Thursday, January 19, 2006

R. Scott Colglazier Has it Wrong

In the Texas star-telegram R. Scott Colglazier writes about Pat Robertson and the failure of taking the bible literally. He says: His approach to Christianity is one of biblical literalism, an approach that treats the Bible as the literal word of God, and therefore the stories of the Bible as applicable to ALL people for ALL time. There are two problems with biblical literalism. First and foremost, you wind up damaging the Bible by trying to literalize every word and story, and, second, you eventually make outrageous applications of it by ignoring the differences between the contemporary world and ancient civilization. When Robertson interprets Bible stories about God punishing people for their sins and destroying entire cities, he concludes that these events literally happen and illustrate how God works in the world today. Contrary to his clumsy understanding of Scripture, I happen to believe that God has never been in the destruction business. Yes, such stories exist in the Bible, but they are reflections of an ancient people trying to make sense of catastrophic events rather than an accounting of the destructive powers of God. In other words, it's one thing to believe that God did something; it's another to believe that God is portrayed as doing something. I do not understand why the press continues to pump out article after article on Mr.Robertson. Its a moot point, as everything he says is only the opinion of one man, and not an entire branch of Christianity. In fact the Rev. doesn't even preach at a church anymore. Mr.Colglazier goes on to state:I would be in favor of eliminating all theology (different from eliminating theologians!) that assumes a divine "cause and effect" when it comes to interpreting the events of the day. The apostle Paul once wrote, "We look into a mirror dimly," which was his way of saying that everyone, including Pat Robertson, should slow down when it comes to claiming what he or she knows for certain about God. It seems to me that what is called for in our complex world is a more reasoned approach to faith and the Bible, because when the best of reason is utilized, not only does it help you understand what you know; more importantly, it helps you understand what you don't know and dare not claim to be true on behalf of God. Nice "interpretation" time..please keep it to yourself.


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