@ken: Kimean hermeneutics? Long of tooth, I’m such an ancient …

Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by Wesley Kime.

@ken: Kimean hermeneutics?

Long of tooth, I’m such an ancient Adventist I can remember when we did bible study, not hermeneutics. Back in that big evangelistic baptismal tent that I recalled for you from 73 years ago, that you always remind me of, sawdust and all, there was considerable about Daniel 2, nothing whatsoNEVERever about hermeneutics. Nor do I recall the word from the course in upper division Pauline Epistles that I took at, of all places (as I like to say), LSU nee LSC (C for College) from Edward Heppenstall, PhD, the most academically advanced theologian in our then un-inflated tent. He ventured into exegesis but not, at least in public, hermeneutics. And advanced to our seminary. (He did propose, I recall, some new flavors, not new recipes, for our beloved staple, “justification by faith through grace”.)

Of all the Pauline epistles, Romans is one of the most challenging books both to heart and mind ever written, and it wasn’t as though Dr. Heppenstall didn’t play its esotericism for all it is worth. On the first day of every new course, in the first ten minutes, he would grin his electric grin and inform us premedical students that, our SATs notwithstanding, mere materially-oriented premeds could never comprehend it. Only the spiritually ordained could, which, in retrospect, now that I’ve learned the word, would seem to bar the hermeneutically-disoriented. Hermeneutics is many award-winning things but one thing it is not, is spiritual. Rarefied, yes; spiritual, no. Alas for hermeneutically sealed Romans.

Heroic hermeneutics came upon us along with apoacademic eonic evolution. Recent radioactive decay data suggest that hermeneutics crawled out of the swamp along with other fishy karyopoetics when LSC (which I attended) became LSU (of which I’m considered an alumnus, qualifying me for the full dose of promotional newsletters, featuring gecko-fondling biologists). That our re-metamorphosed (horrors! not born-again) transcendentally post-grad hermeneutic Postadventist adventurers find mere bible study, even exegesis, and doctrines accruing therefrom, sorely embarrassing, is embarrassing and disheartening to me. Hermeneutics is one of those buttons on my keyboard that shouldn’t be punched lest all my old bells ring and I light up and go tilt.

It’s not that I am not equipped, despite my pre-medicalness, perhaps because of it, to hermeneutic haranguesmanship, as I once so loved, generating quite a stack of Kimean hermeneutics, but I’ve been disqualified. It’s not that age has mellowed me. Becoming rather spiritually oriented has. Alas for Kimean hermeneutics.

But never you mind all that, my friend. Actually, I have been waiting for a chance to spring-unload on (harangue) hermeneutics, but not in response to any progressive paen to it, of which there have been plenty hereabouts. (Pannings, not paens, and all the puns in the world, are its just deserts.) However unwittingly, totally unwittingly and unexpectedly, you gave me the right cue. Seriously, Ken, it was so sweet of you, what you said. Your heart, and hermeneutics, are in the right places. On you that hermeneutic hat, cocked just so, looks becoming.

Your ahermeneutic friend, W

PS: Meet some day, somewhere, we must, and shall.

Wesley Kime Also Commented

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
@Ken: I”’ve been contemplating on your various positions regarding … very complicated stuff. …How does the treatment of the good Samaritan and the good thief on the cross factor into your theology on this…?”

As an old man who believes more strongly in it each day (and I am great of days), and, to my surprise, seems to be understanding it a bit more each day, I’ll not join the disputation that took over the Reformation long ago and this thread recently, certainly not adjudge it, but rather come and join you, and the onlooking universe, in the grandstand. I’m two rows in front of you, 20 seats to your right. Hi!

Ho boy! — would I EVER have joined in when younger – instantly, loquaciously, prolixly, ferociously, deafeningly, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Strange – surprises me – but the more I pray and read Christ Himself and Paul himself and EGW herself, not selected quotes, and the more I understand it, and the more at peace with it I am, the less urge I have either to deny, doubt, or disdain any of it, or to harangue it. And the more urge to proclaim it, increasingly frustrated by the decreasing urge to harangue it. Standing aside to avoid the blows and dislikes, but still likely to become collateral damage from friendly fire, I think our discussions of such things do sort of, kind of begin to sound rather like (see how timid I am in saying this, in my old age) a medieval joust between scholastics. It’s gentle of you to call it “complex”.

By the same token, I personally feel no urge to discuss cases, especially those of the good Samaritan or the good thief on his cross. The more I think I know of the mechanism, the less I know how it applies to individuals, certainly good me and good thee. Too complex. Good word there. I believe that’s best left to God, as Christ Himself admonished in the case of Peter’s asking Him how the case of Good John would be handled: What’s that to you? (John 21:22; I like to paraphrase it.) Hmmm, not having a God to leave it to, a good agnostic would have all the greater urge to go case crazy, I suppose.

Your good ahermenutic friend, W

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
@Ron: Pardon me for being just one of those legalists preoccupied by purity rites, but shouldn’t this clarification of truest agnosticism be over in the “Christian Agnostic” thread?

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
@Ken: amen

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Hats off yet again to Sean for pursuing this topic as a scientist should, no nonsense, and in it’s proper setting — as a revival of one of the ancient ideas recently upgraded as a desperate alternative to the increasingly compelling intelligent design data. I had occasion to review panspermia a few years ago and as is my wont I found it more amusing than scientific. If you would like what was intended to be a satirical response to panspermia and other related curiosities you could check out: http://www.iessaythere.com/black-hole-humor.html
Meantime, Sean’s article is of far more cogent worth.

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As he has done on this site many times, Sean in his line-by-line-item response to C. White (not EG or EB) has, to my mind, clearly enunciated the issue and resolution.

When all the hermeneutics, quoting, and arguing and inordinately judgmental riposte are over, it comes down, as I understand it, to two things: 1) Whether the 7th day Sabbath (whether enunciated in the famous 10 commandments or otherwise) is still valid, and 2) Does the grace obtained by the vicarious sacrifice by the shedding of Christ’s blood or other divine process too deep for us to understand in this life, cover every sin automatically and without ado, altogether passively on our part, or is it only on condition that we first totally and deeply accept it? Other details always hassled forever are distractions.

I accept that I must accept it, wholly, actively, even with agony, with my whole being.