By Kenton L. Sparks
The conclusions of serious biblical scholarship frequently pose a disconcerting problem to standard Christian religion. among the 2 poles of uncritical embody and outright rejection of those conclusions, is there a 3rd means? Can evangelical believers comprise the insights of biblical feedback whereas even as retaining a excessive view of Scripture and a necessary religion? during this provocative e-book, Kenton Sparks argues that the insights from historic and biblical feedback can certainly be priceless to evangelicals and should even yield recommendations to tough matters in bible study whereas keeping off pat solutions. This positive reaction to biblical feedback contains taking heavily either the divine and the human facets of the Bible and acknowledging the range that exists within the biblical texts
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Additional info for God's word in human words : an evangelical appropriation of critical biblical scholarship
But let us return now to the question that originally prompted this discussion. Shall we be Cartesian realists, or antirealists, or practical realists, or something else altogether? Evangelicals are nowadays somewhat sharply divided on this question. On the other hand, many other evangelicals—particularly those whose expertise is in theology and the humanities—would prefer to temper this epistemic optimism. These seem to be the two options on the table at this point. But scholars who are more skeptical will argue that mathematical and logical operations like “1 + 1 = 2” appear to be special cases, having to do with things native to the mind rather than with the external world.
Let us consider each in turn. According to the antirealists, who take their cue from Nietzsche, “reality” is nothing other than an invention of human culture. There is no “real world” behind our perceptions because the concepts of “real” and “world” are themselves linguistic products of culturally conditioned viewpoints. Hence the label antirealists. To be sure, most antirealists would concede that there is “something out there” behind our perceptions (they are ontological realists), but when it comes to our knowledge of that something, they are epistemological antirealists because, in their view, all truth claims lie embedded within a matrix of cultural fiction.
Were this the whole of the Christian story, Christians would have good reasons to embrace a pretty pessimistic epistemology. We are “very good” creatures who bear the divine image (Gen. 1:27–28) and the capacity to recognize and do good things (like caring for our children). Because humanity bears the divine image, human beings provide the richest source of metaphors for conveying truths about the divine nature. To be sure, all of these images are metaphors rather than rigidly literal portraits of the divine nature.