RE: Grapenuts, anyone?

Vandergraaf, Chuck (vandergraaft@aecl.ca)
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 18:07:30 -0500

Howard,

Re: your third point:

> 3. Let me try something a bit more provocative. Perhaps it is high time
> that we Christians also consider that the Scriptures were written within
> the limits of the human knowledge of the writers. Not only were their
> conceptual vocabularies limited by their placement in particular cultures,
> but their particular knowledge of the universe was limited by their
> placement in history. Hence we read nothing of galaxies, quasars, atoms,
> molecules, etc. Similarly, our finding nothing in the Scritpures about
> evolutionary development of life forms over billions of years should come
> as no surprise whatsoever.
>
I can live with part of your "provocative" argument. Undoubtedly, the
writers of Scripture were limited by their understanding of the universe.
Probably more to the point, they had to deal with the limitations of their
audience/readers (for example, the apostle John's description of his visions
on Patmos may well have been limited by the availability of the words and
concepts at that time). That would put the authors in the same predicament
as we would be if we want to explain television to an aboriginal who has no
concept of this technology (maybe a bad example, but you get my idea).

However, when we read a detailed description of what appears to us something
that the early readers of / listeners to Genesis should have been able to
grasp, we run into problems.

Let's just take the creation of Eve "from Adam's rib." Assuming for the
moment that "Adam" and "Eve"can be identified as individuals and "rib" is a
piece of bone that protects the upper innards of a human body, and "deep
sleep" is what we call it today, what are we to make out of this? Is this
the best the author could come up with to convey a historic event to the
reader/listener? Is there something wrong with the translation? Is it
allegorical? Are we missing the point? What is the point? Why was it even
written?

To me, this has little to do with a knowledge of galaxies, neutrons, or
photons. Am I missing something?

Chuck
T.T. (Chuck) Vandergraaf
Engineered Barriers and Analysis Branch
Whiteshell Laboratories
Pinawa, MB R0E 1L0
Canada
*vandergraaft@aecl.ca
*(204) 753-2311 xt. 2592