[ExI] Are literalists the only consistent members of a faith?

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 20:01:18 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 8:41 PM, Dan<dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Okay, but still you have to weigh in on whether you believe that believe that the "Scriptures are Holy" is part of the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim creed and that this specifically calls something other than the "intentions of God."  (Of course, presuming there were a God and that God has intentions.)

Yes, I contend that those who believe that Scriptures are neither holy
nor authoritative, or that Lucifer is the true Messiah, while fully
entitled to define themselves as christians or worshippers of the
invisible pink unicorn or whatever they like to call themselves are
not christians (or jews or muslim) in any historically plausible
meaning of the word.

>> As I say, it is not a matter of being literalists, simply
>> of being
>> "honest",
> And I was arguing that I don't think they're being inconsistent or dishonest if they weren't Biblical literalists.

Sure. "Honesty" being defined, in my argument, not as literalism, but
as "candid", philological, originalist interpretation.

> I understand your point that if you accept the Bible as authoritative -- because it's the Word of God.

Yes, if you are, e.g., a Hollywood producer and for you it is just the
source of useful stories to be adapted to contemporary tastes, you
need not be concerned with my argument.

>However, my point was that I don't think it's essential to being a Christian to accept the Bible as authoritative or authoritative in that manner.

Provided that one can argue as well that atheism is the true
christianity, because a nightingale one night revealed one this
secret, I agree. Let us confine then the scope of my argument to
orthodox christianity as defined by the relevant tradition and the
unambiguous meaning of its dominant doctrine thoughout the centuries.

>In some places, even in the Gospels, it seems there's room for a blanket rejection of the Old Testament; in others, this seems not to be the case.

Or to be a Satanist, or a Muslim, or absolutely anything, for that
matter, if one does not consider historical and philological
plausibility as a limit of what can like to read into it.

> Yes, but, again, see above.  Why is this integral to being Christian?

What would be integral to being Christian?

>> Most denominational contemporary of those religions members
>> ignore
>> commands concerning "love", worship, faith, rituals, sins,
>> sex, anger,
>> gluttony, etc. Little surprise that they may ignore as well
>> commands
>> concerning holy violence, which are often even more
>> inconvenient for their private interest and sake.
> This is, again, dependent on what it means to them to be a member of their denomination.  You might argue that they must accept X, Y, and Z, but that seems like a True Scotsman argument, don't you think?  And it might NOT be that they're practicing a faith of convenience.

No, of course. They may simply be heretic, or infidels choosing to
call themselves christian for whatever reason.

I do not, for instance, but as far as I am free to define the content
as I like best, the label would bother me too much. Only, my point of
view is that to define myself a christian, as Wagner did, to maintain
that He who must be admired is "Siegfried, that the peoples other than
Germans call Christ", created unrequited confusion between different
Stefano Vaj

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