literal vs literalistic
Tue, 25 Mar 97 14:49:00 -0500

So, Henry Morris wants to call himself a "literal
creationist", not a "young earth creationist"?

Obviously he can call himself whatever he wants to,
for labels do matter, especially to the people being
labelled. I'll continue to call him a "YEC," however,
even if he doesn't like that label, because it preserves
much better (IMO) the fact that, historically, a "creationist"
is someone who believes in the utter dependence of the world
upon God not only for its origin but also its continued
existence. I'm proud to call myself a "creationist" in
that sense. I recall Ernan McMullin, a really fine Catholic
philosopher, saying once that he personally resented the
narrow meaning of "creationist" that was being promoted
by "scientific creationists". I agree with him.

There is an additional reason why Morris would be inappropriate
to call himself a "literal" creationist. The reason is, that
is isn't at all accurate, because (IMO) he completely misses
the intended meaning of the Genesis hexameron, which is a
hymn to the one true creator, not a "scientific" or "historical"
presentation of actual events. I believe that all Christians
should always be concerned to learn the "literal" sense of
a biblical text -- that is, the sense the author actually
intended. This certainly can be the "literalistic" sense,
which is what the bare words signify, but it quite often is
not the literalistic sense. Genesis is a case in point.

If anyone is on a bulletin board with Dr Morris, whom I
have met and like personally and whose integrity I believe
to be very good, I would appreciate it if they would
forward this message to that bulletin board, that I might
learn his reply. Though I can guess what he'll say,
I'd rather not guess.


Ted Davis
Professor of the History of Science
Messiah College
Grantham, PA 17027
717-766-2511, ext 6840