November 26, 2020

I wish I’d said that

This Real Live Preacher piece on the Bible is really wonderful, and I don’t have to agree with every word to say that. I’m sure there are recovering fundamentalists all over the place who could benefit from those thoughts. I can imagine the incident that must have prompted this sad and gentle rant, and the result is a beautiful description of a much larger idea of the Bible than the rationalists and the scholastics and the creationists and the fundamentalists and the nouthetic types. So large, in fact, that it goes well outside the boundaries of anyone’s ability to creedalize it.

I appreciate it when we can say, in short order, “This is what the Bible is all about, and this is what it’s NOT.” That’s the best kind of confessional language. I appreciate the fact that someone who doesn’t believe in a “magic book” idea of hocus pocus inspiration could express some of what we struggle to say. It’s hard to say more about the Bible than the literalist, because he is so determined to insist that you are saying less. Inspiration is about Christ, not about all the literary attachments and accumulations in the book that brings him to us. The wonder of the Bible is that such HUGE things are in such SMALL words, and that at the end of the day, the things in the Bible are larger than anything we can say or think. So why are we fighting about those words?


  1. Um…can you come and say that on my message forum???:)

    Seriously, I moderate an online forum for religious debate and the idea of a literal interpretation of the Bible being the only ‘correct’ way to read it comes up on a regular basis, one way or another. I never subscribed to the idea that the Bible must be taken completely literally or it is junk the way some people do…I feel that when people take every word literally without looking at the history or context in which it was written, they miss a lot of the meaning and beauty. The Bible and Christianity is a very beautiful thing…there is allegory and symbolism as well as literal, factual accounts…and it is really sad to see people reduce it to a weapon the way I see on my forum sometimes…

  2. SO…… my friend: upon WHAT authority do you issue your critique of the CGM or any other late/great idea? Your present feeling about it? Your judgement on the character of the people who promote this nonsense? YOU SEE, my friend, if you do not submit to a Bible understood from the literal/grammatical principle – then there is no authority except yourself, or maybe the New Pope who has the power to begin a New Inquisition… but then, from where did that Pope get his authority? Was it not from “how he felt about what the Bible says”? One of the unfortunate fallouts from the Protestant Secession was that instead of only one Pope – we now have millions of Popes – each one believing that he could tidy up the loose language of the Bible for us and give us the true interpretation – which was not an interpretation at all, but was actually a correction….of the Bible…. Please point out to me one of those verses that cannot be understood correctly if we simply observe all the normal laws for language… definition, allegories, figures of speech, grammar and context? Which verse or vserses will you say are misleadoing if taken according to all the laws of language that we demand be observed in the courthouse or in our mortgage? Would you sign a contract that said ONE THOUSAND dollars if what ONE THOUSAND dollars meant was up for “interpretation”? Do you have 2 sets of laws for language? One for the Bible and another for everything that really matters in life? Do you have 2 sets of definitions for words – one for the Bible and another that you require when we’re talking money or property or family relations?

    I disagree with you INFINITELY when you denounce the literal/grammatical principle of Bible interpretation – for when you do so, you explicitly deny 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    (2 Tim 3:16 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    (2 Tim 3:17 KJV) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    BUT THEN – that’s just the Bible talking, and this too, must be subjected to (not definition, but) “interpretation”, right?

    Just Another Christian
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  3. Dear Just Another Christian,

    Please explain how 2 Tim. 3:16-17 supports your view of the Bible. Logically deduce it from the verses themselves.


  4. I love reading your post
    and heartly agree with most
    I have some God given insite on some well overlooked
    I have a website “Parsons Parlor”
    I feel God has raised you folk up for such a time as this
    please respond
    youe in the lord Pastor WR Pate