Feb. 21, 2007, on this blog: Let us reason together
So there I was, at the end of what was, undeniably, a dead end street, consulting a map that claimed otherwise. It was something of a Groucho moment: “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” I sided with my own two eyes, thus accepting the principle that reason and experience were essential considerations for evaluating the meaning and application of the text. In a sense, I was fumbling my way toward something like Wesley’s “four-legged stool.”
No one was claiming, of course, that my county road atlas ought to be read as the inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God, so my fundamentalist teachers would not have disagreed with my choosing, in this case, to regard my own experience of the terrain as worthy of consideration.
Nor did they deny that I would encounter similar disparities when consulting the “map” of scripture. In that case, however, they taught that I must always side with the map. That is what it means to be a fundamentalist.