I am reading “Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation” by Thomas Howe. I am basking in my profound ignorance. You can thank my friend for this, thanks to his dying this week, leaving me without that “social” smile that he gave all of us as a start to our day! Well, what better way to express and memorialize the moment than a philosophical look at why our Bible has to be interpreted and reinterpreted and re-reinterpreted, and—now, in a postmodern “woke” world—relegated to a mythological antiquity!
It seems an appropriate quest since I am very much in the mood. You see, wokeness offers a confusing look at the concept of “victimization.” We simply don’t like being blamed for Jesus’ death? Or maybe, we don’t like being called “sinners” because we act and think differently from the preacher calling us that? Feminists argue that Jesus on the Cross as their substitute is offensive. The power to elicit guilt from them puts them in His debt.
‘In his chapter titled “Why be Objective?” Paul Helm describes two senses of ‘objective.’ The first is what Helm calls “ontological” objectivity. This is basically the question of whether the extra-mental reality exists apart from human perception or is the construct of the human mind. As Helm puts it, “Does the character of the world change with the very fact that we are interpreting it?” “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere” Albert Einstein cautioned. Can science be purely objective since we are studying ourselves! How can morals be standardized if each of us personally has a voice in making that standard!
The second sense is the “epistemic objectivity” or “objective knowledge,” which, in Helm’s words, “eschews bias, reliance on one-sided information, and the like.”’
“And the like!” “And the like!” Is this ejusdem generis? Is this as Paul once wrote about sinfulness, and as our pastor loves to say about many things “and those kind of things?!” [Ephesians 5:27].
The problem here is that the Biblical concept of knowledge is only based on LIFE itself! You have to get your hands greasy if you really want to learn auto mechanics! There is no biblical word for “academics.” The Bible message was meant to be experienced!
Anyway, there is only one instructor according to the Bible, The Spirit of God, John 16:8 And His task is not to show us under the hood—so to speak—not to give us the reasons behind the reasons that somehow make “logical” sense to everything. His task? …to get us to believe! He came to convict a sinful world because (read it for yourself in John 16:9) “because people do not belief in me,” Jesus informed. What other objective reason might there be for our Bible?