OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
“I am curious, does this mean that if I interpret the resurrection story to be symbolic and you interpret it to be real, that we are both correct? Doesn’t make sense to me because either the resurrection is real or it isn’t. If I believe it to be real, and it didn’t happen then my faith is misplaced. But if I believe it to be symbolic and it did happen, then I have missed a very important part of God’s revelation of Himself to us.”
I would say, no. If I interpret the resurrection story to be symbolic and you interpret it to be real, neither of us must be correct. It seems to me that we just have two different interpretations. Like art and art critics, however, not all are seen as equal—some interpretations are more acceptable than others. What is most important is that you live out your faithful commitments to Christ—regardless.
“Or what if I saw homeless man who looks hungry. If I interpret that to mean that he is on a self-imposed diet and you determine that he needs help, are we both correct? It seems to me that he is either on a self-imposed diet or he is hungry because he cannot help himself. Does my perception of his reality change his reality?”
Maybe you should just ask if he is hungry and then show him how to fish. Or you could just give him money or food. Or you could interpret his pleas for food as a result of his laziness and tell him to go get a job—a welfare queen or king, as Republicans in the USA like to say. Or you could just ignore him because you interpret him to be too insignificant to bother with—a common response I see here in Washington DC. Or…. There are many ways to interpret a homeless man who looks hungry. Some interpretations draw from the Bible and some do not. Some interpretations are more helpful (or useful) than others. You, as a committed follower of Jesus, should respond accordingly. Yes, your perception of his reality (do you see him as a welfare king? or do you see him as the least of these?) makes a concrete difference in his life.