This may seem harsh and personal, but what he wrote is his personal
opinion, and he has put it on the Internet where it will lead folks astray & ought to be countered. There is a reason his blog post is so personal: This is complete egomaniacal-ism. That is, the INDIVIDUAL is the judge. THIS GUY thinks HE gets to be the judge of the Bible (despite the charade that he is speaking for a bunch of people like himself). Just count the number of uses of “I” and “English major” (his cover). But his ideas are flawed on so many levels. Before I clicked on the “About Me” tab, I KNEW this guy had gone to seminary and that he had done so relatively recently. What he is spouting is the latest liberal dogma with the typical “emerging church” slant.
Here are just some of the easiest problems to point out:
There are reasons the interpretive principles of Augustine and others have been rejected for CENTURIES. Innumerable books have been written on the history of interpretation and explain all this. And teh principles have been rejected not just by fundamentalists, but also by virtually everyone going back to before fundamentalism even existed.
The Bible, that depository of timeless truth, written across hundreds of years and numerous cultures—all with their own literary conventions, likes, and dislikes—must comport with contemporary Western tastes of one particular Myers-Briggs personality type. No, scratch “comport with.” Substitute, “must be interpreted according to the dictates of.”
None of his points address the fact that divine inspiration involves the idea that God and the human writer are BOTH the author. Every point except one only addresses God as author or one of the human writers as author. One point expresses a mis-understanding of inspiration (“A fundamentalist doesn’t recognize Paul to have a character as such because Paul is simply a mouthpiece of God.”) To be valid, every point would need to take the interaction of both into account.
Apparently, we are all supposed to interpret that Bible differently since we will all have read various other books prior to reading the Bible, and proper biblical interpretation must be driven by the analogies we can draw from our own private reading lists. Pardon my sarcasm.
His item 6 is nothing more than the etymological fallacy.
Whether a text has one meaning/voice or many is a hotly debated academic (and popular) issue. BUT, once again, we MUST interpret Scripture according to the side of the debate that HE was taught and which therefore must be right. Oh, and forget the fact that the answer could be different for human-created texts and divinely inspired texts.
Some—perhaps approaching all—of his charges against fundamentalists are false. But we all need a boogeyman. And if that boogeyman can be a straw man, too, all the better.
At bottom, this is an aren’t-I-sophisticated mask for a very simple assertion: I will not be bound by any assertion of the authority of Scripture. If you doubt this based on this one blog post, try this one
. Make sure you get all the way to the end, where you will read this: “I can’t come up with any understanding of why this command is “God-breathed and useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness” (as all the Bible is, Old and New Testament).”
This is tantamount to saying, “If I
can’t understand it, it is not inspired.” Hence, my charge of egomaniacal-ism.