> -----Original Message-----
> From: Howard J. Van Till [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2000 9:17 PM
> I knew you would not be able to resist making a response.
I am hopelessly addicted to this. :-)
> seems that
> in a number of instances you have extrapolated what I actually said into
> absurd extremes that I would never propose. For example, I did *not* say:
> 1. that the expectation "that there is some objective information in the
> Scriptures" constitutes bibliolatry.
This sounds like a back track from what you said earlier or a fuzzying up of
it. The complaint that we are trying to figure out where Adam and Eve fits
in to the Biblical view connected with the idea that we shouldn't be doing
that obviously implies (at least I inferred) that we shouldn't be looking
for a real Adam and Eve. That is a move away from objective information and
When you connect in the same complaint, "The likelihood that the biblical
"Adam" and "Eve" are, at this time, best (or even responsibly) interpreted
as representing individual historical persons is vanishingly small. " and
"It is time for evangelical Christianity to shed the biblicism (bordering on
bibliolatry) that it now practices and to display a more appropriate
humility regarding the certainty and completeness of its grasp on human
knowledge of God and of how the human race might apprehend and worship the
Source of our being, the Standard of our daily life, and the Hope of our
future.", it sounds very much like one is saying that we are engaging in
bibliolatry to be expecting a real Adam and Eve.
Since you have kindly corrected me here, can you specify exactly why Genesis
1-11 should be believed if there is no foundation in fact other than the
vague statement that God created the heavens and the earth?
> 2. that "everything in the OT was wrong or without evidence."
I didn't say you said that. Re-read what I wrote carefully. I am raising the
question that if we say that part x of the Bible isn't to be taken as
history but is to be taken as literature it obviously raises the question,
how much of this can we stand? If 50% of the Bible has no foundation in
fact is it still believable? If 10% has no foundation in fact, is it
beleivable? Where is the limit? In no way did I suggest that everything in
the Bible was wrong or without evidence. This is a valid question to raise
concerning the common methodology to avoid problems with science and
I asked a question, I didn't make a statement in the above. Note that this
is a question:
If everything in the OT was wrong or without evidence, would you believe it?
Yes or no?
If you answer no, what percentage of factual verification would suddenly
turn the Bible into a believable document?
> 3. that the Bible is "only a book of morality tales."
> I would suggest, however, that to treat every bit of the biblical text as
> the direct "communication of an omnipotent God" that functions to give us
> privileged information does invite bibliolatry and does encourage
> disrespect for other religious traditions.
A point of clarification. What do you mean by other religious traditions? Do
you mean traditions like Buddhism or merely as far afield as Baptists?
> I would also suggest that we need to be less exclusivist and
> triumphalist in
> our attitude toward other human communities and their attempts to
> their experience/concept of deity and to live a life consistent with that
While I absolutely agree that we need to show respect to people of other
religions and it is a sin and shame on us for the way we have treated other
religions--from Buddhism to Islam to shintoism to animism. But, we have a
religion that at least claims to be the only way to God. Are you suggesting
that the other ways are equally valid ways to find God?
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