By Humphrey Palmer (auth.)
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Additional resources for Analogy: A Study of Qualification and Argument in Theology
24 It is against Mysticalism that the Humpty Dumpty story really tells. Until he explains his usage Alice has - and can have - no idea what he intends. Suppose he had refused to explain, and just left her to catch up. If she ever did, her new understanding of glory and impenetrability would be evident, to herself or to others, only from her being able to explain. It is the possibility of explaining, to oneself or another, that shows we have a meaning for the term. If Humpty Dumpty could not explain himself even to himself we should have to say that he did not know what he was talking about.
3 One way for a statement to acquire a regular and proper second sense is for the terms composing 26 THE THEORY IN OUTLINE it to be altered in some way. They must be 'qualified'. We often think of qualification as something that happens to people; and it is commonly thought that religious teachers must be specially endowed, consecrated or inspired, and that religious learners those who genuinely 'hear' what the teachers say also require some special aptitude or gift or attitude. But religious communication, on the present theory, does not only involve, and to some extent require, changes in the people who communicate, but also in the meanings of the terms that they employ.
To discover the real meaning of God's almighty power we must take ordinary human strength and 'multiply' it by this difference. God's strength really is strength, but of a sort appropriate to God. He is strong in his own inimitable way. 8 These re-arrangements of the formula suggest that it might be used to show just how different a meaning the term acquires when applied to God. And it would certainly be convenient to have a 'conversion factor' ready when studying religious utterance - as an Englishman reading a French novel might be glad of a rule of thumb for changing Centigrade to Fahrenheit or kilometres into miles.
Analogy: A Study of Qualification and Argument in Theology by Humphrey Palmer (auth.)