Glenn's departure.

Adam Crowl (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 13:50:09 PST

Glenn's leaving will impoverish this list and it's important to
understand why he's going. We've raised a lot of questions, but I think
more importantly our insistence on a non-literalistic, non-verifiable
reading of Genesis has really challenged his presuppositions about truth
and the form it takes. Working in geo-sciences he has to deal with
reality as it is, NOT as the observer wants it to be. To Glenn, I think,
the Bible can only be true by being fully true about that which it
speaks. The Bible has to an authoritative voice, rather than a normative
voice. It must speak Truth rather than be a repository of a believing
community's truths.

Our Bible has a lot of competitors in this day and age, and
interpretations are proliferating faster than can followed. The
"historical Jesus" craze is seeping into popular culture with wacky
theories springing up like weeds. A surprising number of people have an
awareness of such alternative histories of the Church and Christ, which
explains why so many have claimed Jesus to be quite distinct to the work
of the Apostles i.e. the Bible and the Church.

Glenn said [my paraphrase] "if the Apostles were speaking merely
opinions of their historic milieux then why should we believe their
witness" - why indeed? But this is a rather different question to "what
is the nature of Genesis?" - however both have the same epistemological
problem: how can we know? Biblical scholars are concocting ever more
elaborate interpretations of the formative period of the NT church, and
ever more convoluted accounts of "what really happened" - with such
high-profile scholarly doubt around no wonder Glenn's worried.

So what can we do? How can we respond? Glenn has cast doubt on all that
he has held true. He's in another epistemological spin dive into
disbelief - are we going to merely stand-by? Can we at least give an
account of our own solutions to the crumbling ground of truth that we've
all encountered? Are we merely happy with a kind of agnosticism on the
issues that concerned Glenn, or do some of us have real faith in their

I verge on agnosticism myself, but remain a believer only because of
spiritual encounters that "verified" the reality of the Gospel for me.
Else, with Sartre, I would declare God irrelevant and seek my own being.
Anyone else in doubt like Glenn and I?


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