Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let Man be True and God a Liar: Judging God by "His Word"

Earlier this year I posited,

“…if one wants to disprove absolute naturalism, one could attempt [to use] the
Bible. All such would take is to show one instance of interruption—one
moment where a biblical writer expresses something beyond the cognitive horizons
of his life situation. As a lifelong student of religion and the Bible, I
am quite certain that it is impossible to do this
” (see Ontologically
Naturalistic Christian Scripture
, August 1 2010).

Prior to this statement I quoted the following powerful comment from process theologian Griffin:

Modern biblical criticism has removed…any reason for thinking that the writing
of the Bible involved any interruption of the normal thinking process of its
authors
(p. 23).

Just in case it was forgotten, I wanted to reassert the above. If anyone wants to demonstrate a single instance where a biblical writer expresses awareness beyond the mundane, “beyond the cognitive horizons of his life situation,” please feel free to do so. An important criterion for such an endeavor is to show that understanding a given passage as cognitively transcendent and supernaturally non-mundane actually makes better sense of the passage than any would-be naturalistic understandings.

So, there you have it. Show one exegetically sound reading of any passage showing that the author expressed ideas and facts beyond the intellectual, cultural, moral, and theological scope of his life situation. One is all it takes.

3 comments:

Fizlowski said...

Maybe you could give an example of what might qualify as a valid answer to this question.

Scriptulicious said...

Hey Fizz,

Any example would be something that goes beyond what was known or even knowable to the ancient Israelites. For example, awareness of the true vastness of space (galaxies, our sun as one of many stars, the fact that planets were not not luminaries, etc.).

Fizlowski said...

Well, Peter, why should we limit our scientific studies to the strictly naturalistic? This is an anti-supernatural bias on your part. We might be missing a goldmine of scientific information if we took the bible more seriously. If the government would just grant research money to Christian scientists, we might begin a whole new renaissance. Maybe pi equals 3 (1 Kings 23), maybe snow is kept in a storehouse in the sky (Job 38:22), maybe goat breeding can be improved with colored sticks near their feeding troughs (genesis 30:37-42).

Where's Maureen when you need her?