The articles in this series include
- Can we be good without God? Part I: Introduction
- Can we be good without God? Part II: Defining Good
- Can we be good without God? Part III: Theism
- Can we be good without God? Part IV: Atheism
- Can we be good without God? Part V: Conclusions
Before I begin this post in earnest, I must admit that I had to look up the difference between the words eulogy, elegy, and epitaph (not epitath!) while looking for the word that describes the inscription on a tombstone. For your interest, I have provided the definitions at the end of this post.
This past week as I was walking, thinking, and praying, I recalled how, in my 20′s, I enjoyed visiting the Union Cemetery in Hackettstown, NJ, learning from the gravestones. I particularly enjoyed the ones with advice for the living, and thought, I too would like to say something from the grave as well.
Why is it so important to take the Bible as literal, historical fact and not as allegory and metaphor?
In my post Is Genesis Metaphorical or Historical?, commenter Floss asked the question that forms the title of this post. Here’s my short answer.
1. It is important to interpret literature according to its literary type
If I read, for instance, a parable or metaphor as historical fact, I will totally miss the point. When, for example, Jesus says “A sower went out into the field to sow,” he’s not talking about an actual person – he wants the listener to understand the metaphor, not try to figure out the importance of some specific person.
Conversely, if I read historical narrative only as metaphor (e.g. George Washington or Jesus didn’t really exist, but their lives are merely to be understood as positive metaphors), I again am missing something true and important, namely that these people were real and impacted human history.
So, I went on my lunchtime walk today and had a ‘conversation with God.’ Do you ever wonder if such conversations are possible, or even if they are, how you can tell them from just conversations you are having with your self, perhaps your higher self? Well, that’s NOT the topic of this post, but I do plan to address that in one of my future books (sigh, when I get to them!).
Today, as God often does when I’m not sure where I’m going, like the Cat in Alice in Wonderland, He asks me “what do you want?” (a variant of “Where are you going?”). I love that conversation, which goes something like this:
`Cheshire Puss,’….`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–’ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
Jesus did something similar with the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15), asking him what he wanted – not because it wasn’t clear, but because the paralytic needed to be aware and focused on it himself.
What do I want more than other things? It’s hard to know, but what seems to be King of the Hill of my heart for many years (though sometimes it gets knocked off by my desire to write books) is my desire to lead and be part of a different, better kind of Church. So God (or higher self ;) instructed me to write it down. What would that church look like? Here’s my outline. I guess each item could be a post in itself. We’ll see if I get that far.
This week, my wife had a very symbolic dream, and asked me what I thought it meant. Now, I came out of (but am not antithetical to) a Charismatic background, where dreams and dream interpretation are part of the common milieu, along with prophecy and words of knowledge. Like these latter practices, which are very subjective, and some would say doctrinally dodgy, dream interpretation can be poorly done, and sometimes with superstitious and controlling overtones.
Having been both theologically and psychologically trained, I would like to outline some simple principles of dream interpretation from a Christian point of view. This post addresses the possible sources of dreams.
I recently purchased a ROKU XD for my bedroom. I’ve got a 1st gen AppleTV downstairs. I don’t love the ROKU, but am trying my best to configure it to my liking. Here’s what I’ve found.
Last Updated: 9.3.11
1. Private Channels
In addition to the official Channel List, there are many third party channels, called “private channels,” which you can add. Check out the pretty up to date lists below: