He's right on about the politics. As far as getting the wrong message from Genesis, I think Catholicism was rightly concerned about what would happen to religion if given to the masses. Today, we have millions of brands of Christians, most of them are totally ignorant of any scripture unless it's something they latched onto when in need one day. The main point is that these days, people can be divided by what they say is their guiding philosophy. Christians are on the lower end of the intellectual spectrum when it comes to even the most basic understanding of scripture. It's not even really a religion anymore, it's like religion made into some franchise where everyone gives it their own flair.
@brown_buffalo - You're advocating a dictatorship of belief, which isn't right. It also makes a mockery of the whole "humans were given free will" argument to explain certain situations. No-one should be told what to, or what not, to believe. If that was the case, none of us would have been given inquiring, inquisitive minds.
Wright got it right! American Christians grab on to a word or a phrase from the Bible and call that "Truth" rather than reading for the deeper meaning.
I think one of the unforseen consequences of religious freedom in America has been the melding of religion and politics. Politicians court the largest religious groups, which brings religious philosophy into the writing of laws and even the interpretation of science. Europe doesn't have this problem because for centuries everyone was expected to belong to the same religious group. Consequently they have more religious intolerance - evidence by laws concerning Muslim immigrants such as banning head scarfs in French schools.
Many Christian groups get highly offended if it is suggested that we need to take religion out of politics. They claim we are a Christian nation - which just isn't true.
It is strange to me that he would advocate "studying the text for all its worth," but remove the literal component. While I don't agree with his application of the creation account, it is definitely a secondary issue to salvation. I know Christians who hold to an inerrant Scripture but apply framework theory to Genesis 1 through 3. Fine, we are all learning. But I think with a deeper study of the rest of the Bible, the ultimate conclusion is that it calls for a literal 6-day creation. Of course, this all assumes you believe the Bible in the first place.
I was afraid I was going to hear an apologist for creationism, but was pleased to see a rational, European view of the myths of Genesis. Our rational mind uses the language of science and logic to determine what is True or Not True and that leads us to knowledge. Our intuitive mind uses the language of story and metaphor to discern Truths - of which there are many and some Truths will be opposite of other Truths. And this leads to Wisdom. Science is good for describing What and When, but Story/Myth is good for How and Why. The round peg of story and Genesis shouldn't be forced into the square hole of science. They need to be separated.
I enjoyed his presentation very much - even though I don't believe in the Bible or any Greek/Roman/Norse/Hindu/Christian gods. He is a unifier rather than a confrontationalist.
I also appreciated that he brought out how the people throughout Europe cannot fathom why the US has such a problem with the fundamentalist religionists exercising so much control and causing so much dissension and not believing science.
@FringeChristian@revelife - "But I think with a deeper study of the rest of the Bible, theultimate conclusion is that it calls for a literal 6-day creation." >>uhm... I don't think any such claim either way exists... can you give me some examples and explain this for me? How did you reach that conclusion?
@nodnarbassoon - Here is an example: Exodus 20:11 - "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Earlier in Exodus 20:1 God is identified as the speaker, "And God spoke all these words. . ." If this is something God said, then within the context of the Bible, it is intended to be taken as true.
I was gone this weekend but just got back and was glad to see you posting this.. I know, you are not likely going to change your views, but at least you are getting some good info. NT Wright is one among many Christians scholars, one of whom I read at seminary. I agree with him about the days not being literal, but also about how people say it is either literal or a myth. I dont think we have to completely separate the two for the story to be true in its essence and message. Two other stories where this comes into play is the book of Job and the book of Jonah, both of them have message and meaning, yet, if they are not literal, it would not change the message of the book, one being about suffering and the other being about God's grace. And personally, one of my favorite Christian authors (scholarly) is Stanley J. Grenz. I still want to read his book about women in ministry. I used it for a paper in college, when I began to change my mind about the issue (being open and affirming of it) but never got to sit down and actually read it. Oh, Dallas Willard is another, but I only read one book by him, which I really enjoyed.
@DEISENBERG - If my employer is in a bind, I work on Saturday. This is in the spirit of Jesus' teaching here, here, here, here, and here. And also from the epistles here and here. Do you consistently celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday?
To keep our priorities straight, what is your relationship with Jesus? It would be fruitless to spend time on this side issue if we are not clear on salvation.