RE: Something must change

Allan Harvey (
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 14:09:48 -0600

At 02:56 PM 8/26/98 EST, McCarrick, Allan wrote:
>Getting back to the topic of Jonah and history - I am am somewhat
>surprised by the willingness of George and others to drop the entire
>story of Jonah all the way from literal history directly to spiritual
>fable. <SNIP>

The use of the word "drop" here is a good example of what some of us have
been decrying. It implies that if God's message is conveyed via a
"spiritual fable" (less perjorative terms might be "parable" or
"fictional story with a true spiritual message") it is somehow inferior
to "literal history". Following that line of reasoning, I guess we have
to chastize Jesus for so often using such inferior means in his teaching.

I'm not qualified to pass judgment on the historicity of Jonah, though in
English it reads a lot like a "story" to me. But in any case, I think we
have to leave behind the idea that only truth conveyed by historical
chronicle really "counts" as truth, an idea that would have been foreign
to God's inspired writers. This modern notion of how *we* think God
should communicate truth encourages quixotic concordism (not to say that
all concordism is in this category), and causes us to miss some of God's
message as our focus is diverted by attempts to make things "line up" in
ways God did not necessarily intend.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | say, or vice versa." |