I Don’t Understand Jim West

I Don’t Understand Jim West August 7, 2012

There are plenty of things that I do understand about Jim West.

He has no feelings – I know this because after I made a jibe at him, he told me himself, “If I had feelings they’d be hurt.”

And so really what I’m saying is that I understand that he has a sharp wit, and some people take certain things he says too seriously – while others assume he’s kidding even when he’s serious.

I also understand that Jim can get grumpy.

And so when I say that I don’t understand Jim West, it is not because I do not understand why he would censor Ian’s comments, as Ian has discussed on his blog, Irreducible Complexity. Grumpy people do that.

What baffles me is that Jim wrote in a comment on his blog, apparently in all seriousness,

i do well to adhere to the clear teaching of scripture rather than align myself with a viewpoint that is tendentious and has no scriptural foundation.

This is coming from someone who is an outspoken defender of Biblical minimalists, not to mention other more mainstream scholars who have called into question the historicity of many complete narratives and a still larger number of narrative details in the Bible.

If one accepts that the Bible is not history in the modern sense, and even treats as “dilettantes” those who challenge scholarship in an attempt to defend the literal historical truthfulness of the entire Bible, then why would that same person insist on adhering to “the clear teaching of scripture”?

That’s what I don’t understand about Jim West.

I also don’t understand his fascination with depravity and people at Wal-Mart. But what I mentioned above puzzles me even more.

Obviously it is possible to challenge the notion that so-called “traditional marriage” is “the clear teaching of scripture” when many of us think that “traditional marriage” as found in Scripture is not the institution as practiced by the vast majority of Americans. But that is a separate issue. Even if a particular view of marriage or of same-sex relations were “the clear teaching of scripture,” if one is open to the possibility of Scripture being wrong, then why assume that it isn’t at this particular point?


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