Re: Something must change

George Murphy (
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 08:10:53 -0400

Glenn R. Morton wrote:
> Hi George,
> Can you do me a favor and shorten the line length in your email program.
> Your stuff comes through with lots of wrap arounds.

We've had some problems with this & I'll see what
I can do over the weekend. Bear with me.

> No, what I am meaning about the Good Samaritan is that the writer didn't
> preface it with 'And jesus spoke in a parable." Thus, I don't know if it
> was or wasn't real. My presumption would be that it probably was a real
> 'current event' that was known to his listeners.

Again, I think your default setting is significant. The
point isn't that the Good Samaritan _couldn't_ have happened
but that its historicisty has nothing to do with its truth
in the way Jesus uses it.

> > I agree, but there also comes a time when a retreat from a position which
> we
> >have come to see is untenable is the better part of valor rather than
> being massacred at
> >a theological Alamo.
> My views DON"T get massacred at the theological Alamo. If you would agree
> to monitor Talk Origins for a few days, I will post my views there (Theory
> for Creationists) as I have done twice before and gotten NO criticism from
> the atheists there that daily eat Christians for breakfast. You can't post
> your views there and not be viewed as one that has no reason to believe the
> Bible. And the YECs can't post their views there without being slaughtered.

Again, I'm not just speaking of your flood scenario but of
the general idea that all biblical accounts must be accurate
history to be true.


> Theological themes are in the eye of the beholder. I have collected
> something like 23 different and mutually exclusive theological themes which
> have been suggested for the Garden of Eden story. Some say it is a story
> of the change from hunting to farming. Others an overthrow of a king by the
> proletariat. No one can really prove WHICH theological meaning the story
> actually was intended to convey. But I can tell whether or not it is
> historical.

In fact none of these interpretations you mention are
theological at all.


> > Yes & no. Knowledge of science and history are relevant to our
> understanding of
> >the Bible - as is understanding of literary genres, linguistic usage, &c.
> But you can
> >only see this as a matter of verifying the historical character of
> biblical accounts,
> >while I am open to scientific and historical information HELPING us to see
> that SOME
> >biblical accounts are to be read in ways other than as accurate historical
> narrative.
> Yes, but if they CAN be read as accurate history why would you prefer the
> other, more nebulous version?

_Proving_ negative results is difficult. What
sort of proof could there be that all the inhabitants of
Nineveh _weren't_ converted through Jonah's five word
message? Historians can point out that there is no
trace of evidence of such repentance & conversion of the
capital of Assyria at that point in its history, but your
response would seem to be that we can just keep looking
until we find a cuneiform tablet at Nineveh that says
"Jonah was not here."
Part of the problem is that you refuse to look
at internal evidence - the nature of the text itself.
& calling what I'm speaking of "the more nebulous
version" is false. The Good Samaritan is not "more nebulous"
if it's fictional, & neither is Jonah.

George L. Murphy