big man in sky
One of the major problems is that atheist cant' understand what bible scholars do (of course that's a generalization because many of them do understand). There are those who even go so far as to think metaphors are lies, so that the view of God in the OT must be either literal or it's a lie.
One of the great geniuses of the atheist world is a guy named "Deist" who posts on carm:
You choose to ignore most all of the OT by calling them allegorical. That you choose to call more of the OT allegorical than most other Christians doesn't make you right. By saying something is allegorical, it's an admission it's made up. Now, I know all of the bible is made up, and you think most of it is. A REAL Christian can't pick and choose. Either ALL of the bible is the word of god, or none of it is.
He was speaking to me becuase I tell him God is not a big man in the sky. He points to the images of God in the OT, of cousre he's taking them selectvely becuase the ones that depict Giod as a mother bear and flame of fire a stome, draknes. light, he ignores. Only the one's hes a big man on a throne meaning anything to him. Of cousre they have to be taken litterally or God is a lie. This is really the height of stupidity.
I actually didn't say it was allegorical. I said metaphorical. There's a difference. The allegorical (or figurative, symbolic) understanding of scripture is much older the fundamentalist literalism. Fundamentalism only goes back to the 19h century. The Apostles Paul and the Church fathers interpreted the OT through allegory and symbols.
web defintion of metahppor:
Richard Nordquist, About.com Guide
A metaphor, as defined in our glossary, is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something important in common. The word metaphor itself is a metaphor, coming from a Greek word meaning to "transfer" or "carry across." Metaphors "carry" meaning from one word, image, or idea to another.Nordquist tells us:
Some people think of metaphors as nothing more than the sweet stuff of songs and poems--Love is a jewel, or a rose, or a butterfly. But in fact all of us speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided: metaphors are built right into our language.The history of the fundamentalist movement is disclosed by Got Questions Blog which decribesitsel as " is a volunteer ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, Scripture, salvation, and other spiritual topics. We are Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational."
Here we'll take a look at some of the different kinds of metaphors, with examples drawn from advertisements, poems, essays, songs, and TV programs...says, "I'm a night owl, Wilson's an early bird. We're different species," he's speaking metaphorically. When Dr. Cuddy replies, "Then move him into his own cage," she's extending House's bird metaphor--which he caps off with the remark, "Who'll clean the droppings from mine?"
Calling a person a "night owl" or an "early bird" is an example of a common (or conventional) metaphor--one that most native speakers will readily understand. Let's look at some of the different ways a single conventional metaphor can be used.
Conventional MetaphorsSome metaphors are so common that we may not even notice that they are metaphors. Take the familiar metaphor of life as a journey, for example. We find it in advertising slogans:
- "Life is a journey, travel it well."
"Life is a journey. Enjoy the Ride."
The Fundamentalist movement had its roots at Princeton Theological Seminary by graduates from that institution. The word was first used in association with religion when two wealthy church laymen commissioned ninety-seven conservative church leaders from all over the western world to write 12 volumes on the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They then published these writings and distributed over 300,000 copies free of charge to ministers and others involved in church leadership. The books were entitled The Fundamentals, and they are still in print today in a two-volume set.That goes along with what I've read in the Models of Revelation book by Avery Dulles and in Tensions in Contemporary Theology by Gundry.According to Michel Boling:
Fundamentalism was formalized in the late 19th century and early 20th century by conservative Christians—John Nelson Darby, Dwight L. Moody, B. B. Warfield, Billy Sunday, and others—who were concerned that moral values throughout the world were being eroded by Modernism—a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings (rather than God) to create, improve, and reshape their environment with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation. Modernism was not only infesting the culture at large, but was gaining ground in government and religion. In addition, religion was being affected by the German higher criticism movement.
...inerrancy drove fundamentalist doctrine in a number of key areas as well as the fundamentalist response to modernism, liberalism, evolution, and later efforts at separatism.It's really the height of stupidity for Deist to think that being metaphorical is synonymous with falsehood. This just shows that the Dawkie kind of atheist is a wounded fundamentalist the only understanding of Christianity they have is that of the fundie. Atheism in this regard is just anti-fundamentalism. They can't accept liberal theology because they are into some kind wired black hole where they can't accept the answers of fundamentalism but they can't get over the fundie hatred of liberals.
Biblical stalwarts such as the Princeton theologians stood against the growing tide of higher criticism and theological liberalism that seemed to be crashing from Europe against the shores of the American theological establishment. As numerous denominations and religious institutions succumbed to the influence of modernism and liberalism, it was conservative scholars such as A. A. Hodge, C. I. Scofield and institutions such as the Princeton Theological Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute who, at least for a time, tried to stem the tide of attacks against the inerrancy of scripture. Scholars such as J. Gresham Machen “who only reluctantly bore the name of fundamentalist,” “fully supported the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.”
A belief in inerrancy by most fundamentalists greatly contributed to the development of various doctrines of the movement in an effort to demonstrate the trustworthiness of scripture. Additionally, this belief provided a means by which to engage the influence and spread of Darwinian evolution and it continues to this day to be a foundational element for interpreting scripture. Fundamentalism and fundamentalist doctrine has centered largely on the issue of inerrancy and the response to those who seek to denigrate scripture by questioning inerrancy as a necessary and prominent issue of the faith. This paper will focus on the development of inerrancy as a fundamental doctrine of the fundamentalist movement, strategically important documents and events which helped shape inerrancy as a vital issue in the fundamentalist perspective, as well as modern trends in the fundamentalist approach to inerrancy