> In some churches it is allowed to say AMEN! What you said in (2) is what
> bothers me about the "theologically true but historically false" approach
> to the Bible. THere are lots of theologies and everyone gets to pick their
> poison. That, imo, is a bad state of affairs.
1) All the historical & scientific accuracy in the world doesn't do the job
of theology. Suppose there was a Noachic flood, or that a bunch of Hebrew slaves
escaped from Egypt, or that there's pretty good evidence that a Jewish carpenter who
was crucified was seen alive after his death. Unless these mean something about God &
God's relationship with the world & human beings now, so what? Some interpretation in
terms of God - i.e., a theological interpretation - of those events is necessary.
We still need to find out what the texts means theologically, though we may have
thought it proper to delay that task until we'd looked at the other matters. & when
we do ask theological questions, we have to confront the problems of diversity of
interpretation we would have had at the beginning.
2) It might be easier if all the biblical writers had shared exactly the same
theological viewpoint, but they didn't. There are "lots of theologies" in the biblical
text itself, before we even get to post-biblical interpretations. The theological task
is not to ignore the differences or homogenize the theologies of the different writers,
but to discern & explicate the "one faith" of Eph.4:5 which is expressed in those
George L. Murphy