I teach my children that much I believe of scripture is literal and much is figurative / allegorical / mythological - and that each and every one of us needs to figure out how we are going to make those distinctions - and that different distinctions are fine, as long as they are carefully considered and personally owned but open to alteration. I tell them that BOTH extremes (totally literal and totally figurative) are the easy way out - that it's trying to figure out an acceptable middle ground that is hard. I also tell them, however, that it's only in the difficult things in life that real growth occurs - and it's only in making those distinctions that PERSONAL revelation occurs.
Think about that a little more deeply:
In my opinion, NEITHER extreme involves personal revelation, since EITHER extreme merely is shutting down intellectually and defaulting to a no-conflict setting. I believe reality almost always lies somewhere in the middle of the "opposition in all things" - which is how I have come to see EVERY volume of scripture in our own canon AND most of the holy writings of other religions. That's why I believe "as far as it is translated correctly" applies just as much to each and every one of us as we "translate" what we read as it does to those who have translated our scriptures over time.
Finally, I think kids should read the scriptures even if only to understand how other people viewed their relationship with God. There is great power in that alone - especially if it motivates them to try to articulate their own view of that relationship for themselves.
Edith Russell: Associate Editor
2 hours ago