Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm not saying this. maybe.

There is this to be said about reading books written by emergents--they are good ways to build character. One must learn to control the impulse to hurl them with vigor and force against an available wall, then put on steel-towed boots and jump up-and-down on them with all the enthusiasm one can muster.

Take, for example, this little excerpt.

In response to the ideology that we simply listen to what the Scripture says about an issue, Dale Martin, a professor of New Testament at Yale, comments:

The text cannot interpret iteself. I sometimes illustrate my point when asekd to speak aobut "what the Bible says about homosexuality." I put the Bible in the middle of the room or on the speaker's podium, step back, and say "Okay, let's see what it says. Listen!" After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence and some snickers, I say, "Apparently, the Bible can't talk." This is not the frivolous gimmick it may initially seem. Our language about "what text say" tends to make us forget the expression is a metaphor. Texts don't "say" anything: they must be read. And even in the reading process, interpretation has already begun. And if we want to move on from reading the text out loud, say, to paraphrasing it or commenting upon what it "means," we have simply moved further into human interpretation.

Martin affirms the point that reading the Bible as the Word of God is never as simple or as straightforward as looking at words on a page. Instead of viewing Scripture as a flat collection of words that provide a secure foundation from which to build our theologies and worldviews, we have to understand that we must interpret those words. And we believe that this interpretation happens best when the body of Christ, the church, discerns the word of God together.
Conder and Rhodes, Free For All, p 50

For all that this guy Martin that they quote says he isn't doing some 'frivolous gimmick', in reality that's all he's doing.

It is a common practice for us to use to word "say" when refering to what is written. When we play sports and games, we ask what the rules "say", and usually refer to a written version of those rules. When, for example, we may be driving and looking for directions, we may ask what the road signs "say". It is a word even used in art, where one may talk of what a painting or a photography "says".

Martin's little word game, then, becomes nothing more than the "frivolous gimmick" he says it isn't. It is perfectly legitimate, by the common usage of the word, to use the word "say" when refering to what is written in the Bible. The Bible does say things. Martin should be ashamed of his amateurish, asinine argument.

It's always amazing the kinds of arguments emergents use to try to justify their twisting of Scripture. Scripture isn't a "flat collection of words"? I suppose one could wonder what is meant by that phrase, if it isn't a bit of distracting nonsense--the pomos seems to be good at making those kinds of nonsense statements, unlike most of the rest of us.

And Scripture isn't "a secure foundation from which to build our theologies and worldviews"? I suppose they have better suggestions? Maybe the Discworld novels? Tea leaves? Flipping coins? How about we settle questions of theology with some games of 3-on-3 basketball, and worldview with a bit of flag football?

Nah, someone would complain that it wasn't futbol. I mean, soccer.

No, I guess they want us to settle those questions via emergent group-think.

Please tell me you understand

No comments: