Readers of this blog will by now be aware that in showing that there is no Trinity, in which I maintain the redundancy of the accretive (legendary-growth based) concept of the Holy Spirit (an appropriate title for the Lord, but not a Person separate or distinct from the One God), has an extraordinary effect on the idea of the source of the transcendent value of the biblical writings. In other words, the Proverbs are not transcendent because “the Holy Spirit wrote this,” but because these indicate the teachings of the light of nature in semantic and (poetic but) propositional form.
Nature’s lights teaches us in non-verbal ways, showing us, rather than telling us, of God’s wisdom. Is God linguistic? Yes. How do I know? Three words: D – N – A. How does one determine just what the content of nature’s light specifies? By observation, induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis and experimentation.
The book of Proverbs shows us by its content and form that these hail from observation, induction, deduction, comparative studies, analysis and synthesis. This makes the wisdom teachings of the Bible uniquely transcendent; and this may be true for many of the other parts of the Bible that specify truths taken from redemptive history or careful observation, or both. Jesus seems to have had the ability to draw keen insights from everyday (observable) matters — e.g. wine and wineskins, lilies and kings, birds and food — and often employed rabbinical reasoning forms (“a fortiori,” etc) to make a rational point about what we can know from the world about us.
This is the proper source for the understanding of transcendence that gives real import to the texts of what many take to be “holy Scripture.”
This has two important logical effects: it makes what many would call an observational-critical “scientific methodology” central to the work of real theology (utterly denying the separation of faith and science); it also distinguishes theoretical scientific methods from their more “Alexandrian” counterpart, preferring the empirical and observational to the more speculative and less well-grounded “sciences” that land one in quantum indeterminist land. That is, we favor Einstein against Bohr in the determinist-indeterminist debate.
In the world of theology, it means we cannot include in our book, probably called the Sayings of the Wise rather than “the Word of God,” those parts of the current Bible that indicate God speaking to prophets. Our account of transcendence indicates that people who obey the Lord experience the progressive loss of the noetic (mind-darkening) effect of sin and become especially enlightened people, whose writings and teaching much more accurately reflect the light of nature than those of others. But this status is not miraculous, but providential; and it is available to all or any who choose to obey the Lord. Its effect compound like interest does over time, so that those who pursue wisdom prayerfully and carefully will over time progressively seem more and more profoundly enabled. This is not the stuff of prophets, but merely of obedient and wise persons — sages, not prophets. The rabbi Jesus was a brilliant sage, not a prophet or miracle worker.
“The secret of the Lord is with the righteous…” “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find …”
This means that it is well worth while to study the NT teachings of Jesus (and his disciples), to find those that represent genuine logical articulations of the wisdom-literature’s paradigmatic frame of reference, since this frame cogently unpacks the semantic content of nature’s light more often than not. The one caveat here remains the needed restoring of the Book of Proverbs itself, and perhaps the early chapters of Genesis and those of the more universal Psalms.
Added to this study should be our ongoing study of the prelogical categories and conditions (often dubbed “transcendentals” in philosophy — see Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason) and their necessary implicates as a basis for comparing with the results of our more literary counterpart to this study. This enables us to check our homework. My own research so far indicates that a wisdom-oriented version of set theory would probably work best to begin this task — Spanish barbers not included, and by the way, has anyone seen ockham’s razor?