OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
“I have already noted that I can accept that I have a paradigm that affects my perspective. You also have a paradigm that affects your perspective. But somehow, from within your paradigm you can read what I write and make a determination as to my philosophical paradigm; you can read what Andrew writes and make a determination as to his philosophical paradigm; you can read what James K. A. Smith writes and make a determination as to his philosophical paradigm; etc. Are you suggesting that when you read John, Luke, Paul, Moses, etc. you lose your inductive reasoning ability and can’t draw any conclusions as to whether they have a view consistent with what is today called realism or non-realism?”
I can make determinations about contemporary writers because I have been trained to make those determinations—I make a living as a teacher and some of the classes that I have taken and that I teach deal with the philosophy of knowledge. I know the history of the philosophy of knowledge, especially modern construels.
I am not an ancient Jew or Palestinian. I don’t read or speak Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic. I don’t know much about the culture and history of the time. Basically, I have no warrant to make any claims about the ancient people, their history or their culture or their paradigms of thinking.
I am a person in late modern America reading the Bible from late modern America. I can understand things from here, not from the ancient Middle East.
So I don’t loose my inductive ability to read the text. But induction does not give me a warrant to talk about what ancient Jewish mindsets were. Induction enables me to read the text closely from my current vantage—that’s all.
It takes years of training in ancient history, culture and languages to say anything worthwhile about what people believed then. I don’t have that training. Do you? If not, what makes you think that you can say anything worthwhile about the ancient Middle East or what people believed then? Without that training, I don’t see how it is intellectually honest for you to claim that you can pronounce anything worthwhile about the ancient writers.
Here is one way to see the difference between me and you:
I am here in late modern America reading the words of the Bible and trying to understand how to live the new creation now in late modern America.
You are here in late modern America reading the words of the Bible and trying to understand what ancient Middle Eastern people really believed.
We have two different endeavors.