BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN CRISIS: THE 1988 ERASMUS LECTURE

Every year the Institute on Religion and Public Life, publisher of First Things, sponsors the Erasmus Lecture in New York City. In 1988, that lecture was delivered by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

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Bultmann laid hold of this notion in a more general way and thus attributed to the so-called scientific worldview a kind of dogmatic character. Thus, for example, for him the nonhistoricity of the miracle stories was no question whatever anymore. The only thing one needed to do yet was to explain how these miracle stories came about. On one hand the introduction of the scientific worldview was indeterminate and not well thought out. On the other hand, it offered an absolute rule for distinguishing between what could have been and what had to be explained only by development. To this latter category belonged everything which is not met with in common daily experience. There could only have been what now is. For everything else, therefore, historical processes are invented, whose reconstruction became the particular challenge of exegesis.

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RLCC Comment: It may be difficult to jump into the current pope's point with just the portion of the paragraph given above. Really, what he is saying is pretty much what I've been saying too. Namely, science (as it is currently considered) is a closed system that can not explain or disprove miracles.

Real science is "knowledge." That's what it means. Did Jesus have knowledge that isn't available via what is called the scientific method — that is testing? Yes. Can that be proven via that same scientific method? No, not to the satisfaction of those who would remain atheists even as they are brought before, and stand before, God.

Link to source-webpage by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, obtained via: FIRST THINGS: On the Square, April 17, 2008, 4:24am

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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