Re: Apologetics, Genesis, and C S Lewis

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 09:32:38 -0500 (EST)

At 10:01 PM 11/24/98 -0800, Glenn R. Morton wrote:
>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.
>Adam, Apes and Anthropology
>Foundation, Fall and Flood
>& lots of creation/evolution information

The difficulty of reconciling the Fall of Man with evolutionary theory is
what makes me question the theory vis a vis Scripture. The ascent of man in
evolutionary theory is so contrary to the descent of man so clearly stated
in Scripture. Of course, scientists ought to realize that there is a wealth
of human experiences that has nothing to do with the findings of their
science. It is in this area where the Bible is most relevant. The reason
your friends seem to always discuss the Bible is that they know
nonscientific sections of the Bible that condemns them and so they find that
disturbing. However, they will not discuss that with you because it would
lead to truly personal matters. Therefore, they attack Scripture in what
they perceive to be the weak points, viz. Genesis. People do not like to be
told they are sinners. But in the depth of their inner thoughts, they know
they are. However, they hate to admit it. I would also raise the fundamental
question with your geologist friends whether they can conceive of all that
exists without a Creator. Sometimes it is wiser to ask question than give
answers. Glenn do not place a heavy burden on you that the Lord has already
removed. The salvation of those you witness to is not in your hand. It is in
the Lord's.

In the love of Christ,