From: george murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 25 2002 - 07:57:39 EDT
"Terry M. Gray" wrote:
> George and the others who've commented on this thread,
> While we all admit that there's a certain amount of theologizing
> going on in the gospels, i.e. each writer (under the inspiration of
> the Holy Spirit) has a theological purpose that goes beyond the mere
> reporting of some space-time event, is there any reason from the text
> to think that the events reported didn't happen? I don't quite
> understand the reservation in acknowledging that Peter (and Jesus)
> "actually, physically, historically" walked on the water.
> Why are folks who want to affirm the actual, physical, historical
> event labeled "naifs"?
My statement was made when this topic was proposed just after a rather
unsatisfactory go-around on Jonah, in which the possibility that that
book might not
be an account of actual events was brushed off with pseudo-arguments
like those I
note below. I intended to characterize as naive those who
continually rely on such
arguments in order to hold onto a belief that essentially everything
in scripture is
accurate historical narrative. (& I might add a fourth type of
argument, "It might
have been so it was." E.g., Jesus might have healed one blind man as
Jericho & two - of whom Mark only mentions one, though by name - as
he left, o it
really happened that way.)
This sort of thinking makes it difficult to examine the texts
can get in the way of serious reflection on their significance.
E.g., I would point
out that the text Walt brought up is about Jesus walking on _the sea_
the water or, as NIV puts it, "the lake"), & the point is that Jesus
is the creator
of the world who overcomes chaos &c. But I can easily imagine
"But what I want to know is, did Peter really walk on water?"
> And to Jan, while it is clear that our modern journalistic style
> historiography may differ from Biblical standards, it is not clear to
> me that it's consequently unintelligible to the casual reader who
> hasn't done lots of seminary work in the orginal languages.
> When I was in high school I ran across a book called *The Sacred
> Mushroom and the Cross* that argued (as a result of much scholarly
> research) that the NT accounts were symbolic texts for a sex and drug
> cult developed around some hallucinogenic mushroom. The Lord
> graciously spared me from becoming practitioner.
> The New Testament is profoundly rooted in history, notwithstanding
> the theological purposes of the authors and the use of individual
> pericopes. Are we so nervous about mindless fundamentalism that we
> can't acknowledge this? Can't we just say yes to Walter's simple
Which simple question? To the first I answer, "Yes." The
others aren't so
> and then ask the "deeper" questions -- What do we learn
> about Christ? What do we learn about faith? Why is this passage here?
> Why are there differences in the different gospel accounts? Etc.
> Anyway, George, I'm interested in your sermon if you provide a
> textual / contextual / metatextual reason for thinking that Peter
> didn't "actually, physically, historically" walk on the water.
I didn't say he didn't!
The sermon is being sent separately.
> > I predict that the "discussion" of this topic on this
>list will be a
> >100% waste of time. It may be that some folks who are aware of the
> >importance of the theological significance of scripture and the varieties of
> >biblical literature will attampt to contribute but they will meet a stone
> >wall in the naifs who will say
> > a. I don't care what it means - did Peter actually, physically,
> >historically, walk on water?,
> > b. Well, God _could_ have made it happen so it did, &
> > c. If you don't believe Peter walked on water, you
>can't believe in
> >the resurrection.
> >So gentlement, include me out. However, I would be happy to send anyone
> >interested a copy of the sermon I preached on the Matthew text a few weeks
> >George L. Murphy
> >"The Science-Theology Interface"
> >Walter Hicks wrote:
> >> Both the old and new testaments are used by the pastor of my church to
> >> illustrate points. Many on this list use the O.T. as containing many
> >> items which are "true" but not "historical". It does not matter all
> >> that much to me -- except for the uncommon usage of the word "true".
> >> The N.T. (to me) is a different story. I definitely do not
> >> scholars like Spong.
> >> So I ask this list for opinion.
> >> In the story about Peter walking on water
> >> 1.) Is it true?
> >> 2.) Is it actual history -- i.e. did it really happen as an event in
> >> time and space?
> >> 3.) Does it even matter?
> >> I am prone to answer "yes" to all 3.
> >> Walt
> >> --
> >> ===================================
> >> Walt Hicks <email@example.com>
> >> In any consistent theory, there must
> >> exist true but not provable statements.
> >> (Godel's Theorem)
> >> You can only find the truth with logic
> >> If you have already found the truth
> >> without it. (G.K. Chesterton)
> >> ===================================
> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
> firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/
> phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
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