As expected, the blog on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and what it really means for homosexuality, has received attention in the blogosphere. The first of the attempts to debunk the exegesis comes from the “Chester Street” blog, which describes itself:
A street filled with conservative, bible studying, American flag waving, neighbor helping, gun owning, animal loving, church going, regular people. This street is no friend of the left.
It raises the question of how “neighbor helping” and patriotic someone who is “no friend of the left” can be when half of one’s American neighbors are on the left.
The blog entry against AUR is entitled Twisting Scripture, which condemns as heresy the statement that “scripture and its human stewards are mere creatures, and for the true believer God alone is perfect.” We were unaware that taking a stand against worshipping creatures was considered heretical by conservative Christians, but there it is. The entry goes on to make this odd, confused, and self-contradictory argument in defense of scripturalist idolatry:
God is prefect (sic), man is not. Even God’s Divine breath leading man, man still screws it up. This denies two fundamental qualities of God, His truthfulness and His complete sovereign rule. There is no book in antiquity that is more closely scrutinized than the Bible. It remains God’s holy and perfect word in 2008, all 66 books!
Of course, AUR also asserts the truthfulness and complete sovereign rule of God. However, to call the Bible perfect simply because God is truthful is as absurd as believing that the final word in a child’s game of “telephone” is the same as the word spoken at the beginning. Human transmission, likely anything creaturely, is faulty.
It is equally nonsensical to cite God’s sovereign rule in asserting the perfection of Man The Transcriber, while simultaneously believing that the reason man has to have scripture in the first place is because he doesn’t always do what God says. Human beings are allowed to fall short of perfection in every single activity except when writing down God’s will, including when they listen to God’s will audially as Adam and Eve did, or when they read it when written on a wall by divine hand? This implies that there is something magical about writing things down: obviously what is being promoted here is a worshipful devotion to books, not to God.
In ancient times, the superstitious used to write things down in the belief that this act made the things they wrote come true. This is precisely the essence of modern-day biblical literalism, corrupting the use of scripture from spiritual guidance to crass sorcery.
On the other hand, the blog Political Spectrum has given American Unitarian Reform a kudos link, noting that those who call themselves fundamentalists too often read Biblical literature less than seriously, disregarding the historical context in which it was written. We could not agree more: taking the Bible seriously means taking it for what it is, not for what we wish it to be.
We express our deepest thanks to both blogs, despite that we disagree with Chester Street’s idolatry. We will keep them in our prayers and hope they find wisdom.