Inquiry to LifeofApollos: The "Method"

doctoro
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Inquiry to LifeofApollos: The "Method"

Hi, Apollo. I'm not sure exactly where to locate you, but I would like to start a conversation about the method for interpreting the bible you were discussing. You described the three aspects of the method: Observation, Interpretation, and Application. One preacher I have discussed this issue with calls this "exegesis." Correct me if this term is used improperly here. It looks like "hermeneutics" might also be an applicable term.

From this website, I found some correlation to what you were talking about:
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/we_dig_montana/Bible_Interpretation.html

"5. These four key words - observation, interpretation, evaluation, and application - are at the heart of all approaches to finding out what the Bible means. They provide the structure of what questions you ask of the text, and when.

Observation: Do I understand the basic facts of the passage such as the meaning of all the words? Interpretation: What did the author mean in his own historical setting? Evaluation: What does this passage mean in today's culture? Application: How can I apply what I have learned to how I live my life? "

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I am making strides to understand theistic arguments on the debating "principle of charity" which basically states that you should understand an opponents argument completely and try to avoid "straw man arguments" as much as possible. I wrote a post on this here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/general_conversation_introductions_and_humor/3863

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That said, I would like to suspend my offensive debate style and simply make some progress in understanding your position. I will simply lay out my argument now, and from then on, I will only attempt to clarify until I feel we understand each other. Then, if you wouldn't mind, I would like to start a debate on Biblical Hermeneutics. Since I am ignorant on this issue, I feel you may even teach me some things I ddin't know before.

Granted, the atheist position is that when theists "cherry-pick," the standard for determining "good" passages and actual intent of the author becomes difficult if not impossible.

In addition, I would argue that because the logic and reason of the interpreter is -PRIMARY- to interpreting the Bible, we do not need the Bible for anything. If I'm going to use my intuition to strike down passages in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, why do I need the Bible to tell me anything? My intuition is primary to the "wisdom" of the Bible. If I'm going to define and interpret every passage of the Bible in ways that support an overarching intuitive idea, I should focus on my intuitions rather than the Bible.

And by intuition, I mean "intuitive" logic and reason.

This is a similar argument that I have against Biblical absolute morals & the idea that morals come from God.

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I put this in the moderated part of the forum because I do not intend on any purposefully inflammatory debate. Moreover, I will not be attempting to convince any atheists of my position.

My goal is to tell you the arguments composing my "internal rational resistance" to your ideas and allow you to respond. In this way, I do not view myself as debating you as an opponent, but rather as an ally for addressing my "intuitive rational resistance" that I have no control over.

Doubt is composed of reasons. I intend exposing all the reasons comprising my doubt and allowing you to address each point.

And as always, if you convince me, I will greatfully accept a new viewpoint. I am interested in the truth, and if you have the truth... and the means by which to convey it to me, I will accept it. (At least I will try.)

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That said, you gave a good explanation of your method with reference to John 3:16.

However, I feel this was extremely easy.

I would like to try your method on some other passages. I must tell you, a video I watched recently has me questioning the criteria by which evangelicals believe one may enter heaven.

This video is found here:
http://www.godisimaginary.com/video1.htm

These passages are easy:
Luke 10:25-28
John 3:16

These are harder for your method:
Luke 18:18-22
Luke 14:26-33
John 6:53-54
Matthew 18:2-3 vs. John 3:3-8
Matthew 5:17-20

I would like to see you provide an "exegesis" for the harder passages in a response to the godisimaginary video and the case made therein that there are multiple criteria for salvation.

If you have convinced my at this point that your method has some merit, I would like to shoot over to some passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

If it helps, pretend that I am a youth in your parish who has watched this movie, and I am incredibly confused -- seeking guidance from you.

This will be time consuming, and I realize you have a finite amount of time. Perhaps this does not interest you. If it does, I will enjoy this conversation.

Because you may not find this on the forum, I will strive to find your username and message you personally. I will conduct the conversation privately via e-mail or on the forum. I would prefer the forum, because I think it would be an interesting debate.