Friday, August 25, 2006

Augustine and the OT, continued

Since yesterday's post, Augustine has been on my mind. Here is an image by Ron Hill portraying Augustine's love of the Psalms. Addressing God, Augustine wrote:
"How I cried out to You in the reading of the Psalms! How I was set on fire for You by them and how inflamed I was to recite them, if I could, to the whole world!"

For fun, I've been reading a popular book that I would very much recommend. It's The Language of God by Francis Collins, the head of the human genome project. Interestingly Collins relies heavily on Augustine for his biblical hermeneutic. Two great thrusts of the book are (1) explaining why a scientist is compelled to believe in God and (2) suggesting an alternative to society's current choice between atheistic evolution and intelligent design. His third, superior option he calls "bio-logos," which is a new take on theistic evolution.


Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You graciously invited me to continue our conversation (begun at Dr. Cathey's blog) over here. I hope right here is okay. You said:

"Dan, thank you for engaging these questions. The discussion is highly significant and of great interest...I enjoy debate, and offer these remarks in a spirit of Christian friendship."

Thank you. I have only taken your comments in that spirit (you've been entirely gracious) and only offer mine in the same.

You said:
"Having an NT makes a difference, as you quite rightly point out."


You also said:
"Nevertheless, neither the New Testament nor even the reconstructed words of Jesus should be allowed to stand as a canon within the canon!..."

I don't know that I'm disagreeing with you here. As I've said, I love the OT and the historical context it offers us. Nonetheless, if I get to a point where it appears God is telling the Israelis to wipe out an entire people, down to their children, I will think, "wow." And then I will look to the NT teachings where we are told to overcome evil with good, love our enemies, etc and think, "wow."

It would be an understatement to say that's a huge difference between the two teachings! And, as I asked before, I am honestly curious what helps you decide how to interpret these two seemingly diametrically opposed teachings.

I mean, I know what processes and thinking I have that helps me interpret them (for one, for example, realizing that the OT is offering an historical story, not a direct teaching and I'm okay with saying, "wow. That's beyond me how God could seemingly command the Israelis to commit genocide, but regardless, I know what I've been taught to do...")

As to your comments about hermeneutics, I'm just a poor ol' hippy amish boy. I don't know how to spell hermeneutics, I don't know what to do with hermeneutics and besides, what we need most of all is a good way of interpreting stuff!

Fri Aug 25, 09:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Thanks, Dan,
I'm trying to make a new main-entry for this. It should appear above soon...
--Stephen C.

Fri Aug 25, 11:15:00 AM GMT-5  

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