Henry F. Lazenby's The Ethical Use Of The Bible

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Henry F. Lazenby’s, “The Mythical Use of the Bible by Evangelicals,” examines both mythology and de-mythology as used by evangelicals and nonevangelicals in their interpretation of the bible. He discusses how the use of myth provides empirical and non-empirical validity of the Bible. Significant is how God’s actions in the empirical are juxtaposed against man’s non-empirical reality. He reflects on the differing perceptions and points of view with regards to the human reality in the physical world and the elements in God’s sacred world. He suggests these differences call for a demythologizing within some stories found in the Bible. Furthermore, Lazenby asks what is the validity in reading the Bible as an inspired or inerrant text? Stating…show more content…
He argues myth takes place in the individual’s own reading and interpretation of the passage. Myth’s value lies within the conveyance of how to experience God and His actions within a sacred and empirical dimension. Myth is a synonym for the real while not being verifiable. Furthermore, individual ideas, needs, and experiences are not needed in order to validate the empirical. Myth’s appropriation is used as a guide for sacred space. Evangelicals’ personal experiences perceive and confirm this use by the social acceptability of the “spiritual” or “Spiritualizing” as nonempirical. Both evangelicals and nonevangelicals present valid arguments containing well grounded evidence. Boundaries move during the comparison of mankind’s and God’s world affecting truth. However, rationale defines both the possible and probable. Circumstantially, what is valid for one is not necessarily valid for the other. Therefore, nonevangelicals’ interpretations will not be in the same…show more content…
He questions how the empirical validity influences the spiritual myth. The reader of the “Paul statement” can infer not only Paul’s perceptions, but also their own regarding the passages while overlooking the historicity of the Pauline statement. Similarly Paul’s experiences within the context of the reading provide validity for while influencing the reader’s own experience. This mythologizing of the text allows a bridge between the original message and what is relevant to the reader within the empiricism of the text. Watchmen Nee’s analysis of how the figure of speech use is analogous of the empirical within the texts of Galatians 2.20 and Romans 6 appears accurate. Furthermore, Lazenby’s discussion points to how mythical interpretation allows for the mystical elements to enter into the religious and sacred experience while presenting a rational basis of the empirical
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