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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shouldn't we repudiate parts of the bible?
Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon in the Nati:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
So, the fact remains that even if we say "all of Scripture is true", we certainly don't read all of it.

It does not follow from asserting that "all Scripture is true" that "all Scripture is equally useful." No one seems to preach Haggai or Nehemiah unless the church is in a building program.

The boring bits are still Scripture, regardless of where they fall in the Lectionary.

Ok, let's take Joshua's Conquest Narrative, in what sense is it "true", if you take the position that killing people who are not of your religion or ethnic group is a bad thing?

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by no prophet:
I think that we should be saying that in the OT, for example in 1 Sam 15:2-3, Deut 2:34, 3:6, 20:16-18 etc that the bible has it wrong. The people got it wrong, when they slaughtered everyone (and the animals) in the heat of battle and then wrote self-justifying versions.

I don't know that at all. One, I don't know how many of those stories are even historical. Why would I just assume that in the heat of battle
he Israelites went berserk and slaughtered people? Two, God may have told the Israelites to kill all of those people.

I think no prophet is right, here. As Christians, we should have no difficulty in saying "the Israelites may have thought this was what God wanted, but it is clear (in the light of Christ) that genocide and random slaughter are never the will of God."

If we can't say that unequivocally, then perhaps our God isn't that much cop, anyway.

quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by no prophet:
In the NT, in 1 Corinthians 14:34 where it says that women should be silent in church is obviously someone's idea at a time when churches are sorting out power struggles. It wasn't and isn't God's idea, it may not have even been Paul's. But it is clearly something to repudiate.

Again, I don't know that at all. God might have approved of Paul telling women in the context he was writing to be silent at church. Apparently, the goal isn't to read scripture through the lens of Jesus so much as to try and read Jesus and the rest of scripture through a Marxist lens (and I didn't say Communist lens).
That's just petty and absurd. Paul had certain prejudices about women. That much is clear. It doesn't necessarily undermine other parts of his writing to admit that, in this area, he was wrong. And that's not "Marxist". It's just decent humanity, where discrimination against women (and other races etc) is wrong and we're not ashamed to say it's wrong.

(I know that Paul is probably discussing a particular Corinthian problem. But the way he does it reveals an anti-woman bias. Can you ever imagine Paul saying "Men must keep silent in church?" I don't - not in that bald way.)


quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:


I refuse to repudiate any portion of scripture simply because it offends modern sensibilities. Doesn't mean that I believe God would command Christians to participate in genocide. Doesn't mean that I believe women should be silent.

Sorry. But this is just wanting to have your cake and eat it too. If you don't believe God would command people to commit genocide, then have the decency to say "those bits of the Bible that indicate otherwise are wrong."

And it's not about offending "modern sensibilities"; it's about addressing genuine moral concerns expressed by rational, decent, ordinary people.

When such people say to you "that God of yours is a bit of a bastard, isn't he?" That shouldn't be taken as compliment, but as the rebuke it is.

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Ikkyu
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by no prophet:
I think that we should be saying that in the OT, for example in 1 Sam 15:2-3, Deut 2:34, 3:6, 20:16-18 etc that the bible has it wrong. The people got it wrong, when they slaughtered everyone (and the animals) in the heat of battle and then wrote self-justifying versions.

I don't know that at all. One, I don't know how many of those stories are even historical. Why would I just assume that in the heat of battle
he Israelites went berserk and slaughtered people? Two, God may have told the Israelites to kill all of those people.

quote:
originally posted by no prophet:
In the NT, in 1 Corinthians 14:34 where it says that women should be silent in church is obviously someone's idea at a time when churches are sorting out power struggles. It wasn't and isn't God's idea, it may not have even been Paul's. But it is clearly something to repudiate.

Again, I don't know that at all. God might have approved of Paul telling women in the context he was writing to be silent at church.

So what use is a book that can't be understood? It does make a difference if God orders genocide or not. So if you can't tell if it really says that in the book or not what good is it?
About women in church. Does God want them to speak or not? You are saying they can but you don't seem to be able to use all of the bible to justify that.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think erasure of the stories of oppressed people (even those God is apparently an oppressor of) is deeply troubling, and does more harm than good to the oppressed.

Having had the story of Jacob, Laban, and the two sisters read as the first lesson this morning, I can agree with this, insofar as women have been the victims of the patriarchy for, apparently, as long as history has been recorded.
As my wife pointed out, the OT reading was even worse, in that it wasn't just about women being treated as goods to be traded; it was also about an abusive form of indentured labour.

No-one comes out of this looking good. Not even Leah, who went along with the deception. This reading today was one of those moments when you want to stop a service and say "there is no positive value in this part of the Bible, whatsoever, so let's not say 'thanks be to God'."

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Lamb Chopped
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Isn't there? That part of the Bible says to me, "If God can use people who are as deeply fucked up as these ones are, he can use me too."

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
If we can't say that unequivocally, then perhaps our God isn't that much cop, anyway.

I worship the God revealed in scripture and subsequent tradition because I believe that is the God exists. Given that, judging God by human standards seems rather silly. If I wanted to worship an idea of God that made me comfortable, I would invent my own.

quote:
originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
That's just petty and absurd. Paul had certain prejudices about women. That much is clear. It doesn't necessarily undermine other parts of his writing to admit that, in this area, he was wrong. And that's not "Marxist". It's just decent humanity, where discrimination against women (and other races etc) is wrong and we're not ashamed to say it's wrong.

No, it is Marxist to see everything as a power struggle. Paul might have said all women should keep quiet at church. He may have had a valid reason for doing so. I don't expect Paul to be concerned with contemporary Western notions of fairness over spreading the Gospel to the world.

quote:
originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
Sorry. But this is just wanting to have your cake and eat it too. If you don't believe God would command people to commit genocide, then have the decency to say "those bits of the Bible that indicate otherwise are wrong."

I don't believe God would command people to commit genocide now. Now is not three thousand years ago. Furthermore, I believe how God relates to the world is different after the Incarnation. However, I will not say that God would not sacrifice the lives of individual humans for the greater good. Hard to believe otherwise given the death of Jesus and all those martyrs we have.

quote:
originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
And it's not about offending "modern sensibilities"; it's about addressing genuine moral concerns expressed by rational, decent, ordinary people.


Those moral concerns are based on modern sensibilities. No person is rational or decent enough that I am willing to repudiate scripture to appease. Might as well ask what kind of God appeals to a rational, decent, ordinary person like myself and start telling everybody that is the God that exists.

quote:
originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
When such people say to you "that God of yours is a bit of a bastard, isn't he?" That shouldn't be taken as compliment, but as the rebuke it is.


Others can rebuke God all they want to. The God preached by Christians has been offensive to any number of people over the past few millennia. Christianity wouldn't have survived past the first century if Christians took out everything that offended the decent, ordinary, and rational citizens of the Roman Empire. What makes 21st Century Westerners so special?

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Latchkey Kid
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Isn't there? That part of the Bible says to me, "If God can use people who are as deeply fucked up as these ones are, he can use me too."

There's that. And we can say that these people thought they were doing the right thing. So what can we learn from that? The stories in the Bible show often the people of faith got it wrong. Even with the Scriptures.
Henri Nouwen relates a version of a story in his The Wounded Healer. It is about a fugitive hiding in a village. The soldiers who sought him threatened to burn the village and kill the villagers unless they handed the fugitive over. The people went to the minister who pored over his bible After many hours he came to the passage. "It is better that one man dies than that the whole people be lost." So the minister told the soldiers where the boy was and they lead him away to be killed. That night as the minister was sad and alone in his room, an angel came to him and. said, "Don't you know that you have handed over the Messiah to the enemy?". "How could I know?" the minister replied. "If, instead of reading you Bible you had just once visited this young man and looked him in the eye you would have known."

You can read this as a parable, or you can disagree with it's interpretation of Scripture, or whatever else you like.
For me, the dry bones of Scripture are dead unless The Word makes it live.

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StevHep
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by StevHep:
Luther wrote “it is the historical sense alone which supplies the true and sound doctrine.”
The Catechism states
quote:
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."
Do you honestly not see any difference between these two approaches?
I have no idea what Luther himself wrote, or intended to say. I have no particular interest in that either. I was reacting to what you wrote about Luther, above. And my point was that what you attributed to Luther there is entirely compatible with RC principles on interpreting scripture. You said above "Luther's principle [is] that the literal meaning of the text is always the most important unless those texts themselves suggest otherwise." That is also the principle of the RCC.
No it isn't. The principle is that the meaning "discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation" is the basis for the others. The rules for sound interpretation are provided by the Church. So we do not begin with the literal meaning of a text, we begin with the rules of sound interpretation.

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Steve Langton
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by Stevhep;
quote:
So we do not begin with the literal meaning of a text, we begin with the rules of sound interpretation.
As per my quote from Tyndale above, the 'literal sense' is precisely what is discovered by sound interpretation such as we do with other texts of all kinds. Luther was still thinking in that way; he and the other Reformers intended that kind of 'literal sense', recognising the variety and artistry of human language, rather than a 'dumb woooden' literalism which doesn't recognise issues like figures of speech and genre.

by Stevhep;
quote:
The rules for sound interpretation are provided by the Church.
On this one NO! The rules of sound interpretation are just the ordinary human rules, not something special that only the church has. Remember that the Church (of whatever denomination) is not outside the world - our interpretations have to be convincingly demonstrable to outsiders, not just an assertion that it means whatever we like and they have to put up with that.
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Latchkey Kid:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Isn't there? That part of the Bible says to me, "If God can use people who are as deeply fucked up as these ones are, he can use me too."

There's that. And we can say that these people thought they were doing the right thing. So what can we learn from that? The stories in the Bible show often the people of faith got it wrong. Even with the Scriptures.
Henri Nouwen relates a version of a story in his The Wounded Healer. It is about a fugitive hiding in a village. The soldiers who sought him threatened to burn the village and kill the villagers unless they handed the fugitive over. The people went to the minister who pored over his bible After many hours he came to the passage. "It is better that one man dies than that the whole people be lost." So the minister told the soldiers where the boy was and they lead him away to be killed. That night as the minister was sad and alone in his room, an angel came to him and. said, "Don't you know that you have handed over the Messiah to the enemy?". "How could I know?" the minister replied. "If, instead of reading you Bible you had just once visited this young man and looked him in the eye you would have known."

You can read this as a parable, or you can disagree with it's interpretation of Scripture, or whatever else you like.
For me, the dry bones of Scripture are dead unless The Word makes it live.

That's very high minded and all that. It gets us to examine ourselves, just as when Jesus said one of the disciples would betray him, they all questioned themselves with 'is it I?' But, the angel's message wouldn't have cut the minister to the quick if he hadn't already known his scriptures.

As so often, IMHO, Lamb Chopped is the one who talks the sense on this thread.

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Martin60
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If God told the Israelites to kill all those people then we do not know Him in Christ.

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Beeswax Altar
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True only if you also repudiate parts of the Gospels. Why not? We are OK with repudiating parts of the OT and parts of the Epistles. Go ahead and repudiate some of the very words of Jesus as well.

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Martin60
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Like what? I prefer progress on the moral arc from the Bronze Age. Jesus got things 'wrong' of course. Racism. PSA. How could He not?

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Steve Langton
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by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard;
quote:
Jesus got things 'wrong' of course. Racism. PSA. How could He not?
Can't recall Jesus getting racism wrong - please explain.

PSA is only one partial image of the atonement in the NT; and not I think Jesus' primary image. Within its limits it's a good image. Again, what way did Jesus get that wrong?

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seekingsister
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None of the Bible serves any purpose to the modern Christian unless it is put into context for their daily lives.

When there is a sermon about the Exodus, it does not consist of the pastor selecting someone from the congregation to approach David Cameron or Barack Obama and declare that there will be plagues upon them if some policy is not reversed.

The point of the stories in the OT are to illuminate something to us about God and our relationship with him. In most cases whether or not they literally happened as described in the Bible have little impact on their spiritual meaning.

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Byron
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard;
quote:
Jesus got things 'wrong' of course. Racism. PSA. How could He not?
Can't recall Jesus getting racism wrong - please explain.

PSA is only one partial image of the atonement in the NT; and not I think Jesus' primary image. Within its limits it's a good image. Again, what way did Jesus get that wrong?

Matthew (15:21-28) portrays Jesus calling a Canaanite woman who requests his help a dog, and only agreeing to heal her daughter when she keeps her faith despite the insult.

Luke of course gives us the Good Samaritan as a counterpoint, and both he & Matthew give us the healing of the centurion's slave.

I don't know if any of these go back to the historical Jesus, but they do, at the least, portray an attitude to ethnicity that many of us wouldn't share.

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seekingsister
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quote:
Originally posted by Byron:
Matthew (15:21-28) portrays Jesus calling a Canaanite woman who requests his help a dog, and only agreeing to heal her daughter when she keeps her faith despite the insult.

I honestly don't know if you are serious.

He uses a metaphor of a dog taking crumbs from a child's table. He is not offering her crumbs of bread, but healing. It is therefore understood that the bread, dog, and child are metaphors.

He is not calling her a dog any more than he is calling the first Christians fish because the Apostles were fishermen.

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Like what? I prefer progress on the moral arc from the Bronze Age. Jesus got things 'wrong' of course. Racism. PSA. How could He not?

Progress as defined by secular Western culture. I'm not interested in that. At some point, you have to be honest with yourself and admit that your political ideology is your religion and Christianity is only right if it agrees with your political ideology and repudiate everything else. Then, why bother calling yourself a Christian at all? Aren't you just whatever you are politically who happens to like some of the stuff in the Bible?

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Aren't you just whatever you are politically who happens to like some of the stuff in the Bible?

Is probably a good description of most of us afloat...

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Byron:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard;
quote:
Jesus got things 'wrong' of course. Racism. PSA. How could He not?
Can't recall Jesus getting racism wrong - please explain.

PSA is only one partial image of the atonement in the NT; and not I think Jesus' primary image. Within its limits it's a good image. Again, what way did Jesus get that wrong?

Matthew (15:21-28) portrays Jesus calling a Canaanite woman who requests his help a dog, and only agreeing to heal her daughter when she keeps her faith despite the insult.

Luke of course gives us the Good Samaritan as a counterpoint, and both he & Matthew give us the healing of the centurion's slave.

I don't know if any of these go back to the historical Jesus, but they do, at the least, portray an attitude to ethnicity that many of us wouldn't share.

But all of those people are the same race with the possible exception of the Centurion [Confused]

Race is not the same as ethnicity or culture, and marking out differences in ethnicity is not racism. Racism is a power exchange between a socially dominant/powerful race and a less socially dominant one - so in Roman-occupied Palestine it's the Romans who are the only ones who are actually racist as opposed to ethnicity-based prejudice or xenophobia.

In any case, Matthew 15:21-28 is not about Jesus insulting the woman.

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Pomona
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OtG - I am a woman and a Marxist feminist but I really don't feel that Paul or pseudo-Paul has any particular prejudice towards women. On the contrary, he praises women a great deal and includes women as full members of the early Church - if he had any prejudice then according to both Jewish and Greco-Roman religious mores, he would not have mentioned women at all. The fact that he praises and includes women so much within a deeply patriarchal religious and social culture is fairly conclusive evidence that he was not prejudiced against women in the slightest, but actively working for their inclusion and for them to be seen as full and equal members of the Body.

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Aren't you just whatever you are politically who happens to like some of the stuff in the Bible?

Is probably a good description of most of us afloat...
Not me

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
OtG - I am a woman and a Marxist feminist but I really don't feel that Paul or pseudo-Paul has any particular prejudice towards women. On the contrary, he praises women a great deal and includes women as full members of the early Church - if he had any prejudice then according to both Jewish and Greco-Roman religious mores, he would not have mentioned women at all. The fact that he praises and includes women so much within a deeply patriarchal religious and social culture is fairly conclusive evidence that he was not prejudiced against women in the slightest, but actively working for their inclusion and for them to be seen as full and equal members of the Body.

All excellent reasons for why women shouldn't be required to keep silent in church or even (Dead Horse).

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Steve Langton
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From the above no simple quote to kick off from, but...

Rightly or wrongly I think of 'racism' as having the idea that your ethnic group is better than the other, regardless which way up the power dynamic currently is between your group and the other.

The Jews of Jesus' day, or at any rate those who opposed Jesus, were by that standard 'racist' looking down on the ethnically mixed Samaritans and also slightly mixed Galileans, let alone the Canaanites and Romans.

Jesus stood out as not discriminating in,such a way,telling the parable about the 'Good Samaritan' and other parables which implied that relying on your Jewish ethnicity with God might not get you as far as you thought; for example a parable about vineyard tenants who would be displaced after beating up the owner's servants and killing his son. And there are quite a few which say that kind of thing either primarily or in passing.

He surprised a Samaritan woman by being willing to talk to her despite the usual prejudice between the two groups. In the case of the Canaanite woman whose daughter he healed, it seems to me that he tested her faith and sincerity by appearing at first to act in a typically Jewish way, but of course responded positively to her spirited answer. The text can't make it clear, but one can even wonder if he said his apparent downer with a bit of a smile, a bit of a 'tongue-in-cheek' attitude, that would encourage her to 'try her luck' as it were. And he healed the centurion's servant, indeed.

I can't see that he was 'racist' at all - maybe a bit 'politically incorrect', but for good rather than nasty ends.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
OtG - I am a woman and a Marxist feminist but I really don't feel that Paul or pseudo-Paul has any particular prejudice towards women. On the contrary, he praises women a great deal and includes women as full members of the early Church - if he had any prejudice then according to both Jewish and Greco-Roman religious mores, he would not have mentioned women at all. The fact that he praises and includes women so much within a deeply patriarchal religious and social culture is fairly conclusive evidence that he was not prejudiced against women in the slightest, but actively working for their inclusion and for them to be seen as full and equal members of the Body.

All excellent reasons for why women shouldn't be required to keep silent in church or even (Dead Horse).
Sorry BA, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic here or not! However I certainly think that Paul was not endorsing mandatory silence in church for women, or a particular view on [Dead Horse]. Paul was writing letters to specific groups of people at specific times, and in the case of the Corinthians, telling troublemaker(s) to zip it in church and not bring Pagan worship methods into the church. Most Pagan worship in Corinth was female-focused so he was targeting the women there - not because he was prejudiced against the women but simply because the men were not re-enacting Pagan worship, because men were just not doing that in temples anyway.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
From the above no simple quote to kick off from, but...

Rightly or wrongly I think of 'racism' as having the idea that your ethnic group is better than the other, regardless which way up the power dynamic currently is between your group and the other.

The Jews of Jesus' day, or at any rate those who opposed Jesus, were by that standard 'racist' looking down on the ethnically mixed Samaritans and also slightly mixed Galileans, let alone the Canaanites and Romans.

Jesus stood out as not discriminating in,such a way,telling the parable about the 'Good Samaritan' and other parables which implied that relying on your Jewish ethnicity with God might not get you as far as you thought; for example a parable about vineyard tenants who would be displaced after beating up the owner's servants and killing his son. And there are quite a few which say that kind of thing either primarily or in passing.

He surprised a Samaritan woman by being willing to talk to her despite the usual prejudice between the two groups. In the case of the Canaanite woman whose daughter he healed, it seems to me that he tested her faith and sincerity by appearing at first to act in a typically Jewish way, but of course responded positively to her spirited answer. The text can't make it clear, but one can even wonder if he said his apparent downer with a bit of a smile, a bit of a 'tongue-in-cheek' attitude, that would encourage her to 'try her luck' as it were. And he healed the centurion's servant, indeed.

I can't see that he was 'racist' at all - maybe a bit 'politically incorrect', but for good rather than nasty ends.

That's not racism, and Jesus wasn't racist - racial prejudice and xenophobia are not the same as racism. And why the scare quotes around racism? [Confused]

It's either racism or it's not, you can't be 'kind of racist' or 'a bit racist'.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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SusanDoris

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Oscar the Grouch and Ikkyu

Well said, say I.

[ 28. July 2014, 17:21: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think erasure of the stories of oppressed people (even those God is apparently an oppressor of) is deeply troubling, and does more harm than good to the oppressed.

Having had the story of Jacob, Laban, and the two sisters read as the first lesson this morning, I can agree with this, insofar as women have been the victims of the patriarchy for, apparently, as long as history has been recorded.
As my wife pointed out, the OT reading was even worse, in that it wasn't just about women being treated as goods to be traded; it was also about an abusive form of indentured labour.

No-one comes out of this looking good. Not even Leah, who went along with the deception. This reading today was one of those moments when you want to stop a service and say "there is no positive value in this part of the Bible, whatsoever, so let's not say 'thanks be to God'."

And yet I heard a very good sermon on this passage yesterday, that was indeed reason to say “thanks be to God.”

Aside from what Lamb Chopped said, which is right on the money, I think the problem lies in what you suggest this story is “about.” It’s not “about” women being treated as chattel, nor is “about” abusive forms of indentured labor. (And we shouldn’t forget Bilhah and Zilpah, or how Leah and Rachel felt about their father and his treatment of them.) Those are elements of the story, of course, but they are not what the story is about. And the story certainly doesn’t advocate treatment of women as chattel or abusive forms of indentured servitude.

The story has to be read in the context of the fuller story of Jacob. It is first and foremost the story of the origin of the nation of Israel, and it isn’t a particularly noble origin. But it is also the story of Jacob, who tricked his father, cheated his brother and fled for his own safety. It is the story of how Jacob found a home with his kinsman Laban, who repeatedly tricked and cheated him, the trickster and the cheater. It is the story of how Jacob tired of that treatment and returned, at God’s direction, to his own family, even though he feared how his brother Esau would receive him because he knew he had wronged Esau. It is the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel (or God) and receiving the new name Israel. And it is the story of Esau receiving his deceitful yet repentant and fearful brother with grace and reconciliation. It is myth that in a sense isn't even really about Jacob himself.

The treatment of Leah and Rachel, of Bilhah and Zilpah, and even of Jacob are part of the story because they are part of the culture in which the story takes place. But they are not what the story is about.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Byron
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
I honestly don't know if you are serious.

He uses a metaphor of a dog taking crumbs from a child's table. He is not offering her crumbs of bread, but healing. It is therefore understood that the bread, dog, and child are metaphors.

He is not calling her a dog any more than he is calling the first Christians fish because the Apostles were fishermen.

The metaphor doesn't seem complimentary.

Jesus first says he's only come to help the lost sheep of Israel, then when the woman presses the issue, he compares her daughter to a dog. When she perseveres despite this, her faith is rewarded.

Even if, as some claim, there was some lesson about tolerance intended for the disciples, it's not a pleasant situation for the woman.

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Byron
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
But all of those people are the same race with the possible exception of the Centurion [Confused]

Race is not the same as ethnicity or culture, and marking out differences in ethnicity is not racism. Racism is a power exchange between a socially dominant/powerful race and a less socially dominant one - so in Roman-occupied Palestine it's the Romans who are the only ones who are actually racist as opposed to ethnicity-based prejudice or xenophobia.

In any case, Matthew 15:21-28 is not about Jesus insulting the woman.

This depends on whether you define "racism" as "prejudice + power," or discrimination on grounds of ethnicity. I go for the latter.

I agree that the story of the Canaanite woman isn't about insulting the woman. It's about her faith, and Jesus' mission. Any insult is incidental. (Some will, of course, argue that there's no insult.)

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
originally posted by Jade Constable:
Sorry BA, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic here or not!

I wasn't being sarcastic.

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LeRoc

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quote:
Byron: This depends on whether you define "racism" as "prejudice + power," or discrimination on grounds of ethnicity. I go for the latter.
How can you discriminate on grounds of ethnicity without being prejudiced against that ethnicity and having the power to act on it?

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Byron:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
But all of those people are the same race with the possible exception of the Centurion [Confused]

Race is not the same as ethnicity or culture, and marking out differences in ethnicity is not racism. Racism is a power exchange between a socially dominant/powerful race and a less socially dominant one - so in Roman-occupied Palestine it's the Romans who are the only ones who are actually racist as opposed to ethnicity-based prejudice or xenophobia.

In any case, Matthew 15:21-28 is not about Jesus insulting the woman.

This depends on whether you define "racism" as "prejudice + power," or discrimination on grounds of ethnicity. I go for the latter.

I agree that the story of the Canaanite woman isn't about insulting the woman. It's about her faith, and Jesus' mission. Any insult is incidental. (Some will, of course, argue that there's no insult.)

Well no, it's not discrimination on grounds of ethnicity - firstly because ethnicity isn't the same as race. Secondly, discrimination isn't harmful discrimination unless combined with power.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
As so often, IMHO, Lamb Chopped is the one who talks the sense on this thread.

[Overused] Agreed! [Overused]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by Jade Constable:
Sorry BA, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic here or not!

I wasn't being sarcastic.
Thank you - it was entirely me not being able to tell (lack of spoons and also internet), no insult was intended.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
I don't buy the idea that we have no responsibility re the interpretation and that they wouldn't listen. We're not even talking, let alone discussing it with them. We wishy-washily just vaguely ignore. No-one calls the leaders on anything, when they misuse religious texts and imagery.

There's a range of ecumenical organisations around the world; presumably their constituent churches engage in 'talking' with each other at various intervals. But denominations and local congregations are free to be involved or not. You can't force people to talk to you, and you certainly can't force them to rip pages out of their Bibles!

No, I think it would be much better to deal with individual challenges regarding specific churches in specific communities rather than looking for a blanket, global approach, designed to deal with all the Christians we supposedly don't like in one fell swoop.

Moreover, you're assuming that for Christians theology always comes first, and that politics and sociological concerns come second or third. I think this is a mistake. Our theology may be driven by our context. To put it crudely, well-off individuals living comfortable, secure lives in First World, democratic, consumer societies are highly likely to prefer a less dramatic, less punitive, less apocalyptic, etc. form of religion than those who are living under far less attractive conditions elsewhere.

The solution you're suggesting risks coming across as the world's richest Christians patronisingly telling all the rest how to live and have faith, without taking into account the structural injustices that we all allow to persist. This is also an issue in the USA, I imagine, with the Fundamentalists in the Deep South frequently being poorer, having fewer qualifications and facing less job security than the mainstream Christians who would like to 'teach' them. Again, I know this is a very crude portrait of the USA and the rest of the world! But we need to look at the whole picture rather than blaming the Bible for all of these problems.

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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:


Consider for example God's killing of all the first born in Egypt, and the distinction between Egyptians and Israel (Ex 11:7) and the thoroughness of the killing until all homes had someone dead (Ex 12:30)

In that case, why stop with repudiating parts of the Bible? God made each one of us with an expiration date. Why should our bodies have to age, become decrepit, and die? That bastard God, how dare he! In fact, I bet it wasn't even God Himself who created us, but some Igor in his lab pretending to be Him!

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"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
This is also an issue in the USA, I imagine, with the Fundamentalists in the Deep South frequently being poorer, having fewer qualifications and facing less job security than the mainstream Christians who would like to 'teach' them.

... I don't understand this bit. Certainly the leaders of the US Fundamentalist groups seem to be fairly well off. [Confused]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
This is also an issue in the USA, I imagine, with the Fundamentalists in the Deep South frequently being poorer, having fewer qualifications and facing less job security than the mainstream Christians who would like to 'teach' them.

... I don't understand this bit. Certainly the leaders of the US Fundamentalist groups seem to be fairly well off. [Confused]
The vast majority of fundie Protestant laity in the US are poorer white blue-collar workers.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:


Consider for example God's killing of all the first born in Egypt, and the distinction between Egyptians and Israel (Ex 11:7) and the thoroughness of the killing until all homes had someone dead (Ex 12:30)

In that case, why stop with repudiating parts of the Bible? God made each one of us with an expiration date. Why should our bodies have to age, become decrepit, and die? That bastard God, how dare he! In fact, I bet it wasn't even God Himself who created us, but some Igor in his lab pretending to be Him!
That contains argumentation fallacies. Something about taking things to an illogical extreme that no-one was suggesting and that the topic doesn't actually imply, and setting up a strawman / straw-body situation. That the bible contains parts that are through the misguided eyes of people trying to justify their behaviour after the fact, and people deciding things are of God because they really really believe them has nothing to do with our bodies. God may be a bastard but not about any of this.

On other parts of this, Beeswax Altar's post above suggested that the Jesus parts of the bible are not the ones that we are challenging. I think this may be true, as nothing specifically comes to mind about anything specifically Jesus said or did.

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Beeswax Altar
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Don't know the numbers exactly. Based on having lived most of my life in the Deep South, fundamentalists have less money than their mainline counterparts. The one exception is the Southern Baptist Church. Nearly ever town in the South has at least one large Southern Baptist congregation attended by many of the towns well heeled citizens. The other possible exception, depending on how you define fundamentalist, would be in the megachurchey type places.

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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:


Consider for example God's killing of all the first born in Egypt, and the distinction between Egyptians and Israel (Ex 11:7) and the thoroughness of the killing until all homes had someone dead (Ex 12:30)

In that case, why stop with repudiating parts of the Bible? God made each one of us with an expiration date. Why should our bodies have to age, become decrepit, and die? That bastard God, how dare he! In fact, I bet it wasn't even God Himself who created us, but some Igor in his lab pretending to be Him!
That contains argumentation fallacies. Something about taking things to an illogical extreme that no-one was suggesting and that the topic doesn't actually imply, and setting up a strawman / straw-body situation. That the bible contains parts that are through the misguided eyes of people trying to justify their behaviour after the fact, and people deciding things are of God because they really really believe them has nothing to do with our bodies. God may be a bastard but not about any of this.


You don't want to believe that God would have sent the Angel of Death to kill the firstborn child of every Egyptian family. God would never do such a thing! Yet you don't seem at all outraged by the fact that God has built death into each and every human body that has ever existed. So I wonder why God's killing all of us in advance (as it were) doesn't faze you, yet you react in horror at the thought that God might have killed all the firstborn of Egypt in a single night.

--------------------
"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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ChastMastr
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Yes, it's the SBC and megachurch crowd (and the array of radio/TV ministries--though I use that word very loosely in some cases, as a lot of what I encounter seems to be aggressive extreme right-wing politics mixed with the religious stuff) I'm thinking of. The median income of the followers of these groups, I don't know, but it may be very poor.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
The vast majority of fundie Protestant laity in the US are poorer white blue-collar workers.

Yes, I see what you mean there. I meant more the people running things rather than the laity.

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SvitlanaV2
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Some of the leaders may be wealthy because they've worked hard to grow their churches (or their TV/radio ministries, or whatever), and hence the tithes or other donations have increased. It's the wealth of the self-made man (or sometimes woman), not of the sophisticate with a couple of degrees in theology from a 'proper' university. And the leaders are no doubt careful to maintain some of the homespun, down-to-earth image that made them appealing to their constituency in the first place.

That reminds me of Joel Osteen. From what I've heard, he's a man of fundamentalist provenance who's more or less left aside a good deal of the awkward or simply challenging bits of the Bible. He's done so without going through the highly risky, contentious business of formally modifying the Bible. He's not very theologically sophisticated, apparently, but perhaps he has more likelihood of reaching 'intolerant' Christians than the liberal Christian intelligentsia does?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
You don't want to believe that God would have sent the Angel of Death to kill the firstborn child of every Egyptian family. God would never do such a thing! Yet you don't seem at all outraged by the fact that God has built death into each and every human body that has ever existed. So I wonder why God's killing all of us in advance (as it were) doesn't faze you, yet you react in horror at the thought that God might have killed all the firstborn of Egypt in a single night.

I'm not a creationist. At all. Which I think this would imply, even a weak version of creationism. This strays into the biology of life, which provides factual information of how cells and bodies age such they inevitably die. That bodies die is a biological fact, and is part of our evolutionary history. God didn't build this into our bodies, evolution did. That there is a start and end to everything is rather obviously the basic characteristic of the universe, we are simply part of that natural process. So no, I do not agree with you. Life and death are part of the essence of being human.

The difference is that in the Egypt story, God is alleged to have stepped outside nature and done evil things. I don't accept this other than as an allegorical tale which seems to want to be rather hard on the Egyptians. It is an us versus them story, and how the weaker can overcome the stronger.

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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
You don't want to believe that God would have sent the Angel of Death to kill the firstborn child of every Egyptian family. God would never do such a thing! Yet you don't seem at all outraged by the fact that God has built death into each and every human body that has ever existed. So I wonder why God's killing all of us in advance (as it were) doesn't faze you, yet you react in horror at the thought that God might have killed all the firstborn of Egypt in a single night.

I'm not a creationist. At all. Which I think this would imply, even a weak version of creationism. This strays into the biology of life, which provides factual information of how cells and bodies age such they inevitably die. That bodies die is a biological fact, and is part of our evolutionary history. God didn't build this into our bodies, evolution did. That there is a start and end to everything is rather obviously the basic characteristic of the universe, we are simply part of that natural process. So no, I do not agree with you. Life and death are part of the essence of being human.

The difference is that in the Egypt story, God is alleged to have stepped outside nature and done evil things. I don't accept this other than as an allegorical tale which seems to want to be rather hard on the Egyptians. It is an us versus them story, and how the weaker can overcome the stronger.

Creation is creation, regardless of the means. Even if God is the Deist absentee landlord you seem to think He is, he still designed the universe and set it in motion.

Given all you've said on this subject, how exactly do you avoid coming to the conclusions of Epicurus?

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"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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Martin60
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Progress as defined by progress. If it quacks like progress, it's progress.

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Martin60
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Oooh and I'm Christian because I say a creed on Sunday. You?

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
The second is more subtle. It's who are you, or whoever it might be, who decides that his or her version of God is sufficiently pristine to be able to decide with confident which bits of scripture to excise?

To 'repudiate' is not to 'excise'. God forbid that we should edit our Bibles to remove the challenging bits. They are part of the history of our faith and (if we believe in inspiration at all) a record of how God has spoken and still speaks. But we can, and should, repudiate statements which, whatever they may have meant centuries ago, are to us a source of error or evil.

There are parts of the Bible that contain timeless and priceless truth and beauty, but we're kidding ourselves if we think that its all like that. It isn't. There isn't, as far as I can tell, one single consistent Biblical view of cosmology or natural history which accords with anything that we can now think of as 'true'. There is no single Biblical anthropology.

There certainly isn't a single Biblical view of ethics. Tell me that the writer of Judges had the same opinion of divinely instituted kingship as the writer of Samuel, and I'll laugh at you. Or that the writers of Ruth and Ezra would have agreed about interracial marriage. Or the writers of Hebrews and Acts agreed about the propriety of animal sacrifice for Christians. There's no consistent Biblical teaching on marriage, or on slavery, or the rightness of punishing children for the sins of parents. You can, I suppose, just about read the NT as if it set out a consistent picture of the role of faith and works in salvation, but only if you start from the assumption that all the Biblical writers who proclaimed the gospel would have agreed precisely about what the gospel actually is. The more natural reading reveals significant differences of opinion and emphasis. There simply isn't such a thing as 'the Biblical view' of almost anything worth thinking about.

None of that means that the Bible is not inspired, or useful, but it ought to give us some confidence in saying that we disagree with what the Bible, in places, appears to be saying.

The "whose version of God is so pristine" thing is a strawman. Doubtless I have as many wrong opinions about ethics and theology as I do about everything else, but I'm not going to get any better or wiser by trying to make myself see evil as good because the Bible seems to me to contain errors. If I have to be mistaken about God (and, being a finite, fallible creature, I don't get a choice about that), I'd rather mistakenly believe things about him that I think good than mistakenly believe things that make him seem evil. The Bible might inform my conscience, or challenge it, and that's all to the good, but I remain morally responsible for what I believe, and if something in the Bible appears to me to be wrong, it is right for me to say that.

[ 28. July 2014, 21:55: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

Posts: 4619 | From: Hampton, Middlesex, UK | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged



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