Friday, September 30, 2005

#200 - Bibles for Classrooms?

Not quite. Apparently there are those who wish to be able to teach high school kids about the Bible to help them achieve a better understanding of their cultural heritage and the development of their language, among other things. Read the whole article to get a better synopsis. (H/T: Joanne Jacobs)

Color me neutral.

First of all, "Bible as Literature" classes are nothing new. Even in some high schools, some English departments have found a way to introduce the Bible as just another literary work; albeit one with a powerful history and tremendous influence on the lives of millions of people throughout the world. To that end, it's a good thing that students receive at least a working knowledge of the Good Book even if they don't receive much by way of doctrinal understanding.

My problem with this scenario is that this is not what the scriptures were meant for. As a Latter-day Saint, I'm well acquainted with what happens when people take an "academic" approach to sacred writings. The academic approach requires at least an outward showing of some sort of "objectivity." Objectivity by its very nature requires an emotional detachment from the subject, and that is the antithesis of what these scriptures represent.

Even in reviewing the writings of another religion, I could never do it with any objectivity, feigned or otherwise. I am a spiritual creature, and everything I read that deals with that side of me is subject to my spiritual reactions. If, for example, I decided suddenly to take up a study of the Q'uran, I would have to do so on the basis of my own faith. This instantly colors what I read, even when reading directly from the source. This is why you will find two extremes when reading books written about LDS scriptures such as The Book of Mormon. Either the writer wholeheartedly supports the book and its teachings, or will foam at the mouth to explain why even reading the book will lead you directly to hell, or the IRS, whichever is worse. Such reviews are meant to provoke some sort of spiritual response, whether pro or con.

Come to think of it, I don't believe I could ever study the Bible as merely an interesting source of literature. I could study the literary devices of the work, but always there would be that spiritual curiosity.

So, call it what you will. Any study of the Bible as literature at any level just doesn't do anything for me. If it helps convert some soul who finds the doctrine helpful in his or her life, that certainly would count as something of worth.

Better yet, go to church. There we teach scripture as a means to an end. Of sorts.


In attempting to post this, gives the following fascinating message:
Blogger is temporarily unavailable due to planned maintenance.
This downtime will last 1 hour from 4:30pm - 5:30pm (PST).

Um... it's only 1:00pm PST by my clock. Does that mean they're early, or does it mean that Blogger will be completely unavailable (a la 404 error unavailable) between 4:30 and 5:30 this afternoon? Is this my three and a half hour warning? That's generous, especially by IT standards! Funnier still, it's now only 1:05pm PST and Blogger just let me log in. Does this mean they were not only early but ended ahead of schedule? Or is the Apocolypse just around the corner?

Questions... questions...

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