Re: Apologetics and Genesis

Jonathan Clarke (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 18:07:44 +1100

john zimmer wrote:

> 3 points:
> I once heard that there were four complementary ways of reading
> Biblical text. They are literally (or something actually occurred),
> allegorically (what was the meaning of passage), morally and
> anagogically (what does it lead us to do). If this is the case,
> then the literal or physical aspect of Gen 1-11 can't be completely
> ignored.
> I agree that the way premoderns thought of the physical world
> did not disagree with the Genesis stories, but with modernism,
> our idea of the physical world has changed. That's why I think
> that Morton is right in pointing to a research program that
> reattaches physical meaning to Genesis. The idea of objectivity
> and subjectivity in our experience of nature plays a role
> (Voeglin used the ideas to analyze civic theology and we
> are looking at natural theology here).
> A good book for appreciating the differences in thought between
> modern and premodern (hence the dilemma) is Lewis Wolpert
> The Unnatural Nature of Science.
> Ray

We must not forget that both popular and learned culture is increasingly post modern
in outlook. The apologetic challenge for theology and evangelism in a post modern era
is at least as great as it was during the modern era. The challenges are every
different, however.