Thursday, March 12, 2009

Literalism reputed, again

More swiped stuff from Exploring our Matrix:

"Synthetic symbolic religious language has creative potential only to the degree that it is recognized to be symbolic, not literal, language. If it is treated as literal, then the symbols themselves become the focus of attention, and the reality-transforming experience that they were originally coined to express tends to be ignored. Instead of facilitating a process of descent into self-examination and surrender followed by an ascent into a transformed reality, the symbols become logical answers to questions of existence. When this happens, the questions are trivialized. Treated as logical answers to life's questions, religious symbols do not stimulate the process of religious reality transformation; they stifle it by rendering it unnecessary."

-- C. Daniel Batson and W. Larry Ventis, The Religious Experience: A Social-Psychological Perspective (Oxford University Press, 1982) pp. 131-132.

Great quote! How often have we seen the defense of the literal word replacing any defense of the concept the word tried to teach. I have read supposed Christian's LYING to us and themselves to defend the literal words of the Bible. I have frequently pointed out the double standard at work there, but this quote really says it even better. The meaning of the words are completely ignored by some who apparently feel the symbol has become more important than what it symbolizes! Thanks once again Dr. McGrath

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