You know how youtube is. If you watch one thing then forever afterwards it suggests watching more of the same.
So here I am watching Andy Stanly’s “The Bible for Grown-Ups.” Of course, I liked the title. I often feel that people can be a bit childish in the way they approach the Bible. But what I liked even more, was 5 and half minutes into it when he says, most people don’t get a respect for the Bible from reading it. In fact, he says most don’t read the Bible. They just know what people have told them it says.
Indeed, it my experience that after being told what it says for years, Christians are no longer capable seeing anything in the Bible except what they have already been told. This is their filter, just as I have been quite frank in saying that science is my filter. So when I read that first story in Genesis, then of course it isn’t literal when it talks about making Adam out of dust or Eve out of bone. At least, not unless I am going to read this as a science fiction or fantasy novel. Likewise when I read of magical fruit and talking animals, I have a choice whether to read this as fictional or read it as allegorical. It is the first of these options which assumes Adam and Eve were never actual people but rather some kind of metaphor.
I have never read a science fiction or fantasy book that didn’t have some truth to impart to us by the story it tells. Just today I was contemplating the idea that one of the principle lessons of a great many of these SFF stories is how love is the one moral motivation for creating life. In fact, I often refer to this truth as “the Frankenstein syndrome,” and you can see a similar message in a lot of science fiction (e.g. the movie/book Blade Runner).
So it is only when I try to read the story in Genesis as historical, that I have to treat symbolically the talk of making Adam and Eve out of dust and bone, or the talk of fruits imparting knowledge and eternal life, or of talking animals. Though you can certainly say that is part of my filter. So it is not my suggestion that those who are raised Christian by reading the Bible through the filter of what they have been told, they therefore have it wrong. It is rather that there is no such thing a reading the Bible without some filter of preconceptions of some kind. There is simply no such thing as the Bible interpreting itself.