Re: Origins: Neanderthals

Jan de Koning (
30 Oct 96 14:41:15 EST

After being away for a day I read some comments, which I don't like at
all. I will not answer people accusing me or others, except for asking: Please,
leave any direct personal comments on positions as much as possible out of it.
Your position should be clear after reading the message. Don't keep on
shouting, even when you are very annoyed at not being understood. You, or
rather let me talk about myself: I do not want to talk about certain issues in
Christian circles, unless:
a. I think they will understand me.
b. They have the ability to follow my reasoning.
c. They have the ability to research the points I make.

I do realize, that even on a forum like this, few will take the time and
effort to research certain items being discussed. Therefore, I hope, that I do
not repeat myself too often. If I do, let somebody point that out to me. I
find it rather amusing, that several people are interpreting what I wrote.
Maybe the best way to find out is asking me. I'll try to be more complete. By
the way: What is the differnce between macro- and micr-evolution? For many,
manyy years I have tried to find out, but none of the definitions worked. Also,
I believe,, that we should never think, that God who created then witdrew
Himself in heaven. He is still involved in everything.

To make a dstinction between Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 on the basis of different
styles is alright, but to go on and base the events around Adam and Eve, Cain
etc. only in Babylonian prehistory is extra-biblical. The difference in style
may have something to do with different intentions of the writers, while
describing the same facts. Personally, I have trouble with assigning particular
parts of the bible to J or P, and then try to use that to smooth over
difficulties. The bible as it came to us was maybe gathered from diffrent
sources, but it was done under God's supervision, so that I, with the Church,
may say it is God's Word.

Another trouble I have with most things I read about these chapters is,
that in many cases a contradiction is constructed to what we see God's Word in
nature, which existed before any written records, and is still valid, see Romans
1:20. There simply cannot be any contradiction here. However, there are
styles. When you read Gen.1 - 11 as if it is written in modern scientific
language, you use a concept of truth stemming from pagan Greek philosophy. That
will get you in trouble. Then either you reject the Word of God in nature, or
the Word of God in the bible. I strongly believe, that God is not fooling us in
either place.

So what is most necessary, that we analyze our ways of reading Scripture.
God gave us both nature and scripture. I don't understand why we should spend
much time on correlating both. The style of both is different. If Gen.1 is a
kind of poem proclaiming the God of creation in a time, that all kinds of
nature-gods were in vogue, many difficulties disappear. If Gen.2 is showing the
unity of all mankind in a literary way, there , too, the diffficulties
disappear. Not everything must be read using a pagan idea of "truth." It is
well documented, that early christianity took over Greek ideas, when
philosophers and scientists became Christians. That is nor so strange. Even
now scientists educated by non-christians have a life-long struggle to eradicate
non-christian theories. And Christians educated by Christians, having studied
Christian philosophy are not any better. As Calvinists say: "Even our best
works are stained with sin." Still, we must keep on listening to each other, so
that the community of saints will prepare itself for the world to come, when
heaven, or rather the new Jerusalem, comes down on earth, see Rev.21.:

I believe, that Gen.1 and 2 are very strong admonishments to believers
(in OT in the first place) not to be serving the Gods of surrounding nations.
Don't serve the sun, the moon, the stars etc.: God made them. Even more He
created man, and all his generations, are connected in a covenant with God.
More may be said, but it will take more time to write it down, than I ahve now.
If you have a chance to read the report of the Study Committee on Creation and
Science to the synod 1991 of the Christian Reformed Church you will be able to
read my position on these matters. (See agenda of the synod pages 367 to 434)
My position changed very little, if any.

Jan de Koning