Thursday, April 21, 2016

A second naivete

Unlike the biblical authors and their original audiences, we cannot take some of their beliefs literally any longer. That option is not open to scientifically literate people. But “beyond the desert of criticism” there is a second naïveté in which the text can again disclose divine truth and God can speak afresh. This is not a return to a pre-scientific view of the world but is rather a post-critical retrieval—a willingness to let God speak anew precisely through the strangeness of the ancient text. We cannot simply strip away the out-of-date views and throw them away like the peel of an orange in order to get to the ripe juice of revelation contained within. I believe that God wants to speak to the modern world through the insights of ancient cosmography.— The Biblical Cosmos, page 167 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
What do you think? I've heard about second-naivete before and it's an attractive idea. I guess my hesitation is because I believe too much of the supernatural realm (which we as Westerners throw away) is real.

Am I mixing apples and oranges here? Is this a different issue from second-naivete? Help!
</idle musing>

1 comment:

Marilyn Melzian said...

Like you, I believe in too much of the supernatural to feel comfortable with this "second naivety" idea. Rather, we might need to reexamine our own "critical" presuppositions and definitions, some of which are based on misconstrued philosophy and not on any new knowledge of the world, e.g., Epicureanism, scientism and the like. Even to say "supernatural" seems to feed into some of those critical, modernist categories. What I would like to reclaim is the awareness of the presence of God moving in the world, as Augustine speaks of it--the presence of the Holy Spirit, the agency of God in the world.