Ed Babinski sent me another email. An email of a comment he left at another blog.
Ed takes a touching interest in the state of my immortal soul. Not that Ed is trying to save me from hell. Rather, Ed is trying to save me for hell.
Unfortunately for him, Ed is a poor man’s Delilah. He lacks the vital stats that made Delilah an appealing tempter. As Kepler would say, numbers are everything.
If Ed could successfully impersonate Lena Horne singing “Stormy Weather” (in Cabin in the Sky), or Marlene Dietrich singing “Black Market” (in A Foreign Affair), he might at least find a chink in my armor. But the Old Serpent failed to equip his loyal employee with the necessary accoutrements.
However, let’s consider his latest devastating challenge to my flimsy Christian faith:
Hi, I'm uncertain of your name, is it "Jay?"
Isn't the primary question not what you believe but what Paul believed and wrote about, and the author of Revelation? What you believe is of course what you believe, but what about the beliefs of the authors of the Bible?
. . . so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
This is mere "imagery" to you, and that's fine. But do you also think it was pure "imagery" to Paul and the author of Revelation?
You admitted in your review that at least some biblical authors believed the entire cosmos was a three-tier affair with heaven above, a flat earth below, and mysterious regions beneath the earth as well. The OT mentions people coming up from the earth, and Job says God sees the spirits in the great deep. The NT makes similar statements in the verses I cited above.
You are agreeing that you do not see things the way the authors of the Bible saw them. You see only worms under the earth, no beings at all. And as telescopes have revealed, the heavens are filled with flying asteroids, comets, stars forming and exploding, even galaxies colliding (google up some pics to see those). And the earth is a tiny lifeboat bobbing perilously in space with earth-orbit-crossing asteroids, and with life-less-boats to our immediate left and right (Venus and Mars).
So we agree. The Bible begins with a non-scientific tale of the creation of a flat earth cosmos, and ends with the non-scientific tale of a heavenly city sent down from God's heavenly abode above our heads, and that between those myths lay some fictional books as well, such as Job.
We also agree that young-earth creationism's literalism is not good for Christianity. So you and I agree with the vast majority of information the I compiled from scholarly sources. If you find any words or sections of my chapter that make sense to you and that you can use to help to awaken other Christians to at least ask more questions concerning their literal interpretations of Genesis 1 and the end of Revelation and Job, then by all means, please use what I have written in part or in whole.
A few quick comments:
1. I don’t regard Job as fiction. I regard Job as stylized history.
2. Since I don’t interpret Revelation the way Tim LaHaye does, I don’t need to adjust my position.
3. The primary issue is not what Bible writers believe, but what Bible writers teach.
4. As a matter of fact, I do “see things” the way the Bible writers saw them. I’m a land-dweller. An earthbound observer. From my viewpoint as a lowly earthling, I, too, see things “up” or “down” in relation to my indexical frame of reference. So does Ed.
5. The Bible doesn’t teach a “flat-earth” cosmos. Rather, as scholars like T. D. Alexander, Gregory Beale, Daniel Block, John Walton, and Gordon Wenham (among others) have documented, the Bible employs architectural metaphors to depict the world as a temple. The imagery is figurative.
6. Since the dead were buried, Scripture uses subterranean imagery to depict the netherworld. That’s a natural convention.