Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mother of All Learning

So I am working on the Genesis Study that we are using for Sunday Morning Bible Study, and I have come to the part where Isaac, like his father before him, tells Abimelech that his wife is his sister. Now, many of the higher critics will talk at length about how clearly this is not really part of the bible, basically a giant typo where stories get confused because things like this don't happen over and over.

This has given me a few thoughts. First, the assumption that things like this don't happen again and again is stupid. How often do we see today sons repeating their father's mistakes? Hmmm. . . maybe that is part of the point of having this story included in Scripture.

But more than that here - consider the old phrase, "Repetition is the Mother of All Learning". There is an understanding that learning involves being told something over and over again - that a teacher needs to impress upon a student the same point a few times. But note that the Higher Critics are dubious whenever there is a point of repetition.

This means that they really don't understand learning, nor are they interested in learning. Is there a desire to receive the wisdom from those who went before us, or is the modern academic desire to come out with something new and novel? Is the assumption that there is something that I should hear again and again and learn from, or is the assumption that I am the master who discovers new truths that everyone before hand was too stupid to notice?

A higher-critical approach to the Scriptures despises the very fundamentals of what it means to learn - to have things from an expert repeated and impressed upon you. But that is not the goal of liberal thought - rather it is to show one's own self to be the master.

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