Re: Re: Re: Something must change
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 05:58:59 EDT

In a message dated 8/24/98 Glenn wrote:

<<Let me suggest that the ancient writer could easily have written an account
(an may have written an account) compatible with modern theories.

Genesis 1:11, And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,
Genesis 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth
Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the

Notice one thing in these verses. God didn't directly bring forth
anything. The account doesn't say "God brought forth plants" He commanded
the earth and water to bring forth the life. This is mediate creation not
direct creation.

Now, While generations have not understood that detail of the account as
meaning what I see in it, this is exactly the type of simple statement that
is very compatible with modern evolutionary theory and it comes from the
Bible. God clearly was talking about indirect creation and the initial
writer apparently understood that.

I see that you slip easily from the flood story to the creation story to
illustrate your point of how a biblical author can write a story that is
compatible with modern theories. I'd like to see you write either your
Mediterranean flood story or the Mesopatamian flood story with the elegant
simplicity that is found in Gen. 1, that is also, although perhaps indirectly,
compatible with modern theories.

>>I think it isn't history to you because you can't come up with a scenario
within the past 10,000 years. But that is a poor reason to then say it
wasn't meant to be history or that it is true in some other, metaphysical
sense. Under those circumstances it would be more honest to simply say it
is false. One thing I notice is that no one really comes out and says 'This
story is totally false and needs to be ripped out of the Bible." They
always seem to say, "It isn't historical, but it is true". And the
atheists laugh on about this feeble effort to save the truth of the bible.>>

I take it you are in basic disagreement with Howard Van Till's original post
that started this thread in which he suggested four ways of reading scripture:
as chronicle, as interpretive, as didactic, as fiction. If it reads like
history, you seem to be saying that must be history as we moderns view
history; you refuse to grant the possibility that it could have been written
in what looks like historical format, but actually is meant to teach something
or to interpret something that is not easily observed.

I appreciate the fact that you face a bunch of atheists. Most of us don't
face that problem, at least I don't. I take it they read the bible as pure
chronicle and laugh at any other interpretation. Their minds are probably
already made up and nothing less than a scientific explanation of scripture
would satisfy them, or at least satisfy them that you are struggling to
address their scepticism. I wish we could help you, but I don't see how
without following George's suggestion that the core of the Bible is about
Jesus Christ not Noah.

Best wishes,