Re: Jude 14 and the age of the world: before and after
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:11:20 -0500

Paul noted:

The idea of a universe older than c. six or ten thousand years does not
naturally from Scripture. It has to be read in from science.

Allen wrote:

On day four, the clouded atmosphere is
cleared up and the sun and moon and stars become visible (made to be seen
in the expanse) to someone on earth.

Paul replied:

Since your theory is allegedly built upon the witness of Scripture, why are
you accepting this concordistic reinterpretation which rejects the clear
witness of Scripture that the sun, moon and stars were not made until the
fourth day?

Bert wrote:

Why are you suggesting that some of the past interpretations are
sacred? Were this interpreters given a special revelation? There are
no sacred interpretations given by men and the inclusion of
"reinterpretation" is unwarranted as is the objection to this
interpretation based on the interpreters motives (ie "concordistic").
We can accept or reject interpretations on their own merits and in the
final analysis this is all that really matters.

Ray comments:

It is clear from what Paul says that, for premodern Christians and
Jews, Genesis 1 was taken (what we would now call) objectively.

It is also obvious that they took Genesis 1 subjectively as well.

To me, it seems that scientific inquiry now informs our objective
view of our origins.

Yet, Christians desire their subjective experience of origins
to remain informed by Genesis 1.

Allen says that day 4 may be regarded as a subjective experience
of a corresponding evolutionary period (global cooling during the
late Archean and early Proterozoic due to progressive decline in
atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases).

Like Bert, I see this 'concordism' as an interpretation that
may be judged on its own merits. In this case, the merits would
be a subjective appreciation of a correspondence or similarity
between the Genesis text and (objective) phenomenom of a certain
period in evolutionary history.

Paul is correct to state that this subjective re-enactment
of the objective evolutionary record ...

1. is not a plain reading of the text. That is, prior to the modern
era, Jews and Christians experienced the text plainly both
the subjectively and objectively and they did not see the
text referring to anything more than 24-hour days.

2. is inspired by the actuality of scientific inquiry.

The question becomes: Is Allen's (and other's, such as myself)
'concordism' warranted?

My suggestion is yes, because our modern experience of nature
has differentiated into objective and subjective.

Prior to the evolutionary sciences, the premoderm
experience of nature was predifferentiated. The subjective
and objective were not differentiated.

Allen's strategy brings our subjective experience (informed
by Genesis 1) into 'harmony' with our objective experience
(informed by the evolutionary sciences).

By examining the evolutionary record while contemplating
Genesis 1, a new aesthetic appreciation of Genesis 1 may
be generated.

However, this does not mean that Genesis 1 is not
regarded as a sacred text. In contrast, the appreciation
paradoxically superimposes the moral and ethical and religious
view of the Bible onto the physical and biological
observations of the evolutionary sciences.

As much as we might like to go back, we are separated
from the premodern world view by a differentiation of
reality perhaps as profound as the differentiation of nature
and the gods that was made by ancient Greek philosophers.