Here’s another piece of recommended reading. It’s the sort of article I wish I had thought to write. So thanks to Gavin Rumney of Otagosh for
He addresses the Christian tendency to read into God’s curse on the serpent in the Garden of Eden a prophecy of Jesus Christ one day coming to destroy Satan through his own death (symbolized by a snake-bite on the heel).
Gavin introduces the key term metanarrative into his discussion. That’s another useful expression I am sure to borrow for Vridar in future. So read Gavin’s post so you’ll be prepared. But since you’re here now here’s a preview (but you have to promise to read Gavin’s article, too) and some additional thoughts of my own:
Metanarrative: big word but simple concept. The idea is that there is a grand narrative, a saga, a big story that gives sense to the world, “an overarching story that defines your reality and who you are within it.” There are, according to the theorists, competing metanarratives, but the one we’re talking about is the story about sin, death, saviour and salvation (Eden, Satan, the Fall… all leading to Christ – birth, death, resurrection – and ultimately salvation from the sin that began back in the Garden.) Metanarrative is especially significant as a concept, according to Don Cupitt, in Reformed theology.
John Calvin in particular stuck so close to Augustine and was so Grand-Narrative-minded that preachers in his tradition (variously called Reformed, Calvinist, Presbyterian or puritan) long tended to maintain that the entire story, the Plan of Salvation, was implicit in every verse of Scripture…
That explains how it is each cult can lead its members to see the same lessons in the various scriptures that completely escape nonmembers. Many cults, I think, teach members that their reading is being guided by the Holy Spirit. It’s that Spirit that dwells only in their own church that reveals the meaning of the scriptures so clearly to them. Others cannot understand because they lack the Holy Spirit.
Garbage. All they lack is the right metanarrative through which to read the Bible. The JWs have one metanarrative, Mormons another, and so on, so members of each don’t have to be told how to interpret each and every verse in the Bible according to their church’s “Truths”. Once they have the “key” to understanding (i.e. that church’s metanarrative) it will all fall into place. A miracle! Proof that God has blessed them with His Truth — and them alone with his understanding!
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