Literal meaning is as spiritual as can be
Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. I read the
article in the Zenderature section of your website called "The Crime of
Spiritualizing Scripture," and I could, in turn, pull out my arsenal of
scriptures and teaching to disprove it to my satisfaction, but probably
never to yours, because once someone’s mind is made up on a certain
thing, that’s usually it.
I would like to make it clear that I am
one of those who dispense with scripture. To the contrary, I love the
Bible and the study of it. But I do not believe in literalizing
everything in it. And I do not believe that much intellectual
understanding necessarily equals spiritual understanding. (Just look at
all those seminary graduates who memorize entire chapters and have
doctorates, and are experts on church history and theology, and are
still promoting the church system.)
Sometimes God does use those things that are base, and the foolish
things as well, to confound the wise. I also do not believe that seeing
the spiritual meaning of something is misinterpreting "metaphors,"
etc. I have many writings by men that I consider to be true scholars of
God’s Word, who love His Word and revere it, that could refute much of
your opinion on this, all based on scripture. That’s the thing about
scriptures and doctrine—everyone can prove their own, all with
scripture, and we all think we’re right!
It’s a matter of having a mind and heart open to receive truth, even
when it goes against your intellectualizing and rationalizing of things,
that is, having made it all "make sense." I’ve had my mind changed more
than once, even about things I had been taught all my life, and
sometimes it hurts and it can be difficult to let go of erroneous
beliefs taught by well-meaning men and women of God. But forgetting
those things which are behind, I press on toward the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I do believe in many of the things of the Bible having both literal and
spiritual fulfillments, and I can’t do away with all the literal, as you
shouldn’t do away with all the spiritual. I know, however, that there
are dimensions in God’s word, just as there were three dimensions in the
Tabernacle of Moses, three dimensions of God Himself, and three
dimensions of man: body, soul and spirit. You can stop at any dimension
and refuse to go further. You can stop at 30, 60 or 100-fold. I
prefer to remain open to hear what the Spirit says - "to those who have
ears to hear." I pray always for those ears to hear, and a heart
to understand and receive truth, whatever the cost to me personally in
the way of having to change or let go of things. And of course, it all
has to agree and match up with God’s word—that’s the plumb line with
which it is all measured.
Anyway, suffice it to say that we are in different camps on this issue -
thanks for your kind communication. And remember, "The
Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU!"
Blessings to you.
No problem agreeing to disagree. I used to read lots of J. Preston
Eby, Paul Mueller, George Hawtin, and Ray Prinzing, and that whole
"spiritualization" group. I did not realize until reading Concordant
Publishing literature how "touchy-feely" these "spiritualization"
preachers were, and, really, how un-intellectual. I learned from Ray
Prinzing that "natural" was bad; this was due to Ray using the King
James Version and buying into their mistranslation of the Greek
adjective psuchikon. I finally got the right reading in the CLNT,
that it was not the natural man who was not receiving the things of God,
but the soulish man. It always amazed me that Prinzing and Eby, et. al.,
continued to use the King James Version. For all the good they did (I
learned a lot from Ray Prinzing), they occasionally went astray with the
I’m afraid that I have moved so far away from "touchy-feely" leftover
that I cannot go back. My faith now is founded on scriptural fact, not
Everybody has a different allegory, but there is only one fact, upon
which the spirit moves as it will. I see some of Ray Prinzing’s writings
now, and they sound just like his writings of twenty years ago. I don’t
know if this is true with Eby, but I suspect so.
J. Preston Eby’s problem is that he bases so much of his teaching on
a bad version of scripture. I say: Let’s all find out what God has said,
then discuss it. Let’s not try to discuss it until we know what God has
said. The problem with Eby and Prinzing is that
they didn’t work hard enough, scholarship-wise, to find out what exactly
God said. It is much easier to soliloquize over what one thinks
God has said.
One of the best studies I ever did was on figures of speech. When you
get your Concordant Literal New Testament, go to Appendix A on page 349.
Here you will learn a lesson on figures of speech. What a valuable
lesson it is!
Of note: the opposite of "literal" is "figurative," not "spiritual;"
literal can be spiritual as heck, and often is. This is my main
contention with "spiritualizers:" they don’t think literal is spiritual.
I wish you well.
The Kingdom of the Heavens is within you—and it will also be in