<< So are we supposed to seek support for the Bible via seances, channeling,
warm fuzzy feelings inside our head and other non-empirical realms? Exactly
how do I go about testing a non-empirical proposition which can't be seen
heard tasted, or sensed in any way shape or form? Is this not advocating
the worship of the imaginary?
If I say that the ugabooga god is the real god of the universe and then
demand that you worship him and give me your money. Are you going to do it?
Are you not going to ask for some proof that ugabooga is really GOD? And
if you can't get some type of demonstration that ugabooga is really god
then I doubt you will worship him and I will have to continue working for a
But, if you live according to the view of the article above, if I tell you
that you shouldn't seek support for ugabooga in the empirical realm I fully
expect you to fall on your knees, worship ugabooga and give me your money.
First off. let me state that the footnote that I quoted was literally that --
a footnote to a lesser point in the Chapp paper. So if anyone doesn't like
the quote, the main body of the paper is still well worth reading.
Secondly, so far as I read the contributions to this list, no one (including
me) is asserting that there is no history in the Bible. George Murphy has
repeatedly tried to make this point and has been repeatedly ignored.
Frankly, Glenn's reply is a good example of what Chapp was talking about --
"facts" must be defended at all costs. Yes, history is a part of Scripture;
but so is metaphor, myth, parable, and fable. Just as in all literature and
speech, including scientific papers and everyday conversation.
Science itself is dependent on analogy, metaphor, and myth in its growth and
operation. David Livingstone (along with many others) makes this point
succinctly in a paper from the 1980's published (I think) in the Annals of
the Association of American Geographers. [I don't have the paper here at
home; if anyone is interested I can get the title and full reference
tomorrow.] At least as I read the bulk of Glenn's contributions (and I
readily admit I may be mis-reading him), he not only would cut the legs out
from under religion/theology by banning myth and metaphor (sensu lato), but
would cripple science in the same way. [Incidentally, this is another reason
why the recent Kansas board of education decision is so stupid. Their
Dragnet definition of science (just the "facts", ma'am) misses the whole
"metaphorical" aspect so critical to the advance of science.]
Just as science is evaluated on much more than just the "facts" (which are
themselves at least partially theory dependent anyway), so Scripture and the
God presented there are evaluated on far more criteria than just the
"history" present. [So I won't be worshipping Ugabooga or sending Glenn
money! ;-) ]. I highly admire concordism and the work that is so
painstakingly attempted; I just think it results in (or from??) a shallow
theology that is hardly worth defending.
Karl V. Evans