Re: A Crowl's flood questions

Howard J. Van Till (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 09:22:08 -0500


In your reply to Adam Crowl you wrote:

>>> If we must stand by
the interpretatin of previous ages, no one will make progress because we
must then admit that the interpretation is a YEC intepretation which is
what everyone believed 1000 years ago.<<<

Wrong. That is not "what everyone believed." The YEC interpretation has
long been only one of a lengthy menu of diverse interpretations. Read my
paper, "Basil, Augustine, and the Doctrine of Creation's Functional
Integrity," published in _Science and Christian Belief_, Vol. 8, No. 1,
April, 1996, pp. 21-38. Augustine, the person who shaped Christan theology
in the Western world, argued against these two central theses of YEC: 1)
that God's creative work must be portrayed as a succession of episodes of
form-imposing interventions in the course of time, and 2) that
chronological structure of the Genesis 1 narrative can be used to give us a
timetable for God's creative work.

You went on to say:

>>>Why would one believe a book is a revelation from God when it contains a
silly story of creation, a silly story of a flood, a silly story of Babel,
a silly story of the Exodus (for which there is no evidence) a silly story
about a floating ax head, a silly story about a fish that swallowed man,
two silly stories about the sun moving backwards and a silly story that
women come from the side of man and a silly story about a talking snake and
then beleive it is true? I would find that a silly thing to believe. And
I very well might end up an atheist, but I WONT END UP BELEIVING A BOOK
silly stories.<<<

An entire book could be written in response to the concept of Scripture
embedded in this rhetorical outburst. But let me be very brief here.

1. Ancient Near Eastern 'narrative theology' can indeed be made to look
silly by persons who read all literature as if it were no more artistically
sophisticated than a modern Western technical report.

2. Humanly crafted literature (yes, even literature that is inspired by the
human experience of living in God's presence), written within the bounds of
ordinary human knowledge of the day, can indeed be made to look silly by
persons who choose to assert that it was WRITTEN BY an omniscient God.

3. The Bible can indeed be made to look silly by persons who make
unreasonable demands on it.

4. Could it be that the conservative evangelical Christian community is in
danger of practicing a biblicism bordering on bibliolatry?

Howard Van Till