Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Join the flat-earth society

Robin Parry has a nice thought about cosmology today:

I want to say that God did not reveal himself in spite of the ancient cosmology but through the ancient cosmology. Whilst it is impossible for us to inhabit the cosmos in the way that we did (it is scientifically naive) we can still inhabit the cosmos in a way that is deeply informed by their cosmology.

Ancient cosmologies were very much to do with the meaning, purpose, and function of the cosmos. Their ways of thinking of the universe saw it as "enchanted" and meaning-full. I tentatively suggest that God is actually affirming the meanings embedded in their naive cosmology. Thus whilst we cannot affirm biblical cosmology at a scientific level we can affirm it at the level of meaning...

I am suggesting that our job as Bible readers is not to say what the apostles and prophets said (that would require us to join the flat earth society). Rather, echoing Barth, we must say what we must say in light of what the apostles and prophets said. We must not simply cast aside ther [sic] husk of biblical cosmologies but rather learn from them how to reenchant the cosmos and how to inhabit "our" cosmos biblically.

<idle musing>
It is nice to see people interacting with the biblical text on its terms instead of our terms. Would that more people did! It sure would eliminate a lot of the senseless arguments I hear.
</idle musing>

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