Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hanson Getting a Reputation.

Shrimp here: You guys take heart. There are 7,000 of you and the One who matters, knows. In th emeantime you human people keep banging the rocks together and get a spark, OK?. One of you has "Ticking Time Blog.' He writes, beginning with quote from Virgina paper last weekend:

"The Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA, was in Salem for the assembly and responded to questions submitted to him in advance of Sunday’s closing session…Hanson said he rejects a literalistic view of the Bible “in this culture so dominated by fundamentalism.” Instead of relying on a “bibliocentric” version of Christian faith, “I believe in a triune God who reveals God’s self to me in Scripture,” Hanson said, “who is revealed in Christ, and who is revealed for us in the bread and wine” of Communion."

The Grand Poobah weighs in…where to start? One, “this culture so dominated by fundamentalism”? Uhh…hmmm? Would this be, what, the culture of, I don’t know, Zimbabwe or Upper Volta or Inner Mongolia he’s talking about? 9% of evangelical adults and 2% of evangelical teenagers have a Christian worldview…in this “culture so dominated by fundamentalism”. Two, I’m reminded of a great exchange between Caffey (Tom Cruise) and Nathan Jessup (Nicholson) in “A Few Good Men”:

Caffey: “You thought his life was in danger?”
Jessup: “Yes.”
Caffey: “Grave danger?”
Jessup: “Is there any other kind?”

When Hanson derides a “bibliocentric” faith, I want to respond, “is there any other kind?”

Three, boy, don’t his words sound so good, about how God reveals Himself? Any fundamentalist could “Amen!” those words, except that he doesn’t mean them nearly as they sound, because he puts these means of God’s self-revelation in contrast to sola Scriptura (imagine that, in a church that bears the name of Luther). What he means by this is that the Bible is not really our authority, that it can be effectively jettisoned when we determine that the “spirit of Christ” or something else real pious-sounding conflicts.

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The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...