Monday, October 22, 2007

An Interesting Discussion

Go over to the "Useful Links" on the left side of this page... click on JUST GENESIS and check out a vigorous discussion of how to interpret the first book of the Bible!


Alice C. Linsley said...

The discussion certainly has been lively!

Thanks, Fr. Tim.

cp said...

How can Rose regard the literalism of American Fundamentalism as a misguided approach while regarding the literalism of the Church Fathers as exemplary?

Uh, maybe because 21st American "creationists" (unlike the old church fathers) lived AFTER the Enlightenment and 400 years of advances science and engineering, but yet, from their pampered affluent place in history with access to antibiotics and the internet, attack the science that got us here?

Seems like a pretty sensible criticism to me.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Science and mathematics began long before the Enlightenment. Thinking otherwise is simply an expression of white European and American arrogance.

Africans in the region of modern Congo were performing brain surgery 8000 years ago. The oldest mathematical tool dates to 100,000 years and was found in South Africa where thousands of miners worked in the Lebombo Mountains mining red ocher 80,000 years ago. Science and technology have a longer history than most people realize. Do a little research. All of this information is on the worldwide web!

TLF+ said...

I think that (Christian) fundamentalism and liberal protestantism react to the same forces, and come to different errors.

Both react to the changes wrought by industrial and scientific revolutions, especially as these impacted the world toward the end of the 1800s/start of the 1900s.

Christian fundamentalism is rightly faulted for anti-intellectual excess and for freighting the Bible with claims of "scientific truth" that the Holy Spirit, the inspired authors and many great commentators from church tradition did not make.

Liberal protestantism, at the other extreme, sees the advances of applied science uncritically. It uses the Bible as symbolic and sentimental material in the service of human progress (which is perceived as inevitable). There was actually a strain of Christian thought asserting that human beings would use science and technology to build the kingdom of God on earth. It was all the rage until the Titanic sank and WWI gave us machine guns, poison gas and the aerial bombardment of civilians.

Traditional Christianity (and its Anglican expression) appealed to me because it resisted those extremes, both of which have loud voices in America. It is too bad that liberal protestants run TEC. They stick the church with a false choice between fundamentalism and unitarianism. It need not be so.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Indeed it shouldn't be so! Perhaps this is one reason God has allowed the Episcopal Church crisis? Now that the crisis has come to a head, there can be a sorting that will result in restored balance.