I have a few questions for reasserters that would help me understand their position. If any of you feel like trying to answering them, please do so - also on your own blog, if you have one.
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How do you determine the criteria for interpreting scripture allegorically or literally?
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How you might convince a non-religious person, without using religious language, that the Bible is reliable? How is it reliable?
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You have an acquaintance who is knows his scripture and is, by all accounts, a committed Christian. He serves on the vestry of your church, and leads bible studies. He offers 15% of his income to the parish. However, he occasionally brings a male "room mate" to church on a regular basis. They both have wedding bands on, but you know of no women in their lives. Your pastor is biblically orthodox but says to you, "I think he'd make an excellent priest." What do you say?
Do you think the discovery of new documents that elaborate meanings in ancient languages affect our own translations of scripture? Why or why not?
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Is the existence of hell a physical reality, an intellectual certainty, or an emotional necessity?
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Describe, also, your experience of Jesus Christ. Is Jesus like a ghost? A Vision? an Insight? Your Conscience? How is "knowing" Jesus Christ different or similar to an "experience?"
I was intrigued by a comment by Erin (Dec. 22 at 1:05 a.m.):
Are we in agreement that nobody these days follows the prescriptions of the Bible exactly? The shrimp example gets tossed around by liberals a lot (c.f. ospreys, menstruation, marriage to in-laws in the event of widowhood, etc), but conservatives never respond, leaving me to try to decipher whether (a) it's a weak point for some reason I don't understand, and everyone is tired of refuting it, or (b) it's actually a rather good point that everyone is tired of not being able to refute, and so they just ignore it.
... I'm more of a pragmatist by training. When evaluating a rule, I tend to ask things like why it exists, what would happen if it didn't, does the original rationale still apply, who does it hurt, who does it help, etc. I'm unclear whether this kind of thinking is within the realm of polite conversation when speaking of the holy.
It's worthwhile reading.