Taking a quick break from Retardo Montalbán to mention this.
Science-lite articles using “science says” verbiage are bothersome reification fallacies, since science doesn’t “say” anything; people do. On the other hand there’s a different kind of fallacious appeal smuggled through, since using “science says” doesn’t exactly invite criticism of whatever “it,” as an object, says.
One can reason with actual people—in this case, scientists—but not an abstraction. Counterpoints are preempted as soon as the phantom is invoked.
I’m already sort of breaking my “no more posts until the book is done” rule already, but this was too delicious to pass up: “The Case for Idolatry: Why Evangelical Christians Can Worship Idols”.
Secondly, and even more significantly, we need to read the whole Bible with reference to the approach of Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a Jesus-person: one whose life is based on his priorities, not on the priorities of subsequent theologians. And when we look at Jesus, we notice that he welcomed everyone who came to him, including those people that the (one-God worshipping) religious leaders rejected – and that Jesus said absolutely nothing about idols in any of the four Gospels. Conservative theologians, many of whom are friends of mine, often miss this point in the cut-and-thrust of debate, but for those who love Jesus, it should be at the very heart of the discussion.
Positivism meets sola scriptura OCD dorkdom.
And my favorite comment:
Andrew, my cousin came out as an idolater a few weeks ago. Until then, I had made comments and remarks in my blog and to others that would be taken as hurtful and demeaning towards idolaters. I’ve come to realize, based on his testimony to me, that I’ve been wrong about idolatry. I’m glad that you’ve taken the first steps towards a great understanding of the love that Jesus has for us all, idolaters or no.
Not that I am particularly prolific on here, but I’m going to be taking a shortish break from posting while I finish up the first few drafts of Retardo Montalbán. There will be more drafts while Jill does her editing thing but that writing won’t be as rigorous or demanding…unless the bean bang completely misses the board (a cornhole analogy for you). Until I’m finished or I have a nuclear blast of inspiration, things will be quiet on here.
You can buy it on Amazon.
Here’s a list of things you can do with the paperback that you can’t do with the electronic version:
* This requires you to buy it first, since no one you know will have it.
** This requires you to buy the book for Kevin Bacon first.
*** This can be done with the e-book version as well.
Good thoughts from Ed’s latest post:
One of the biggest problems I run into is this knee-jerk reaction that our cultural substrate is the human default. It seems nobody wants to understand that what we have today is an anomaly, an intellectual tradition more radically different from all others than any of the rest are from each other. With this faulty assumption comes a typical Western Christian attitude that the Scripture canon is the compendium of all there is to know about the things it addresses. It was never meant to be that. It was the narrative of one particular nation and reflected what they had to know for their own covenant with God. Some of that narrative trumps all others, but not every bit of it.
So while I have a big objection to introducing Lilith into the Eden narrative because it changes the entire meaning of the story completely, that doesn’t mean every item of external mythology is relentlessly evil. You shall know them by their moral fruit, not so much by their words. Labels are fungible; the moral character of God is not. Our Western heritage has elevated the meaning of “truth” to some self-existent deity equal to our Creator. We tend to think language is objective, too. The folks who gave us the Bible would snicker at such nonsense.
One thing I may clarify about what I think he’s talking about here—and he may not agree with me—is the relevance of objective vs. subjective truth(s). I would argue that though God is an objective truth (and I would argue the only objective truth), and we as humans can only apprehend God subjectively, i.e., we can only experience Him, not “know” Him in the same manner we know our own name.
The only person who knows the objective truth about God is God. And this reflexively makes categorical sense: God, as perfect being, would necessarily have perfect knowledge of Himself, and as the only perfect being in existence He would also be the only one with the ability to apprehend Himself as an object, as a noumena proper. The fact that God is an object is really irrelevant in a practical sense, then, except for the bit of knowledge we can glean that He is ultimately unknowable, which also means He’s infinitely experienceable: there is no end to our experience of Him.
I’d be better at this in some respects if I knew my Kant a little more thoroughly—who does, though? The man probably had a brain tumor. Words are going to fail at the end if we’re talking about a thing so abstract and barely conceivable. I’m just doing the best I can with the tools I have.