Swing By and Pick Up the Llamas

Yesterday’s Bizarro comic highlighted the absurdity of the Noah’s ark story when taken literally. One has to either have the Earth so completely changed and reshaped that it would involve a greater cataclysm than anything the Bible explicitly states or the geological record bears witness to, or one has to imagine other people in other [Read More…]

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There Are No Scriptural Literalists

A quote from Dan McClellan, which I mentioned in another recent post, and have now turned into a meme. [Read more…]

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Take the Bible Literally

N. T. Wrong reminded me of this great quote from James Barr: In my opinion, it was a big mistake for many of the mainline religious organizations when they opposed the creationists by saying that the Bible should not be taken literally. This is not what the creationists do. It is, on the contrary, what [Read More…]

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Taking the Bible “Literally”

I used a photo of A. J. Jacobs trying to live Biblically as the background image. He at least tried to an extent that few who claim to be “Biblical” or “literalists” or both ever do. See his book, A Year of Living Biblically, which I have mentioned here before. See also Rachel Held Evans’ [Read More…]

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Literalism = Misconception and Incoherence

The quote comes from p. xxiii of Nahum Sarna’s book Understanding Genesis. [Read more…]

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No Adam, No Christ?

I was asked a question on Facebook, and thought I would share the answer I gave. Here’s the question: I was hoping for a little clarification on how one might reconcile a non literal first Adam with Paul’s gospel.  In Paul’s mind Christ is the “second Adam,” having succeeded where the “first Adam” failed. According [Read More…]

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Genesis 1 (Fixed It For You)

So-called “literal” interpreters of Genesis are often blind to the things they read into the text. And so I thought that this image I came across deserved to be shared. It is an attempt to “fix” the text so that it says what young-earth creationists – and others who deny that it reflects an ancient view [Read More…]

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Genesis 2 is Not Literal (The Bible Tells Me So)

The quote comes from my recent post “Marriage is Sacred.” The point is one that I have made before, but since someone particularly liked this brief way of making the point, I thought I would turn it into a meme image. Of related interest, Andrew Perriman has a whole series on the idea of “one [Read More…]

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The Most Interesting Biblical Hermeneutic

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Exegesis as Reading

The Patrologist recently blogged about exegesis as reading, warning about two extremes – the tendency to falsely claim to be merely reading and not interpreting, and the tendency to atomize and miss the big picture. Here’s the conclusion: I am constantly amazed to interact with so called ‘critical scholars’ who look at, say, a book like [Read More…]

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Love Your Loopholes as Yourself

Benjamin Corey has a post about how many conservative Christians justify violence. He says, Bottom line: if you think that “love your enemies” is fair game for a thousand loopholes and can’t be taken at face value, then you probably shouldn’t be drawing hard lines on any other issue in scripture. Because, if “love your [Read More…]

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