October 29, 2009 on 11:05 pm
Same format - my material is indented and prefaced by “MSH”.
HERMANEUTICS: RAPE, ADULTERY AND BLINDNESS
MSH: It’s spelled “hermeneutics”.
Moving to the present, on Sunday, October 3rd, 2009, the History
Channel presented the James Fox program, “I Know What I Saw.” This
program is now available at the Strong Delusion Web Site. Astronaut
Gordon Cooper testified that a UFO landed at an Air Force Base where he
was stationed, it was filmed, he saw the film, it was sent by currier
to Washington. He knows our government has been lying to us about UFOs
from the beginning. The head of the French government sponsored UFO
study testified, with scientific hedging, that his group concluded that
some UFOs are extraterrestrials, and hesitantly recommended the United
States try telling the truth. For me, there is no question that UFOs
are real, although a reality that is beyond our science to understand.
MSH: Why is there no question, Barry? Upon what
empirical data is your belief based? Where’s the hard science? It isn’t
that science can’t “understand” that UFOs are ET in nature. It’s that
science cannot establish the idea as *real* because there is no hard
evidence for it! But okay — science can’t “understand” what it doesn’t
have evidence for. Some argument.
The James Fox program made it clear that the United States
government has been, and still is, covering up this reality from its
MSH: Really? Where’s the data? Suspicion is not hard
data, no matter how strong that suspicion may be in someone’s heart or
mind. Feelings aren’t facts. You’ve got the former, but none of the
Here is my question. Why is it that in all the writings I have seen
of Michael Heiser, or Guy Malone, or Gary Bates, they never condemn the
United States government for its UFO lies?
MSH: I have a better question, why is it that, in all
your research about me, you’ve never head the Q&A sessions where I
say things like that? Or the interviews? Nice work, Barry. But for
the record, if the government has information that it ought to make
public, they should pony up. If there is no real national security
threat (and I don’t beleive there is, but I’m not privy to that sort of
information), then it’s morally wrong to withhold it. I assume Barry
would allow that national security caveat as well. You’d have to be
loony to think that the government owes us all the information it has
on any given subject.
They condemn me for my unproven hermeneutical sins
MSH: Hardly “unproven” - show me a biblical scholar who
isn’t institutionalized who agrees with your view. Show me someone
familiar with elementary logic that agrees that your “it’s possible”
hermeneutic - hiding behind our lack of omniscience as it does — is
logically sound and coherent. Needing to prove your
hermeneutic is nutty is like needing to prove I won’t be the next
President, or the next American Idol. YOU are the one that has
something to prove, since YOU are the one making the claim. It doesn’t
work in reverse. If YOU make the claim, then YOU have the case to
make, not me.
but do not condemn our government for withholding evidence that is
extremely important for understanding what God is doing (or not doing,
if you buy the demonic argument), in our time.
MSH: Again, you haven’t listened much.
My suspicion is that my critics do not have faith in their own
stated convictions. I suspect they know that if the United States
released all its known information, their theories about UFOs would be
blown away by the truth. That is what I suspect.
MSH: I’ll add this suspicion to your other ones that you subsitute for empirical evidence.
It may be that my theories would be blown away by that truth also,
but I want to know. I want my government to stop lying about UFOs. The
government is violating my Constitutional right to explore the truth of
my Christian faith by its continued UFO lies. I cannot “freely”
exercise my religion when government UFO information is locked away in
the name of national security, and the History Channel film “I Know
What I Saw” documents our government cover-up policy in a very
convincing way, except to the doubting Thomas who will not believe
until a UFO lands in his back yard.
I have no doubts that UFOs exist, and that they are some kind of
intelligent reality from another world. But do these UFOs carry the
angels of God, is this the reality that gave us the biblical religion?
That is another issue, it is a hermeneutical issue. Do modern UFOs and
the Bible go together, or is this “mixing seed,” is this hermeneutical
adultery? This is not just my question, it is a question to every
person who claims to hold to the biblical tradition. We should be
seeking a collective answer, and in a sense I understand that is what
my critics, Heiser, Malone and Bates are trying to do, but they do not
believe I belong in the collection. I believe Christians should be
shouting for our government to release the UFO truth as they understand
it. This is one thing we could do collectively. Why don’t I hear this
demand from the church?
MSH: Maybe because you’ve been on the sidelines for
quite some time since your book. Show up at some conferences and ask
those questions (they’re good ones). That way, you’d have something
besides “suspicions” to talk about.
Those in the church who are trained in biblical theology ought to be
seeking the truth about UFOs, but when I have talked to those who are
in positions of seminary authority, or try to publish in main stream
religious publications, I am treated as if I were a spiritual leper.
MSH: This last paragraph shows how ill-prepared you are
to talk about me. Take a break from reading this. Now go to
www.google.com. Put in my last name to your search followed by these
keywords: Why Christians should care about ufology. You’ll find that
I’ve published an article on just the subject you say we (I) don’t talk
about. You have to do some homework.
What is the task of those doing biblical interpretation
(hermeneutics)? Jesus gave a very short definition of the hermeneutical
task of the trained professional: “Therefore every scribe who has been
trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out
of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Mt. 13:52)
No one “scribe” I have studied is sure exactly what Jesus means by
this. Welcome to hermeneutics. But the image suggests that the
religious life must be a blend of understanding what God has done in
the past, and what God is doing now. Study of Scripture deals with the
history of God. But we have to open our eyes to see what God is doing
in the present.
MSH: Did Jesus also recommend working with no data? I
really can’t believe that this has escaped you. For your hermeneutic to
be a viable option, the thing that steers it — the belief in the
reality of intelligent aliens who visited earth long ago — has to be
rooted in REALITY. Without hard evidence for it, it is not rooted in
REALITY. I could just as well adopt the belief that a long lost race of
bipedal squirrels came here from a distant planet and did all that
Bible stuff - my hermeneutic is just as groundless when it comes to
reality as yours is. What do I win for that?!
With this in mind, let us consider Jesus at work in the field of
hermeneutics. During the time of Jesus, the Pharisee Party believed in
the resurrection and eternal life, but the Sadducee Party did not. Some
Sadducees tested Jesus with a hypothetical situation in which a woman
married a man, he died, she married one of his brothers, he died, this
pattern continued for all seven brothers, and then the question: in the
resurrection, whose wife will she be? Jesus answered that when we die,
we become like the angels, we do not marry. “But that the dead are
raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he
calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of
Jacob. Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all
live to him.” (Lk. 20:37,38)
Jesus took something old, the story of the burning bush, well known
to all scribes, and put new light on it. If Michael Heiser had been
there, he might have been justified in charging Jesus with eisegesis.
MSH: No, Barry,I wouldn’t have. You see, Jesus is the
son of God, but you aren’t. He has the authority to say XYZ about a
passage. Are you claiming the same authority?> I wouldn’t pick on
Jesus’ hermeneutic because of his identity. Unless you have the same
set of attribtues as Jesus, it’s another lesson in “Downing illogic” -
apples and oranges, anyone?
If you did not accept the authority of Jesus, then you could say,
“Come on Jesus, you are just reading your resurrection beliefs into the
text. The text tells us God is alive, it says nothing directly about
whether Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive, or not.”
MSH: I accept Jesus’ authority — not yours. He wasn’t
making anything up. He *knew* what he was saying was true because he
had the advantage of divinity. You don’t (they don’t give real divinity
out with MDiv degrees, not even at Princeton).
But Heiser’s charge must be faced. It could be that I am “reading
UFOs into the Bible,” when such reading is not justified. My claim is
that as Jesus “saw” resurrection information in the Burning Bush text,
information that he brought to light, so I am saying that modern UFOs
are throwing light on biblical UFOs, and new light on biblical angels,
including the possibility that the biblical angels use technology. So
this is the debate: am I reading false interpretation into the text as
Heiser says, or have I discovered new information, in light of UFOs,
about the text?
MSH: Again, I’ll trust what Jesus saw because he’s Jesus - you’re not.
If eisegesis (or hermeneutical rape, if you prefer), is one sinful
way of dealing with Scripture, there is also a sinful way of dealing
with “something new in the household,” signs of God’s presence in our
times. That sin is to be deliberately blind to God’s signs. A comical
example of this is the story of Jesus healing a man born blind as
related in John chapter 9. Jesus spit into clay, anointed the blind
man’s eyes, and sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam. His healing
caused a huge uproar among religious leaders about how this could have
happened. The religious leaders were so unwilling to believe the
evidence in front of their own eyes that they put the healed man
through a grilling that exceeded what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke frequently goes through before the United States Senate.
If UFOs are carrying the angels of God right in front of the eyes of
millions (14% of Americans or about 40 million have seen a UFO
according to a 2007 Associated Press survey), and we in the church
continue to be blind to this reality, what will be our excuse in the
Day of Judgment? There are indeed false UFO stories, there are hoaxes,
there are those who claim to “channel” truth from some higher power. I
know the UFO field is full of weeds. But we need the hermeneutical
courage to do the hard work of the scribe, and sort through the UFO
story, keep the good fish, and throw out the bad, as Jesus explained. (Mt. 13:47-52).
MSH: It’s hard to believe you’re putting forth arguments
this flimsy. ”I’m going to base my hermeneutic on my belief in life
forms that science can’t tell us actually exist.” “Jesus said something
new about a Bible passage, so I can too — and Heiser can’t object
because Jesus did it.” And now this one: “People see unidentified
objects in the sky — that’s proof aliens are real.” This is anything
but clear thinking. It catches me off guard a bit. I would not have
expected it, given your educational record. It’s kind of startling to
Yes, lots of people see things in the sky they cannot identify. I
assume (and have said so repeatedly in public) that they are telling
the truth. But the issue isn’t the seeing - it’s the processing of what
is seen. Without hard evidence (real, ET life forms), it is *at best* a
wishful GUESS to conclude the things seen are alien. I know you want
them to be; I would love it, too - it would be very cool (assuming they
aren’t hostile or demonic). But feelings aren’t facts. You’ve got
nothing. And it’s painfully clear.