Pascal's Pensées: Week 35, Reading the Bible from the Middle


Two errors: 1. to take everything literally, 2. to take everything spiritually.


Pascal is talking about the Bible here, and in a very short sentence unpacks a whole lot of the problems we find among readers of Scripture. To the one side are the fundamentalists and evangelicals who read the Bible too literally. And to the other side are the progressives and mainline denominations who demythologize and wholly spiritualize the Bible. 

In many ways, my book Reviving Old Scratch, a very unique book on this subject, was an exercise in trying to keep to this balance when we talk about the devil. To be sure, depending upon where readers stood on the literal/spiritual continuum, readers felt I was either too literal about the devil in that book or too spiritual. 

Which I took as a good sign that I was in the middle of something. 

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