Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 186 (Metaphors)

We had to read some of Sallie McFague's writing for Theology today. It was about how language is basically a metaphor for reality, which is really cool, 'cuz it's an idea that I've played around with for a while now. It was cool reading a theologian's point of view on it. Basically, words are just sounds that we have come to associate with certain objects and ideas. Think about it. Say the word "chair" a couple dozen times, and it just starts to sound weird. Beyond that, we associate things with other things. Water isn't just water, it means life, refreshment, crops, the ocean, ice and even death by drowning.

Because humans understand things as metaphors, the Bible is full of them. That's what parables are. She went on to say that Jesus himself is a metaphor for God. That gave me pause for a while and I had to stop and and just think for a while. I think I like that idea. But, she continued by saying that because not everyone can relate to Jesus, there must be other metaphors for God. I'm assuming she meant other persons. This point I had to disagree on because she offered no logical train of thought as to why there must be other metaphors. It basically seemed like she really wanted there to be other metaphors, so there must indeed be others. I would like to see if she actually does offer some kind of coherent argument for the existence of these other metaphors, because I would like to see how she proposes it.

In other news, I watched Blazing Saddles for the first time today. Laughed my ass off and even snorted once really, really loud.


  1. In paintings, I think the beams of sun light breaking through clouds is used as a metaphor for God...but biblically, I'd couldn't come up with one...Angels or maybe Moses coming down from mount with the 10 commandments and being affronted by everyone's behavior...dunno.

  2. Your snort wasn't that loud, you don't have to be self conscious about it :)

  3. Carly: She meant more along the lines of other people being metaphors for God, possibly like Mohammed or Buddha, but I don't really agree with her on that.

    Ryan: It was pretty loud.

  4. blazing saddles gets snorts out of the best of us... it's a wonderful movie :)