4 years, 9 months ago
Bill Keller wants to get down and dirty into the weeds of the candidate’s faith. I’ll let you read his list of questions if you want, but of particular interest to me was this one posed to Michele Bachmann.
You have said that watching the film series “How Should We Then Live?” by the evangelist Francis Schaeffer was a life-altering event for you. That series stresses the “inerrancy” — the literal truth — of the Bible. Do you believe the Bible consists of literal truths, or that it is to be taken more metaphorically?
Good grief. Keller isn’t educated enough even to pose the question the right way. As he has posed it he blunders into the fallacy of the false dilemma. Let’s see if I can help out. Any thinking Christian has to answer Keller’s question, yes and yes. It is both-and, not either-or.
The Bible contains simile, metaphor (which is extended simile), allegory, data and facts, parables (Jesus taught us in stories), wisdom literature (Psalms and Proverbs, Song of Solomon) and so on and so forth. Different rules of hermeneutics must be followed based on the kind of literature. Isaiah 46:9-10 and Ephesians 1:4-5,11 must be taken quite literally. The book of Daniel, quite obviously, is comprised of much that has to be taken figuratively.
If Keller is referring to whether one believes in the historicity of miracles, then he should have posed the question specifically that way. Asking whether one believes in the inerrancy of the Bible is, equally stolid and incomplete. The Christian doctrine pertains to the infallibility of the autographs. These kinds of things – hermeneutics, doctrine – are taught in classes usually held in places such as seminaries. Keller might want to attend one before he tries to play ball in the major league again. He struck out this time.
But I’m glad that Keller opened up the floor for discussion. Now it’s my turn. Mr. Keller is no defender of the second amendment, and the New York Times is usually considered to be the enemy of gun ownership. Very well. Here is the set of questions for Keller.
Do you believe in individual gun ownership? If you don’t, is it based on a belief that mankind is too variable and prone to fits of rage to prevent himself from being a danger to those around him? Depending upon the answer to this last one, there are two followup questions. If the answer is yes, then please explain the moral flaw in your character that makes you this way. If the answer is no, then please explain to us why you would relinquish a tool that could be used to defend your family and loved ones from danger and death if in fact your are not susceptible to this moral flaw (also explain why this moral flaw affects everyone else but not you). As a related issue, why would you force others to relinquish these same tools to defend and protect their loved ones unless you were certain that they too suffered from moral flaws. Finally, if you do not believe in any system of faith at all, please explain your conception of this moral flaw. What is a moral flaw?
I’m glad that we could have this conversation. I look forward to your responses.