Wednesday, January 23, 2008

[THO] Suspicious About the Wrong Thing

I had an interesting conversation recently. It got me thinking. This person proposed that creationists (by that I mean biblical literalists) are really wrestling with the concern that God has not lied to us through the biblical accounts of creation. To me this is the suspicion in the wrong place, because if we follow that logic then God lied to us in the fossil records as well as genetics, biology, etc. If God didn't lie then for some reason God found it amusing to put an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary of Genesis in the natural world. And why does that not arouse our suspicion of the way we are reading Genesis at least as much as our suspicion of how we read the natural world? See I'm convinced that these two books belong together, both declare to us the glory of God. But also they provide a powerful check and bounds. Einstein reminds us that science and religion need each other as the head needs the heart. It is time we turn our suspicions back on ourselves and face reality on reality's terms. The Bible states that God is not the author of confusion, but from what I've seen a heck of a lot of humans are.


Anonymous said...

The question is not that God lied, but if the Biblical "creation" stories" are INTRINISICLY True, and if we are capable of understanding the ESOTERIC profundities communicated in the texts.

This reference provides a unique Understanding of the purpose and meaning of "creation" stories.


This reference describes in great deal how we are ALL trapped in a dismally reductionist ideology/paradigm and the consequences of this entrapment.

The main consequence being that we have been rendered incapable of any kind of ESOTERIC understanding of anything whatsoever---including "creation" stories.


One of Freedom said...

Actually your Avatar buddy there is quite wrong.

"The Message of all "Creation" myths is a Call to magical, mystical, and Spiritual ecstasy, progressively transcending the hierarchies of "Creation"."

This might sound like a nice sort of mysticism, but in reality it is about as harmful as reductionist theology is to the spiritual life. There is an definite need for a synthesis between spirituality (obedience and experience) and theology (reflection and reason). Think of it as heart and head, both are necessary for a balanced wisdom.

See the issue lies in that you can make a text say anything you want if you apply a purely esoteric reading. But to do so violates a criteria of reasonableness on the text. Texts, especially creation myths (such as the Judeo-Christian myths), like this have a history with a people and have communicated a fundamental message about their origin and their future. You can build on that, but to deviate wildly is not a restoration of something, but a bastardization of the message. The second problem is one that protestants know well (and seem to not find a problem) - that of an absent consensus fidelium. The bible puts it like this - "no word of prophecy is of private interpretation." These are texts of communities of people, not of individuals, and their meaning is not seperate from the community. That is the downside of Luther's efforts.