Tuesday, April 15, 2008
previous post, revisited
You know, if I were writing a book, I'd go through the process of thinking all this out and you, my gentle readers, would only get the final product. And wow, would it be amazing. (just kidding.) But since this is a blog, I'm still thinking this out, and I have reactions to the things I've written and posted that sometimes surprise me. So I have to confess that the post about Easter has crossed some sort of internal line for me. I'm really uncomfortable with it. The day after I wrote it, I came back online to delete it. But then I re-read it, and it seemed OK, so I left it (although I did edit it a bit). But it felt like an act of bravery to leave it. Then yesterday, still thinking about it, I went back and added the postscript. But I still feel off-kilter about it, and I don't really know another way to describe it.
The problem, I think, is that the two different ways of interpreting scripture-- the literalist view that sees the Bible as the inerrant (without error) Word of God vs. the more nuanced way of reading the Bible to discern its wisdom, how it applies to our lives today -- are so different that bringing them together in the same post makes me really uncomfortable. When I am standing firmly in my new way of thinking, whether or not the miracles of Jesus "really" happened or the resurrection "really" occurred is irrelevant. It's not that I don't believe they happened; in fact, I would be disappointed if someone was able to prove that they didn't. It's just that it doesn't matter whether or not they happened in order for me to read and learn from the text.
But if you're still in the other way of thinking, that is just so wrong. If you say it doesn't matter, it's the same as saying it didn't happen. And if it didn't happen, then what the heck is it that we believe? (someone in that tradition would say.) If it didn't happen then Jesus was a charlatan, a liar, or nuts. This is an old argument. We've all heard it before. But the fact that someone who was still in that mindset could come along and read the previous post and think that I was arguing that the resurrection didn't occur is very uncomfortable for me. Uncomfortable to the point of wanting to delete the evidence. Sometimes this is just so hard.
to be continued, but not today.