Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Hermeneutical Thought to Ponder...while I'm taking a break from blogging

"Holy Scripture, if considered in origin to be both truly divine and truly human, must then, by necessity, contain the seeds of the demise of it own cultural conditioning."

11 comments:

Mark said...

Good grief. This sounds like something from the mind of John Milbank ( except that it lacks those arcane words he's so fond of using, which nobody has ever heard of )

lexorandi2 said...

I'll take that as a compliment.

Mark said...

Oh, so you wrote this, did you?

Very interesting. I won't attempt to divine your meaning, Dan, but I'll bet it's got something to do with the "hypostatic model". ( "Truly Divine and truly human" and all that ).

The comparison with Milbank is indeed a compliment. I think he's swell- though half of the time I haven't the faintest what he is saying.

Acolyte4236 said...

Seems rather Gnostic. That which is human must be obliterated. Sounds like Milbank. Perhaps that explains why he prefers Hegel and Bulgakov to Palamas.

It seems like a quotation is right in line with Gnostic hermenutical practices-the text undoes itself.

lexorandi2 said...

I don't see your point, Perry. That which is human is not "obliterated." Rather, that which is human is truly affirmed and placed in historical context.

I'd suggest that to deny the principle as stated runs the risk of a Docetic view of Scripture. That may be acceptable to Fundamentalism, but not to Christian orthodoxy.

The principle is also eminently demonstrable. What we now term the "language of appearance" to describe the relationship of the earth to the heavenly bodies was the actual cosmology of those who composed the Scriptures.

Mark said...

I'm not sure where this is leading, but your point about "a Docetic view of Scripture" is compelling. If the Scriptures are truly human ( as well as truly Divine )their "cultural conditioning" must have a built-in obsolescence, as it were, since, "cultural conditioning", as a human phenomena, is always mutable.

( Am I on target here? )

If I am, could you elaborate, Dan, upon what you mean exactly by the Scripture's "cultural conditioning"?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that "cultural conditioning" is merely one facet of the larger human condition: we are finite. We have gaps in our knowledege and understanding. The biblical authors were humans, finite like us.

The statement did not say that the Scriptures become irrelevant, or lack authority, but merely that they reflect a certain cultural situation at a given point in time.

In fact, could we not say that the fact that the Scriptures, despite their humanity (or perhaps partly because of it,) continue to speak to us, is a manifestation of their divine inspiration?

Bob Hackendorf

Anonymous said...

Curious as to what you mean by "contain the seeds of the demise, etc".

It's certainly not Gnostic. The statement affirms the humanity of scripture. I wonder however if this statement could go in an adoptionistic or Arian direction.

And do these "seeds" refer to cultural "errors" (perhaps) in scripture? An incarnational view of the scriptures which not only includes divinity and humanity but also error? Is this a scriptural incarnation? Possessing divinity and humanity and yet sins, too?

lexorandi2 said...

The problem is that you equate incidental "error" (e.g. what every man on the street just happens to believe is true, and yet is not) with volitional sin.

A better analogy would be to compare incidental errors with physical (rather than moral) human flaws, like having a big ugly mole or a chipped tooth.

Anonymous said...

How is that a problem? If the scriptures have an inherent incarnational nature it must follow that they share the same integrity of the one in whom there is no darkness at all.

What is the big ugly mole or the chipped tooth you see on the face of Scripture?

lexorandi2 said...

It was hypothetical. I don't see a big ugly mole or a chipped tooth in Scripture. I was just using these as examples of physical (incarnational) features that are of no ethical significance.

It's quite possible that Jesus may have had a mole or two...maybe even chipped tooth or even...gasp..tooth decay.