Re: Inconsistency on Shroud vs. Genesis.
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 20:39:58 +0000

Hi Allen,

At 08:25 AM 08/12/1999 -0600, Allan Harvey wrote:
>That's an interesting question. But I don't think the parallel holds --
>if the important messages being communicated are theological (as is the
>case with the Bible and interpretation thereof), then I think incorrect
>theology is not an acceptable way to go, whereas imperfect scientific
>descriptions don't matter nearly as much. Paul gives all sorts of
>warnings about getting doctrine right, but none that I know of about
>getting science right when teaching doctrine (which is not to say we
>shouldn't try to do that).

I guess what I see here is a bit of 'assuming the consequence'. By saying,
" But I don't think the parallel holds -- if the important messages being
communicated are theological (as is the case with the Bible and
interpretation thereof)," you have assumed the very issue at hand. You
have assumed that the Bible is strictly theological. If one assumes that
the Bible is only concerned with theology, then your conclusion follows,
albeit trivially. Since I don't share your assumption, that the Bible is
almost entirely concerned with theological messages, your conclusion does
not follow so trivially for me. This is why I wanted George to give a
clear, concise definition of which passages were history and which weren't.
If one can't argue from external evidence that a given passage is
poetical/allegorical then how do we know the passage is
poetical/allegorical? If one is reduced to assuming that it is
poetical/allegorical in order to argue that it is allegorical/poetical,
then that is certainly not a very satisfactory solution.

That is, by the way, one of my gripes about the YECs. They almost have to
assume a young, non-evolutionary earth in order to have a young,
nonevolutinary earth. They have to assume that all scientists are liars,
frauds or self-deceptive. And that isn't a satisfactory solution

The reason I don't believe that the Bible is strictly a theological book is
that it contains the history of a people, much of that history is less than
theological. Examples include the whoring of Judah, the conquest of
Jericho, the Exodus, etc. While, no doubt, there are theological lessons
to be learned from these things, they are primarily relating history. And
that history which is relayed by the Bible also includes a short history of
the formation of the universe and a short history of the creation of man.
>Having said that, I will admit that (as with scientific explanations in
>these matters), it can be OK *to a limited extent* to accommodate
>doctrine to the limitations of the audience. There is real value to the
>work of people like Glenn and even Hugh Ross, who show that, even if one
>holds to a narrowly literalist view of Scripture, one need not go down
>the destructive YEC path. It may be that some people will close their
>ears if they hear somebody espousing a less historical view of early
>Genesis, so they may only listen to people like Glenn and Hugh Ross who
>can meet them on their own turf. But somehow that needs to be done in a
>way that does not reinforce idolatrous views of the Bible, and if
>possible which prepares them for growth in their theology down the road.

I appreciate the honor of being placed in the same sentence with Hugh Ross,
who is much more famous than I. However, I would like to point out that
if growth in one's theology means assuming the consequence, i.e. assuming
that the Bible is allegorical rather than proving it is allegorical, then I
don't want to grow. :-)

>Because in the long run, correcting somebody's unhealthy view of the
>Bible is going to do them and the church more good than correcting an
>unhealthy view of the scientific details of creation.
>And with that I think we've gone about as far as I can with this
>discussion, so I'm also going to let Glenn have the last word if he wants it.

Thank you Allen, I just took the opportunity. But I would enjoy it if you
did respond, but would understand if you didn't :-) I enjoyed our very
small joust.

Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution