Xone, thanks for your thoughtful reply. Please allow me to explain my reasoning.
I do believe that, in all likelihood, it happened exactly as Paul described. I’m a Christian with no reason to doubt the account.
But I’m writing as a political commentator, not as a theologian, so on the rare occasions when I cite a scriptural moment in an article, I try to write it so that I don’t automatically turn off non-Christians.
I’m appealing, after all, to Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, and atheists too... to anyone who might be open to the Founders’ message of limited government.
If I say with conviction that God spoke to Paul, I fear that I might turn off all but the fundamentalist Christian readers, unnecessarily diminishing my argument. So I attempted to have it both ways, as they say - it might have been an instantaneous miracle, or he might have imagined the miracle, or used literary license to exaggerate it a bit, after having reconsidered the errors of his ways and finally come to the right conclusion on that road.
I DID agonize over this question... and feel free to fault my choice. I’m always uncomfortable pulling my punches, as I did here. I may well have been wrong to do it this way... or heck, maybe there was a more artful way of doing what I was attempting.
But I knew the analogy was a decent enough one to be worth drawing, and I HAVE always believed that Saul had already begun to doubt his choice before he reached the road to Damascus. However literal the description may have been, I still think he had been nursing doubts for some time beforehand. I personally think that’s why the Lord was so angry at him; the man was unsure of the rightness of his position, and still, he kept on persecuting Christians, because that’s just what he did.
If that’s the case, as I believe it may be, then it makes my analogy that much stronger... because I believe there are plenty of Democrat politicians who’ve seen the error of their ways for some time now, and they’re still doing the wrong thing because habit, bosses and fear hold them back from speaking out. And that makes them that much more guilty, and in need of a powerful moment like this unjustifiable Syria effort to give them cover for doing a 180.
In my opinion, anyway.
to anyone who might be open to the Founders message of limited government.
(a worthy effort)you would be better to leave it out lest you try and change God's Word that has bigger consequences than unlimited government would.
Im a Christian with no reason to doubt the account.
I won't doubt your profession, however, by expressing doubt over the three days from persecutor to being baptized you cast doubt on the veracity of the Biblical account whether you want to or not.
However literal the description may have been, I still think he had been nursing doubts for some time beforehand.
Again, before Saul hit the road, the last thing he did before leaving was to go and get authorization to jail any Christians he found. No indication of second thoughts, no second guessing himself, nothing to indicate that mindset. By all indications, your analogy was stillborn.
Better to have kept the message secular. A 'Road to Damascus' experience is well enough known by itself without re-writing Scripture to fit an analogy. The re-write is offensive to 'fundamentalists' whoever they are. You engaged in a historical revision to make a point that could stand on its own merits. And outside of the 'merits of an argument', that's what libs do, since lib arguments have no merit.