Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The use and non-use of power

When do you know you have power and therefore might use it (well or badly)? Is there a power in knowledge? Why is it so easy to pretend you know more than you do?

These questions are too general, but are suggested to me by the easy tendency we have to label some act or some person as being of low or high quality or whatever. In few or many words, we resort to ad hominem remarks to establish our certainty or the validity of our arguments.

Do I see any such tendencies in Biblical writers? Are the Biblical writers bullies in any way? Do they win essentially by calling their opponents names?

There is buzz in the blogosphere on both historicity and metaphor. I am an ordinary man in these areas of expertise. But I have to live in history and I have to use language. I also am separated from my fellow humans in time, space, and in thought. None of us can fully share anything, whether from literature or history. The closest we get is in music when we hear a quartet play homophony in perfect ensemble - Try the Heiliger Dankgesang in Beethoven's string quartet opus 132. (Online here).

DO it - too good to pass up. Blessed are they who can play together. May it become so among the bloggers. When two of you agree .... here are four who agree.

Now if we must disagree over history or metaphor, let us do so with agreeable disagreement and not stoop to the lows and highs of scorn or adjectives or claiming to know what it is impossible to know - like whether Jesus or Paul used metaphor or thought literally about x, y, or z or not.

We cannot base faith on our interpretation. We have two options - adore or run like hell.

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