Monday, January 14, 2008
The Kids of Via Christus
posted by Mike Clawson at 12:22 AM | Permalink
At 1/14/2008 07:56:00 PM, Kristina
hey mike. I have seen some of your comments from friendly atheist and you talk about there are certain passages in the Bible that are not suppose to be taken literally. How do you figure which parts can and which ones cannot? Is this a slippery slope that could then lead to rejecting the Bible and Christianity altogether?
PS your kids are adorable.
At 1/14/2008 11:38:00 PM, Mike Clawson
It's pretty simple actually Kristina. It's just a matter of understanding things like literary genre and historical context. The Bible ought to be read as it was intended to be read - not by imposing the exact same "literal" interpretive scheme to every bit of it, but by reading it according to the kind of literature it is. So if it's poetry, then read it like poetry, and if it's history, then read it according to the historical conventions of that day, and likewise with all the various genres of scripture - letter, biography, apocalypse, mythic narrative, proverb, prophecy, genealogy, etc.
The point is to approach the Bible humbly and realize that what we think it means, reading it through our 21st century American lenses, is not necessarily what it actually meant to the 1st century AD (or 5th or 10th or 14th century BC) Ancient Near Eastern readers it was originally written to.
I've also said more about how to read the bible in this post here.
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