Fundamentalists aren’t “Biblical”

I thought I would turn something I said in a recent post into an image, in case it helps it circulate more widely. I really do think this is an important point! [Read more…]

Is Heaven a Metaphor in the Bible?

There is such a thing as being too rigidly literalistic. But sometimes we fall into the opposite pitfall and treat things as metaphors when ancient people would have assumed they were statements of literal fact. I’ve mentioned the “heart” as one example in the past. Is “heaven” another? Keith Reich has been blogging about the [Read More…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Marriage is Sacred

I talked about this topic in my Sunday school class this past Sunday, as we reached the treatment of divorce in 1 Corinthians 7. Different phrases are used in our time – “Biblical marriage,” “traditional marriage,” “the sanctity of marriage.” All of them are used largely synonymously, and hypocritically. Tackling divorce would defend the New Testament’s [Read More…]

The Big Lie

In a blog comment, Brooke Lester made the comment that I’ve shared here: It’s never really about a “literal” interpretation, but about controlling interpretation. In every interview, every Facebook comment, every conversation, you have to take the word “literally” away from them. That their interpretation is “literal” is the Big Lie that makes all the little lies possible. This image [Read More…]

Please Take Genesis 1 Literally

I am really tired of those pseudo-literalists known as young-earth creationists. I really want people to take the entirety of Genesis 1 literally, and not just the parts they find acceptable. Saying that you believe in creation in six literal days, but without a literal dome over the earth, and without the greater and lesser [Read More…]