Monday, August 01, 2005

Internship, cont.

I think we're just going to apply to Fuller and see what they say. We're going to cross out the stuff about same-sex relations being "unbiblical", which I've been told worked for another supervisor in my denomination (who, by the way, isn't gay herself, but simply disagrees with the statement). Then we'll see what happens. Probably won't volunteer the orientation of my supervisor, unless specifically asked. I imagine this won't be the first or last time someone's crossed out that section, so here's hoping it will fly.

The sad thing is that I wish there would be an acknowledgement that this issue isn't settled in Christendom. But then I have to remind myself that in fact, it is, in the majority of the churches (or at least in their individual's minds) that send people to Fuller. Same goes for topics such as evolution vs. creation that seem so completely ridiculous to me, but they are a big deal to some people (as evidenced by a lively argument - and the sound of many minds blowing - in my Penteteuch class last Wednesday night).

I chose Fuller because I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the world's views on things, and I wanted to learn more about the average joe christian's worldview. It's sorely lacking in my opinion, but that's all the more reason to redouble our efforts. The main thing is to get people - including seminarians! - reading the Bible. It's amazing how uppity Evangelicals can be about this book, as if they are the only ones who understand it. I keep getting that annoying question about why you'd believe any of it if parts of it are fictional and despite my best efforts to point out the fictionality of Jesus' parables people somehow compartmentalize those into a special category. So we can learn from parables even though they didn't happen, but if Genesis or Esther or Job didn't, then our entire faith is bunk. I'm generalizing and summarizing, of course, but it boils down to people holding on to things that don't necessarily make sense.

Anyway, I have to work on my homework now, and don't have time for a full-on rant. I just wish people would read the Bible for what it is and not try to make it into things it's not. And I hate questions like, "Why do you read it if you don't think it really happened?" Because it's still true, even if it's not factual! And mostly because it's the Bible, so that makes it important to read. Duh! It's the most important way God's revealed Godself to us, and there's something to learn (about God, about us, about us and God) from everything, historically true or not.

Oh, boy. Really gotta stop now.

2 comments:

LutheranChik said...

It's amazing how uppity Evangelicals can be about this book, as if they are the only ones who understand it.

I'm on an extended and possibly permanent sabbatical from arguing theology on Beliefnet;-), but one of the great joys I had on their debate forum was confronting some smug, "Bible-believing" evangelical who was telling me about my being a biblical illiterate by virtue of my mainline-denominational affiliation, and bragging about their extensive Bible reading...and my giving it right back at 'em by describing the Daily Office, Bonhoeffer's quite rigorous daily Scripture reading plan, etc., etc....plus being able to provide some exegetical information on quoted texts (even in my limited, second-person layperson way). Honestly, this confident back-at-ya seemed to shock some of them, and in fact scare the pants off some of them.;-) And I concur with you completely -- non-fundamentalists/non-conservative evangelicals have to get it together and become more biblically literate.

Summer said...

"Same goes for topics such as evolution vs. creation that seem so completely ridiculous to me, but they are a big deal to some people (as evidenced by a lively argument - and the sound of many minds blowing - in my Penteteuch class last Wednesday night)."

I admit that most of my OT reading was done in Sunday school, except for when I became a new Christian at 17. I read the Bible right through and wrote notes in the margins like "what happened to the saltwater fish during the flood?"

At a very mature 25 (end sarcasm) I am taking a class on "Interpreting the old Testament" and I am married to a genticist who will not tolerate sloppy science. I am slowly groping my way towards a (hopefully) more comprehensive view of the bible. And what I tentatively have concluded is this: The historical episodes in the Bible are essentially oral tradition which eventually got written down by a people who were at a specific place in terms of their understanding of God and science. Therefore, what is important is not the literal truth of each an every word. What is important is what the story ends up telling us about God.

In the case of the creation story (stories) in Genesis, do I believe that the world was created in 6 24-hour days? No, and I don't think that's the point of the story. I think the point of the story, what God wants us to get from it, is that He carefully and specifically created the world over a period of time, and that He wanted humans to exist and love Him. I think getting down to the heart of what is revealed about Him is the important thing.

As I said, I'm still groping towards this so I hope this post makes a bit of sense. Also "The Rock That Is Higher : Story as Truth" by Madeleine L'Engle is an *excellent* book on the subject of... well, of story as truth.