Re: Chapp article

George Andrews (
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 08:40:42 -0500

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Hi Karl; wrote:

> I also want to quote a footnote of Chapp's in which he comments on biblical
> literalism; much of it also applies, I believe, to the reductionistic nature
> of concordism:
> "The fundamental problem of biblical literalism is that it shares in the same
> relentless reductionism of scientific materialism. They share a naively
> univocal concept of truth as simply "the way things are as they are
> empirically established". In the case of the scientific materialist "the way
> things are" is determined solely on the basis of a reductionistic and
> positivistic empiricism. The biblical literalist turns to a stock set of
> ready made propositions drawn from a superficially empirical reading of the
> Bible. The Bible "means" only what can be established empirically in the
> literal definitions of its words. The Bible is a self-evident,
> self-interpreting set of empirically true propositions -- a book of
> "factoids" that can be easily understood by any dispassionate observer. And
> one "factoid" is just as important, just as "empirically true" as any other
> -- Noah's ark is just as empirically true as David's temple, and Jonah's fish
> is as empirically true as Israel's exile in Babylon. The biblical literalist
> thus adopts the fundamental empiricism of scientific materialism; the world
> of empirical relations seems strangely devoid of theological content and the
> Bible itself is viewed as an "add-on" to this nexus of empirical relations.
> Thus conceived, it explains the biblical literalist's obsession with
> "proving" the Bible to be true through empirical investigations -- the world
> of the empirical is affirmed as our primary reality into which the Bible is
> "inserted" and, therefore, the realm from which we must seek support for the
> Bible's claims" [p. 280].
> Karl
> **************************************
> Karl V. Evans

Precisely so! The need for God's prevenient grace to ascertain biblical doctrines
is made very evident here.

George A.

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