July 27, 2010

Greg is back with part 3

A Flawed Consensus, Part 3: How Ichabod Crane Keeps Getting His Ass Kicked - the parish: "Sacred texts are not brain-dumped into practitioners by the gods above; they mus
t be read, interpreted, discussed, and applied in a community. The fundamentalist errors are to believe that God 'wrote' the book, and that the English is plain enough for anyone to understand--ironically, this despite the proliferation of denominations based on verse-splitting."


Bob said...

From Greg: "By reading Genesis as literal rather than mythological, they have forced themselves to adopt a literalist hermeneutic that cannot be applied consistently, even to similar writings, throughout the Bible. "

Can a non-fundamentalist, biblical scholar interpret the difference between myth and the actual word of God? It seems to me if one takes Genesis as myth, cannot or shouldn’t one also take the resurrection as myth? Not too many Christians of any stripe look at the life and death and resurrection of Christ as a parable, although many, if not most, believe in evolution.

leighton said...

As I understand the argument, if you look at their respective genres (history-ish vs clear mythology), the gospels' accounts of the resurrection are supposed to record out-of-the-ordinary event, whereas treating the first few chapters of Genesis as history is like responding to the long-face horse-walks-into-a-bar joke with "So, where was this bar? Was it in a rural area with a lot of horses?" The difference is in the language and storytelling style. Out-of-the-ordinary things happened all the time in early Genesis and nobody thought twice about it. People in the gospels are described as having a hard time believing that Jesus is alive.

Whether it is "reasonable" or whatever to treat the account of the resurrection is historical is (IMO) a different conversation, and one I'm not making such a priority these days.

Streak said...

I think Leighton has part of the story--in that the different parts of the bible have different story-telling-features to them, and were intended to be read or heard in different ways.

I would also say that for some non-fundamentalists reading the bible, that we don't all assume that the Bible reveals "the actual word of God" but merely reflects what those writers believed to be from God.