What’s in your Lunchbox?

What’s in your Lunchbox? July 7, 2014

David Hayward made this cartoon of someone tired of getting the same old thing in his lunchbox:

There are lots of ways one could approach the cartoon. On the one hand, I don't see why this individual, old enough to grow a beard, cannot exercise some control over what he eats for lunch. When someone is getting just Bible (or mistakenly thinks that is all they are getting – no one really is) they cannot blame someone else. They themselves are culpable for not improving their diet.

The Biblical authors, and great religious leaders since, have always had a wider diet than just texts that are in the Bible. If you read them and search to see where their ideas come from, it is never just other texts that are in the Bible.

Of related interest, Jerry Coyne complains that Augustine and Anselm were Biblical literalists because they often assumed the literal truth of certain things in the Bible. So did Kepler, and so unless Coyne is going to be consistent and criticize everyone who, before they had good reason to think otherwise, assumed things that we no longer can, then this selective criticism of ancient authors really ought to stop.



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  • David Evans

    To be fair to Jerry Coyne, he is arguing with those who deny that Augustine and Anselm were Biblical literalists and say that literalism is largely a creation of the 20th century. I don’t see that he is criticizing Augustine and Anselm, just trying to get the facts straight.

    • I agree with Paul Tillich, Marcus Borg, and others who insist that there is a huge difference between naive literalism, possible when one does not have evidence to the contrary and simply assumes a story probably reflects reality, and conscious literalism, when one insists that a story reflects reality even though there is abundant evidence to the contrary.