Ideas from authors like Watts are to me simple proof of the hilarious hypopcrisy in Atheist's attempts to monopolize "Reason" or "Logic". They make fun of God with paradies like the flying spaghetti monster and yet supposedly Jesus is a cosmic representation of transcendence.I wonder when they expect the Flying Saucer's to come and collect all true believers taking them to Secular paradise?
"He does not seem to consider that to take a text literally means: to take it as it is intended; historical references is taken as such, cultural references is taken as such, symbolic references is taken as such, etc. "This is a lovely 'Through the Looking Glass' type of redefinition of the meaning of 'literal'. You get to make it mean whichever meaning you want for whatever situation you are in. What I don't understand is why you (i.e. Christian apologists), would want to make this redefinition. The primary issue that rational people have with some apologists is that they DO INDEED interpret the Bible in a far too literal (using the proper meaning of the word) rather than in a figurative manner. The only purpose I can fathom for redefining the word is to obfuscate the issue and deflect criticism. Take the issue at hand: Watts is contending that the phrase 'Son of God' should be interpreted figuratively while in almost all of Christian theology the phrase is interpreted literally (again the proper meaning of the word 'literally'.) Why confuse the topic by trying to redefine 'literally'. Just make your case that it is correct in this instance to interpret this phrase in a literal manner and that the figurative interpretation of Watts is not correct.
To the person who wrote the above statements:I want to challenge the integrity of these statements you made:"What I don't understand is why you (i.e. Christian apologists), would want to make this redefinition. The primary issue that rational people have with some apologists is that they DO INDEED interpret the Bible in a far too literal (using the proper meaning of the word) rather than in a figurative manner. The only purpose I can fathom for redefining the word is to obfuscate the issue and deflect criticism."It is true that taking an opportunity to redefine the word "literally" may, for those who may be offended by a biblical worldview, confuse the issue at hand. However, taking such an opportunity to make such a distinction, while wholly unnecessary and unwarranted, does serve to open the door to showing the error of Watts' interpretation of the Bible. The reason such re-definition is made is probably due to the fact that the scriptures are either refuted or misunderstood by many (I didn't say all, but many), such as Watts, and it is the job of any Christian-apologist to write or speak in defense of Christianity and the Bible.As far as obfuscating the issue, redefining the word "literally" does shed light on the subject at hand in the way that I just described above.Furthermore, I challenge the one who wrote the message above to look at how he is obfuscating the issue. Clearly, the issue at hand, at large, has nothing to do with redefining the word "literally." Taking such a stance is like a beggar in the desert receiving a cold glass of water from a stranger and then saying to the kind man, "You should've given me this refreshment in a glass that I am accustomed to rather than one such as you have given me." The issue you have raised is does not serve to promote any counter arguments dealing with the immediate issues. It merely serves to refute the manner in which the sound and well reasoned arguments were made.Lastly, I would like to challenge the manner of figurative interpretation to which Mr. Anonymous defends with his implications. It is true that the Bible should sometimes be interpreted in a figurative sense. Such an instance could be drawn from your statement above, "This is a lovely 'Through the Looking Glass' type of redefinition of the meaning of 'literal'." I do not imagine that you mean to say that the above apologist literally has a "Looking Glass" through which he is redefining the word "literally." Neither do I understand you to mean that his redefinition is "lovely," but rather ugly. Another instance could also be drawn from another statement you made, saying, "The only purpose I can fathom for redefining the word is to obfuscate the issue and deflect criticism." Again, I take you figuratively. I do not imagine you to mean that you cannot literally fathom any other purpose. I understand you to mean that are very upset and you mean to imply that the above apologist was so wrong in his argument of redefining the one word (do I need to say it again?- "literally") that it should be obvious.With all due respect, Mr. Anonymous, criticism was not being deflected. There are well reasoned arguments, written above, that deserve well reasoned responses made with respect. Even your responses warrant a respectful answer even though yours was made with malice. A true Christian is called to such. In the end, we Christians are not bound to such a bondage that would cause us to do damage to others for their opinions. It is pride that would make such a distinction as you have made and it is pride that we will finally escape. It is this, among other good things, to which Jesus calls us- true freedom. And it is this to which I invite you and anyone else reading this.Thanks for reading,Jon Dulin