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Just as eating is not only a pleasure but also includes a long list of disorders, Bible reading is not only a blessing but unfortunately also includes a long list of hermeneutical anomalies, deviations and even pathologies. In this series of articles on Hermeneutics and Adventism I have classified these anomalies in two big groups. On one hand are various forms of “Structural anomalies” (articles I-IV). These are irregularities which imply a disproportion, deformation or a structural amputation of the Hermeneutic Circle. On the other hand there is a second group of anomalies I called “Functional anomalies”. These are irregularities which don’t necessarily imply important structural imbalances but which nevertheless undermine the interpretation process by introducing operative short-circuits and unilateral applications of the Hermeneutic Circle (article V). Between Structural and Functional anomalies there is the same parallelism and contrast that exists in medicine between Anatomical and Physiological disorders. The first concerns disproportion in the structure and architecture, and the second implies imbalance in the practical operations and strategies of reading and interpreting.
To the Functional Anomalies belongs what we called, in last month’s article, “Adventist Dysfunctional-Hypertrophic Ecclesiological Positivism” – which is a hermeneutical dysfunction because it is rooted and conditioned by an anomalous reading of the Bible. It consists of an excessive Church presence and rigidity in conditioning our personal Biblical reading, and in the articulation of its correspondent religious meaning. But it exists together with its counterpart and opposite anomaly that I will call the “Adventist Dysfunctional-Hypotrophic sense of External Reality”. Hypotrophy is a medical term meaning: a degeneration of an organ or tissue caused by a loss of cells. And Adventism too often works with a poor understanding of the socio-cultural reality which surrounds it, considering it irrelevant for its own “identity” as much as its own “mission”. In...
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