Re: Perspectives
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 08:30:40 -0500

Bert wrote:

"Let me propose a protocol for understanding Genesis:

1. God would not say something not accurate.
That is, he would not say that the Earth is flat.

2. He would speak to the people at the time in words they could understand.
He would not talk about the general relativity space time theorem requiring a
beginning to time.

3. His woulds would be timeless.
They, even if viewed as mystical by peoples of the time, would be eventually
viewed as objectively accurate in the future.

4. They would be from a perspective an listener would understand at the time and
The events would be described as visually seen and not given in some abstract
argot of physics.

5. The real message is about who and not how but the story describes the power
God and his relationship to man and explains our origins and does so accurately.
He is giving man a great piece of information as to mans origins and nature."


The key to this protocol - which I agree with - is that Genesis 1 and
our increasing scientific knowledge pertain to a single reality. To me,
the premoderns also thought the same way, even after they differentiated
nature from the divine (as Greek philosophy did). Though different, both
nature and the divine pertained to a single reality. Our modern problem
is that we have differentiated nature into objective and subjective -
and separated these poles. This protocol is one pathway to re-experiencing
a single reality.

Bert's protocol intuitively encompasses Paul's concept that God 'spoke'
to the people at the time. Premoderns certainly did not anticipate the
objective / subjective distinction that we make today. God rendered
the world in terms that premoderns could comprehend.

At the same time, his protocol addresses my concern, that God speaks to
us today - in ways that we would not fathom - through the Bible and the
Christian tradition. To this issue, I have written a paper depicting
Genesis 1 as vision, if anyone would like to see a copy, I would
appreciate any comments.