies where we force people to either fall into the camp of scientifically blind biblical literalism or a camp where they totally write off the Bible as a complete lie, you’re going to rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers. You’re going to create a lot more jaded, cynical people that are completely anti-religion out there. And you are going to continue to repress the questions that lurk in the back of your own mind. And that’s just not healthy. That sort of thinking actually quashes and limits human thriving in the world.”
— Michael Gungor

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Literal and Figurative

The most recent version of this post is available here.