Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith?

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Thu Sep 01 2005 - 08:12:51 EDT


I teach a college course in North Carolina in the New Testament as literature, and will next spring probably teach one on the Old Testament as literature. Of course, the works of Scripture are literature, and we too often ignore that fact. We know that the message comes in a medium. The literal sense of a scriptural text includes its literary form, and we need to pay attention to the latter in order to do justice to the former. As a biblical scholar once remarked, the writers of scripture used story to teach theology, and part of the appreciation of the theology comes through a sensitivity to the narrative techniques the storyteller uses. My appreciation, intellectual and spiritual, of Genesis 1 or, say, the Gospel of Mark is not lessened by an examination of their literary forms, rather increased. I can appreciate that Mark makes Jesus a character in his story while at the same time responding to the challenge his character makes to me the reader to accept him as the Messiah, with all that means for the Jesus Mark portrays.

Courses in the Bible as literature are common in American colleges and universities and even in some public high schools.

By "humanitarian" don't you mean "humanist"?

Bob Schneider

----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: Michael Roberts ; Randy Isaac ;
  Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 7:25 AM
  Subject: Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith?

  Hah, I enjoyed this quip! Though, I presume that Michael assumes I and others who read this message are literate. Is this fair enough?

  It is astonishing to think that a person who comes from such a word-based society as the USA would question the literalism of 'literally'. England (or Britain), home of the English language, may present a different case.

  Are there a lack of courses in literature in America or Britain these days? The Foundations (first year general arts) course at my home university in Canada includes interpretation of first chapters of Genesis as (a piece of) literature.

  Maybe this is not acceptable to theologians or deemed politically incorrect by humanitarians and disallowed elsewhere.

  G. Arago

  Michael Roberts <> wrote:
    My problem is that I do not know what literally literally means. Does
    literally literally mean literal, or can literally literally mean something
    other that what literally literally means to the popular understanding of
    literally. I literally cant get my head round what literally literally

    Believe it or not I am literally trying to be serious in elucidating what
    literally literally means


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Received on Thu Sep 1 08:15:10 2005

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