Thursday, June 05, 2014

"I have had a handful of Christians over the years tell me that my questioning some traditional biblical interpretations is just giving into this demonic temptation to doubt what Gods says.  There are a couple problems with this response. First, as a rebuttal to a new proposal, it is inadequate because it assumes what it is trying to prove. It assumes the traditional interpretation is what God really said, and then accuses the other of refusing to accept it (thus rejecting God), when the whole question in the first place is, 'What does this text really mean?' So, just logically speaking, it begs the question.  Second, and I think more interesting, is the fact that this objection actually backfires on itself because it ignores the actual biblical story it appeals to. When the serpent says to Adam and Eve, 'Did God really say…?' the serpent was not trying to cast doubt on what God actually said. God, as Eve helpfully points out, never said that they couldn’t eat from any tree, there is only one tree they are not to eat from. Which leads to an observation that could actually work against the conservative use of this analogy.  You see, Satan’s oldest trick isn’t to get us to doubt what God says. Satan’s oldest trick is to get us to think that God said something that God never said. The serpent appears to be trying to get Adam and Eve to doubt the goodness of God by making God’s commands seem harsher and more restrictive than they actually are."


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