A tease is a con. You press a spot because you know that it can be pressed, and while the sucker is feeling the pleasure or the pain resulting from the pressure, you take something from him. ...A flirt doesn't do that. A flirt does a dance within the context of giving pleasure. Referring to this, referring to that. And suddenly, following the references, you find a little surprise. Nothing enormous. Nothing like 'Feed on me.' Nothing like that. Something small with a bow on it. It's a pleasure. A surprise, and a *gift*.
My claim is simply that the literary approach is one necessary way to read and interpret the Bible, an approach that has been unjustifiably neglected. Despite that neglect, the literary approach builds at every turn on what biblical scholars have done to recover the original, intended meaning of the biblical text.
The wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century. What happened? Did we suddenly find some biblical truth to which the saints for thousands of years were blind? Or were our biblical views of women gradually eroded by the modern feminist movement that has infiltrated the Church
Papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy are the two ecclesiastical versions of this human idolatry. Both papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy require widespread and unchallenged ignorance to sustain their claims to power. Both are doomed as viable alternatives for the long- range future of anyone.
Mysticism has often been misunderstood as the attempt to escape this simple, phenomenal world to a more pure existence in heaven beyond. This is not mysticism, but Gnosticism. Biblical mysticism is the attempt to exit 'this world' to an alternative reality that pervades the old order. Its goal is to jettison the mind-set that says 'greed is good,' selfishness is normal,' and 'killing is necessary.' Mysticism in biblical terms is not escapism, as so many have caricatured it, but a fight for ethics and social change.
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