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View Diary: Religious Fundamentalism: Street Prophets Coffee Hour (34 comments)

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  •  Well, the Holy Father understands a distinction (4+ / 0-)

    between something called "Biblical inerrancy" which is that while the Bible may contain historical errors and allegory, it's message is "inerrant" (which forms the basis of the Catholic, and other denominations' official understanding of Scripture) and "Biblical literalism", which forms the basis of evangelical Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible.

    It is possible to be a Roman Catholic and not believe that the world was created in six days (and don't forget, there are TWO very different creation stories in Genesis) but nearly impossible to be a Southern Baptist and believe that.

    •  That doesn't quite explain scriptures such as: (2+ / 0-)
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      Ojibwa, commonmass

      "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts,  you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity."

      Deuteronomy 25:11-12 New International Version

      What relevancy would "inerrancy" have considering such asinine scriptures?

      A million Arcosantis.

      by Villabolo on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:56:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  First of all, I don't subscribe to that doctrine (5+ / 0-)

        myself in any strict way, but what my answer would be to you is that it represents a cultural norm of the day in which it was written--actually, truth be told, I suspect a very conservative interpretation of a perceived norm--and frankly, I find it pretty irrelevant. I certainly would never preach on it, but I don't preach much. I'm a lay associate of a religious order and not a Priest, most of my preaching is done from the organ. ;)

        The problem we have here is that people who dislike religion tend to see things like the fundies do and insist that a person is insincere if they don't think like Rick Warren. The other thing that is often forgotten is that for Christians, Jesus specifically exempted them from most of the Mosaic law, lots of the stuff you find in books like Deuteronomy. For many liberal Christians, it's more cultural and historical (or quasi-historical) than anything we must strictly follow. Which is why I wish that especially misogynists and homophobes who profess to be Christians stop using that stuff in the oppressive ways they do.

        •  That sidesteps the issue of "divine inspiration" (2+ / 0-)
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          commonmass, Ojibwa

          The cultural norms of the day where certainly different however these scriptures were phrased as if God had spoken them directly.

          Since the Old Testament writers were basically putting their words into God's mouth that pretty much explains the error of those who claim that the basic message of the Bible - mistakes not withstanding - was inerrant.

          The Bible is more than errant it is fictitious.

          A million Arcosantis.

          by Villabolo on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:18:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think it does. (2+ / 0-)
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            Ojibwa, writeofwinter

            The Bible is what you make of it. You can find anything in the Bible, pretty much. Including all sorts of "good" things.

            Don't forget, that pretty much the reason for the "Old Testament" being included in the Christian Bible is to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. Isiah is more important in that context than Deuteronomy.

            Biblical scholarship, when done properly, includes a great deal of outside research and understanding of the times in which it was written. And if if makes you feel better, I don't have a whole lot of use for St. Paul, either.

            •  I'm not a huge fan of the St. Paul represented by (4+ / 0-)

              a lot of Christian Testament writings forged in his name.
              And I can't accept his apocalypticism either.

              But, as I recall, he did seem to have said "the law kills," when he was contrasting following the letter of Mosaic law with the message of love and compassion.

              I think Bart Ehrman (perhaps John Spong?)suggested that Paul's joy at being saved through God's grace might have been because Paul was a homosexual.
              After all, he wasn't married and didn't have children, which was considered a serious violation of religious law at the time.

              There's no proof he was, of course, but Paul was certainly no promoter of the absolutes of religious law.
              That was one of the disagreements he apparently had with James on the direction early Christianity ought to take.

              •  My friend Jack Spong said a lot of things, (4+ / 0-)

                including intimating that the belief in the historical Jesus is immaterial to the practice of Christianity.

                People who take theology and Biblical scholarship seriously tend to make a lot of arguments, for a lot of different things. To me, it's what makes the study of theology attractive to me. It's a lot richer than your populist evangelicals would like to have you think.

                Bishop Spong is an interesting and highly polarizing figure in Anglicanism and in Christianity in general. What is interesting--especially about Anglicanism (which isn't perfect: both Spong and Robinson and Barbara Harris as well nearly caused schisms in the Communion over the course of the last several decades) is that an Anglo-Catholic like me and a Low/Broad Churchman like Jack Spong have something to discuss, and occasionally agree upon. That is in part because what really binds Anglicans is not necessarily the Bible: it's the Prayerbook.

              •  I will also add that Jack ordained the (1+ / 0-)
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                first openly gay male Priest in Anglicanism (and it was a PR disaster, by the way, but he did it anyway. He is a great friend of LGBT Christians.)

                •  Spong's writings are what kept me a Christian (2+ / 0-)
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                  commonmass, Ojibwa

                  When I first started to read his work it was such a relief to realize that my doubts were not just limited to me.
                  My apologies if I have misrepresented him here.
                  I do not agree with everything of his, but I will always appreciate his willingness to explore difficult paths.

                  •  His Grace is a great man, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    and a great theologian. I am happy to know him.

                  •  You may find this amusing: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    given your user name, which I suppose refers to Franklin or Eleanor, but my family rented a house in Cambridge, MA for many years from the Roosevelt family. THAT Roosevelt family.

                    •  TR & Eleanor are distant cousins (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      through the daughters of one of the original settlers of New Amsterdam. His daughter by his first marriage entered my family tree, while his daughter from his second marriage entered the Roosevelt family tree. So we share a many-times-great grandfather and I'm very fond of both cousins (although perhaps not of the Panama shenanigins or of San Juan Hill).
                      My family has no relation to FDR, however.
                      The world is more entwined than we often realize.

              •  I'm one of Paul converts, (1+ / 0-)
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                a gentile  slacker hanging around the Shrine to the unknown god when Paul showed up. A small, kosher, Jewish cult wouldn't have interested me for  more than ten minutes.

                Fundamentalists don't believe in poetic truths. The Bible is filled with these truths starting with the creation story.

                "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

                by DJ Rix on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:29:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  *cough* Here's one Southern Baptist who does. (4+ / 0-)
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      Ojibwa, Cassandra Waites, marykk, DJ Rix

      Before anyone jumps to either the "no true Southern Baptist" fallacy or the "why are you still a Southern Baptist" line of attack, allow me to offer a few examples. Consider this quote:

      "Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know, I think there's the body of Christ which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. What God is doing today is calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and they're going to be with us in heaven."
      The speaker was one of the most famous Southern Baptists in history - Billy Graham. Now, do we argue whether Graham "stopped being" a Southern Baptist at this point?  After all, inclusion of this sort is anathema to most fundamentalists, right?

      Interesed parties could also consider Paul Simmons and Frank Tupper, both of whom rose to leading positions at the SBC's flagship seminary before being pressured into (respectively) early retirement and departure.

      There is no direct parallel to excommunication or defrocking in Baptist denominations, since there is usually very little authority granted to the denominational organizations, so who is to say that Graham, Simmons and Tupper aren't Southern Baptists?

      Just because the current leadership of the denomination doesn't like them doesn't mean they stopped being Southern Baptists...did it?

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 04:44:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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