Re: Perspectives

PHSEELY@aol.com
Sun, 25 Apr 1999 14:56:42 EDT

Bert wrote,

<< There is no clear statement in the Bible saying "Genesis is scientifically
accurate."

We can however be lead by statments such as "God cannot lie." and the
"heavens
declase his handywork." As a basic principle would God give a technically
innacurate revelation and then expect sceptics to accept his gloary. I
think not. >>

1 Samuel 15:29 says, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor
repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent." This is one passage
teaching that God cannot lie; but, note that it also says, he cannot repent.
Yet, just 6 verses later 1 Samuel 15:35 says," and the LORD repented that he
had made Saul king over Israel." The concept of repentance in I Sam 15:29 is
apparently more flexible than we might imagine; so, may it be with the
concept of lying.

We also know there is accommodation in the Bible that was divinely inspired
by God. Jesus mentioned one example in Mark 10:4,5; and Calvin, as well as
others, have seen even more examples in the OT. These were accommodations to
the hardness of men's hearts, accommodations in the area of morals. Was God
lying because he sometimes accommodated Scripture to lower moral standards
than he knew were really right? And, if He sometimes accommodated himself to
lower moral standards, could he not accommodate himself to lower scientific
descriptions?

The premise, God cannot lie, does not lead logically to the conclusion, God
cannot accommodate his revelation to viewpoints of the times. While the
theology presented in Gen 1 stands out in its opposition to the theologies of
the times (for example, in its (a) monotheism (b) rejection of any struggle
being necessary to overcome the primordial elements (c) demythologizing of
nature (d) subordination of the sun, moon and stars to just objects created
by God, the stars being almost an afterthought), the scientific side of the
cosmology reflects the cosmology of the times. The statement, God made the
firmament (Gen 1:7) infers that there really is a rock-solid half-dome over
our heads; and that half-dome sky implies that the earth is flat. But, is
this part of God's revelation, or just an accommodation?

Please reflect on the fact that your statement, "As a basic principle would
God give a technically innacurate revelation and then expect sceptics to
accept his glory?" is an appeal to Reason, not Scripture. It is an
illustration of why I say the belief that the Bible must be scientifically
accurate is based on rationalism, not revelation.

There is also, another important issue: God has revealed himself in
Scripture as a Father, compassionate, and willing to speak to us in our
infirmities. A father is willing to speak to his little children in little
children's terms. It seems to me that sceptics might be more willing to
believe his revelation if they knew he cared that much rather than if they
just knew he was an antiseptically clean logician and scientist.

Paul