By Humphrey Palmer (auth.)
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Extra resources for Analogy: A Study of Qualification and Argument in Theology
Vhat Elephants Aren't Is everything that is said about God said in theologians' code? Or are some basic and simple things sayable' in clear'? If so, can enough be made out to show us where to find the key? - or at least, to confirm that believers are not just gabbling when they go on in their code? 2 A great many things may be literally denied of the divine. God, we may say with some assurance, is not a thing, nor a fish or a bird or a beast, nor even like a man. He has no address where we could visit him.
What is not quantified cannot be proportional. e. mathematically, then how are we to take it? Can we not explain in other and proper terms the point that this mathematical comparison was supposed to illustrate? An analogy that leads only to denials looks a bit too theological! 17 It is sometimes possible to say how things are in a quite general way without claiming to know in any detail how they will be in particular. And such a statement can have its uses for those whose 42 THE THEOR Y IN OUTLINE interest is theoretical.
It was the total effect that varied, as it will in any audience. One man accepted his urgings and saw the whole world, and himself, in a novel light. The next man had heard it all before. A third thought the argument was bad. A fourth was finding the seat a bit hard and wondering how long it was to lunch ... But this variation in effect was not due to the varying meaning or acceptation of the preacher's terms. 15 With the poet and the visionary it is the words themselves that sometimes seem to undergo a change.