Posted: Oct 10, 2010 1:58 am
by TimONeill
quas wrote:
TimONeill wrote:Of course, how non-literalist Christians like Origen, Augustine and your friend sort out which bits to take literally and which bits not to is another question. Perhaps you should ask your friend. I'm simply noting a fact of history - few Christians were plain literalists until quite recently and your idea that the Church Fathers were is incorrect.

I was hoping that you have enough knowledge of Christian history to answer that. Do you have the answer?

A snort answer? It varied. For centuries Christians took the bit about "this is my body .... this is my blood" literally. Then Luther came along and it was taken figuratively. A Catholic like William of Conches could take the bit about God creating Adam out of dust figuratively and no-one batted an eyelid. Now Creationists take it literally.

There was no set formula by which you could work out what was literal and what wasn't. Catholics had, and still have, the idea of "tradition" - ie what has been taken purely literally for a long time is to be taken literally. Protestants can interpret things however they feel moved to do so and tend to do just that, though they err on the side of literalism precisely because there is no set guide to this stuff.