Re: Apologetics and Genesis

john zimmer (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:17:31 -0600

I would like to weigh in with George in the idea that Dick Fischer
is on to something.

I've been wrestling with the idea of the
late historian Eric Voeglin that diagnosed modernism as a
pneumopathological imbalance due to the eclipse of the subjective
pole of the experience of social order by the objective pole.
The subjective pole is personal, participatory, deals with your
place in society, feelings, religious traditions, art and so
forth. The objective pole is rational, public, deals with
your function in a heirarchy, ideas, political traditions, public
works and so on.

If we import Voeglin's diagnosis from the realm of civic
theology to natural theology, the same eclipse seems to have occurred
in the way we subjectively experience nature. The objecvtive pole
of our experience of nature has changed from magic (in the
ancient river valley societies) to (in the West) Greek speculation
(concerning the nature of "nature and gods") to modern science.

The question is, how does Genesis 1-11 fit this picture with
regard to being within the subjective pole of our experience of nature?
I think once we answer this, we can see these issues is a new light.