Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Theology Affirmed

If you listen carefully to N.T. Wright's presentation in this video (via Eli), you will gain a profound affirmation of the possibilities of theology, and what's more, you will come to understand whether and when to read the text of the Bible literally and when not to:

To review: the words of the Bible conform to their everyday, plain meanings except when they don't. And long, dedicated study in theology yields an uncanny ability to say when the literal meaning holds and when it doesn't. I think maybe a little bell goes off in your head when you're meant to shift from literal to non-literal, and it's more of a buzzing sound when you're meant to go back to literal from non-literal, but not having ascended the heights of the theological field, I offer that as the speculation of an outsider.


Paul Sunstone said...

I see you possess a sublime understanding of the venerable field!

I myself rely on the flights of ravens and the stirrings of my own intestinal gas to reveal when biblical passages must be taken literally or figuratively. As you might imagine, they have never failed me.

Laura said...

I kind of glazed over at 1:30, but then came back to hear Wright say that the question we should be asking is "what did the writer intend to do by this story?" or something along those lines. Since the writer is not here to tell us what he intended, doesn't it mean the door is wide open for interpretation? If the bible writers' intentions are essentially unknowable, don't both bells and buzzers indicate that we should proceed to the audiologist?