Frequent commenter here, "Marshall Art" said recently, at another blog, that people like me are mistaken in how we portray Marshall (et al). He said....
I am "speaking for God" by restating the exact words that appear in Scripture, as if I made it up myself and merely claimed it is what God says, means or thinks. There's simply no need to do so when Scripture states things so clearly.
Nor is it "opinion" when having re-typed the words of Scripture, or even copy/pasted it from an on-line site that presents multiple Biblical version (KJV, NIV, ESV, etc.)
Now I'm told I am "assigning meaning" to words whose meanings are well known and easily verified by a look at any dictionary.
Just a few very simple clarifying questions, Marshall.
I. First of all, in spite of our disagreements, I am assuming the best of you, that you are a good and decent man, trying to do the right thing. I am assuming that you would not intentionally misrepresent those who disagree with you.
Am I correct in my assumptions about your good will and honorable intent?
II. Proceeding on, then, I would posit that you do not believe what you just said. I would posit that you, like me, would agree that we need to and do interpret Scripture all the time. It's what reading is, for rational adults.
So, for instance, no one is disputing that Genesis 1 says "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." and all the rest of the text that sits in the book of Genesis in its various translations. The text says literally what it says. That's just a fact.
Do you recognize that we all agree with that fact?
III. From that point, then, we all use our reason - taking into consideration the source, the text and context, the apparent writing style, the time period, etc - to sort out, for instance, the genre involved. You (or others, if not you) look at the text and reason out that "this literal text that sits there waiting to be read is written in a style that is a literal history.
Others, also using their reason and taking into consideration all the same things, reach the conclusion, "this is NOT a literal history... it reads more like a mythic or figurative genre, given what we know of the text and given the data at hand..."
That is simply another observable fact: That both/all "sides" look at the text and use our reason to decide on the figurative or literal nature of the text, on the genre, on the meaning - if any - of the text involved.
Do you recognize that we all use our reason to sort out those sorts of conclusions?
IV. When you say, "I am "speaking for God" by restating the exact words that appear in Scripture, as if I made it up myself " do you recognize that we are, as a point of fact, NOT saying that when you quote Genesis 1 or any other passage, that we are claiming by that quote in and of itself, that you are speaking for God?
No, we do not say that when you say, "Genesis 1 says.. X" That is a demonstrable fact. Why would we? Clearly the text says what it says. No, we say that when you go from what the text literally says to what the text means. Thus, when you say Gen 1 says what it says and then proceed to say, "Therefore, it is a literal history..." THAT is when we say you are presuming to speak for God?
I know you've been busy lately, but hopefully, you'll find the time to answer these questions so that we can clarify your mistaken impression.