Friday, August 17, 2007

So, after you decide you're not going to take the Bible literally as if God dictated it, the next question is: how do you read the Bible? The simple answer, and the one I used for years, is: seriously. You read it seriously, but not literally. It turns out to be much more complex than that, but it is the answer I keep coming back to. (someday I'm going to quit apologizing for dangling prepositions, but not yet: sorry about that one.)

Early on, I went through a number of moments of panic about this, because it is inevitable that you will hear derisive comments made by those who are still literalists and it's hard not to take them personally. My favorite is: "It must be nice to be able to cherry-pick which verses you're going to pay attention to." (do I have to apologize for other people's dangling prepositions?) And the only advice I have is: you just have to let that stuff roll off your back. Because all Christians cherry pick verses. You can't give equal weight to all the thousands and thousands of verses in the bible. It's just that literalists don't admit this, even to themselves-- they hide under the banner of "God wrote it, I believe it, that settles it," often without really being clear about what that means.

this is going off in a direction "on which I had not planned" when I sat down to write this post, so maybe I will stop there and re-start in the next. Which may have to be Monday since the rest of today and the weekend are dang busy. We're taking 15 high school seniors camping tonight. No, I'm not making that up. I have cooler full of hamburger fixings and a case of Red Bull.

It's pretty smoky here-- there are three major and a half-dozen smaller forest fires near the town where I live, and some sort of inversion is holding all the smoke in where we can breathe it more deeply. I should post a picture. Maybe I will for once. If you can see blue sky where you live, appreciate it.............

Have a great weekend and be good.

Aunt BeaN

p.s. (posted later) the case of Red Bull wasn't nearly enough. ack.

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