Re: Apologetics, Genesis, and C S Lewis

Glenn R. Morton (
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 22:01:51 -0800

At 09:06 PM 11/24/98 -0500, Howard J. Van Till wrote:
>Glenn Morton, speaking on the topic of how his colleagues in geology
>respond to talk about Genesis 1 (I believe this is where the discussion
>>>>And when I suggest that they read it in the allegorical manner, they
>and laugh and laugh. So that doesn't seem to be an effective strategy
>But Glenn, just what does this laughter actually demonstrate? That a
>literary, non-literalistic reading of Genesis 1 is something to laugh at?

Many of these people were Christians once. But they are also realists. They
went though a crisis of faith and considered all the options including a
nonliteral interpretation. I had dinner with a former boss the other day (I
won a bet that Clinton wouldn't leave office before the end of the year--he
threw the towell in and bought me a lunch early). We discussed Genesis
over lunch. I asked him (as I had before) why he didn't consider a
non-literal approach to Genesis. As before he laughed but not as much as
the first time. He said he left Christianity because he came to believe it
was FACTUALLY false. He no longer believed the fall was factual, he didn't
beleive sin was factual because there wasn't a fall. He then lost faith
that there was a miraculous God. He said that he saw no reason to believe
in the truth of something that was so far from the truth.

This summer while I was selling oil deals, we were waiting for a decision
from the company we were visiting. We were in a conference room alone just
talking. A young geologist that works for our company started in on the
Bible. She noted how Christians believed that all the rocks were dumped in
at one time (meaning the YECs). But then after a few minutes of working
them over, she then noted that her former pastor, when she was young, told
her that it was allegorical. She made a sneering comment about his
intelligence for beliving anything so long as it was false.

You all don't seem to understand the problem the removal of historicity
means for apologetics. And it is almost a non-sell to most oil-men who are
among the most hard-nosed individuals you could ever find. This is not to
say that there are no christians, there are, but they are very very quiet
because all Chrisitans seem to offer is belief in that which is untrue.

>Or could it be that the most laughable, but yet profoundly tragic and
>lamentable, element in this situaton is that modern, Western,
>scientifically-oriented culture has lost all ability to articulate or read
>anything in any mode except the artless and extremely restricted
>matter-of-fact style of technical report writing?
>Glenn, if you and your colleagues are trapped in that artless world, I
>sincerely hope that you can find a way out. If you're interested, C. S
>Lewis could give you directions.

I don't think that will help. Howard, it isn't art that they are looking
for. They are looking for reality and we Christians don't seem to offer
that to them.

I too believe in facing reality. One thing I know from selling oil deals is
that if you can't sell the prospect, the market place is telling you
something. It is telling you that something is wrong with the prospect.
That applies in the market place of ideas also. I know that I have been
unable to sell my views and I must be brutally honest with myself. I must
pay attention to what the market place is telling me. I have spent 4 years
trying to sell this idea with little to show for it except for an arm that
is giving out. I think it is time to listen to the marketplace.

This will be my last note as I will unsubscribe from the list. But I am
going to perform one experiment after I leave. I am going to post a poll
on Talk Origins and ask the atheists there if a non-literal reading of
Genesis would make them reconsider their rejection of Christianity. If
that is the way the apologetical problem should be approached, I am sure
that these atheists haven't heard of this possibility and will flock to the
faith after learning that the Bible isn't teaching historical truth.

Goodbye for now.


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