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Texts were written by real people. The way to approach a text, including those in the biblical compilation, is to ask what the writer may have been saying and not with preconceptions about whether it is literal or symbolic.
I would also avoid essentializing texts - and to avoid approaching texts with a preconceived metanarrative. Throw out the metanarratives and look at texts.. Rather than speaking of "the Bible," I would point to a specific text.
Literal simply refers to what the writer was saying. If the writer was writing symbolically, then the symbolism is literal.
I do not believe in essentialisms. The "two houses theology" is assumes two shared essences. When Jesus said there is no Jew or Greek, he was, IMO, rejecting the idea of essences. He was, in effect, adopting a nominalist perspective (individuals, not essences).
The predestination to grace is an empowerment.We are not compelled to accept that grace, but, if God wills, we are empowered to do so.
Evolution and creation address very different subjects. Combining them into a theistic evolution - or abandoning them for intelligent design or creationism - is, IMO, a cop out.
Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have problems with evolution because of their biblicism. Better explanations won't help much.
There are different approach to hermeneutics. For instance:
1. Esoteric (neo-gnostic, Theosophical, etc.): Scriptures interpreted as entirely symbolic (esoteric fundamentalism)
2. Fundamentalist: The reduction of all scriptures to literal history
3 Historicist: A focus on the message of the text (whether literal, symbolic, or some combination of the two)
Using the last, the historicist, approach, the focus is on the ideas being communicated, not on a word-for-word literal, factual, scientific, or historical exegesis.
A terrorist is a revolutionary who opposes Bush. However, Bush's right-wing revolutionarism is simply liberation.
Modification of Bennett Cerf's joke on What's My Line?:
Perry White said to Lois Lane, "You are sniffling, Miss Lane." Lois responded, "It is for a bit of linen which I hanker, chief."
Rationally, I am an agnostic, but I accept the existence of God on the basis of faith.
Have you heard of the new toothpaste with food particles for people who have no time to eat between brushings? (paraphrase of Bennett Cerf from What's My Line?
offer of salvation = enablement of grace (or empowerment) = predestination (God's Will) ---- but conditional on human wills. Why? Because we are not robots.
Paraphrase of Bennett Cerf on What's My Line?:
If the French should ever take over the Rock of Gibraltar, it will be called the de Gaulle Stone.
Information on Stanwood Cobb:
6 NOV 1881 (birth) - 28 DEC 1982 (death)
• OCCUPATION: teacher, writer, lecturer, book editor
(between 1904 AND 1975)
• BIRTH: 6 NOV 1881, Newton, Middlesex Co., MA, USA
• DEATH: 28 DEC 1982, Chevy Chase, MD, USA
Father: Darius COBB
Mother: Laura Maria LILLIE
Wife: Ida Nayan WHITLAM (married in 1919)
Copyright © 2002- Mark A. Foster, Ph.D. All rights reserved.