I Take The Bible Too Seriously To Take It All Literally

This quotation is often attributed to Karl Barth, but it is verifiably the words of Madeleine L’Engle. Blog reader Eric Funston kindly made the image with the appropriate attribution and shared it on his blog, That Which We Have Heard and Known.   [Read more...]

Bible from a Parallel Universe

A comment on Facebook yesterday seemed to me it would be a great premise for a science fiction story. What if it turned out that the Bible originated in a parallel universe, on an Earth that was literally covered by a solid dome, and thus really was literally and scientifically accurate – just not when [Read More...]

Take It With A Grain Of Salt

The Salis Bible. HT Hemant Mehta. And Allan Bevere shared a cartoon illustrating the limits of literalism – and that one possible interpretation is not necessarily the right one: [Read more...]

Read Genesis Literally

Indeed, I’ve made the case here more than once for Jesus having interpreted Genesis 2 in a decidedly non-literal fashion, as the story itself indicates it ought to be understood. [Read more...]

According to Google, Literally Literally Means Not Literally

I learned today via IO9 that Google has made it as official as Google can make things: “Literally” now means “literally” but also the opposite. Actually, perhaps I should ask whether literally now literally means “not literally,” or whether literally now still means “literally,” but means it figuratively as well as literally. When people misuse [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationism vs. the Plain Meaning of the Creation Stories

Having recently addressed a number of points of incompatibility between young-earth creationism and Christianity as most Christians understand it and have understood it down the ages, I was asked if I could address the common young-earth creationist objection that  “No one simply reading what the words clearly say would EVER suppose God/Moses were describing a development [Read More...]

Jesus and Paul were not Literalists when it comes to Genesis 2-3

It is interesting how some modern readers simply assume that ancient individuals and authors shared their supposed literalism, and their focus on facts and history and science, all of which are thoroughly modern concerns. If we look at what Jesus is depicted as saying about Genesis 2 in the Synoptic Gospels, he points to the [Read More...]

That’s Not Taking Revelation Literally

One media outlet described the man who quit his job over a form with the number 666 on it as taking Revelation literally. Fred Clark had this to say, with his characteristic combination of sarcastic wit and religious insight:   No. No, no, no, 666 times no. Believers like Slonopas do not “take the book [Read More...]

How Can We Tell That Genesis 1 Doesn’t Offer Scientific Information?

Someone asked a question along these lines on Facebook recently, asking what one piece of evidence in particular persuades people to adopt the view that they do. There are multiple things that I find particularly indicative. The reference to a dome in Genesis 1 is itself significant. But the point becomes even clearer if one [Read More...]

Theistic Heliocentrism

In a Facebook group I really love, one member has been doing a fantastic job of exposing the selective literalism of someone who rejects “theistic evolution” and any other form of accommodation to modern science, in the name of the literal truth of the Bible's creation stories. The person in question accused the self-proclaimed literalist [Read More...]

Grumpy Cat on So-Called Biblical Literalists

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