Re: St. Basil's 400AD view of the Days of proclamation
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 21:44:39 +0000

At 12:47 PM 08/18/1999 -0400, George Murphy wrote:
> In this idea one may see the germ of something like Glenn's "days of
>proclamation" argument, but anything more than such a "germ" has to be
read into, rather
>than out, of Basil. (Similarly, one can see in Basil's brother Gregory of
Nyssa a germ,
>though only that, of an idea of human evolution.)

Just for emphasis, that is something like what I have stated about Basil.
He didn't have a fully developed days of proclamation view. No doubt about
that. But then, if we are able to learn more things about Genesis and about
the world, as George, you are inclined to point out over and over, then the
development of a new nontraditional reading of Genesis which is
concordistic is not as bad a thing as many on this board want to paint it.

> 4) I think that the idea of mediated creation, connected with such
concepts as
>the classical doctrine of providential cooperation, divine kenosis, and
the functional
>integrity of creation are consistent with the theological picture given in
Genesis 1 and
>provide quite adequate ways to view what we know scientifically about
> It seems to me that Glenn & I have a significant degree of agreement here
>level 4, & that at least some of our disagreement comes from his desire to
see his
>interpretation as being at level 1), but perhaps I'm misreading him here.
It's been
>known to happen.

I am not always the best writer around. YOu are better than I. I do think
that I would agree with you here. The superficial reading of Genesis would
indicate 7 literal days. But, since science clearly tells us this is
false, there must be a deeper way to read the passage. So, within your
definitions of levels of reading, I would have to agree with your
assessment with one slight reservation. If a passage can be read in the way
that Capron suggested, then one must decide if that was the meaning God
wanted regardless of what the superficial meaning is? Remember, Jesus
claimed to speak in parables and that some would hear but not understand.
And who knows what future science will bring which will require further
modifications to our reading of Genesis.

> I would say that the idea of mediated creation in Gen.1 opens it to an
>evolutionary understanding but it's an overstatement to say that the Bible
>or even "may have taught" evolution. (I do not consider those who oppose
evolution to
>be heretics on that account.)

I agree. But If my interpretation is true, then the Bible does teach
evolution. And while YECs are not heretics, they would be seriously wrong
in claiming that the Bible didn't teach evolution.

> The views represented by Philo, Origen &c have been "neglected" in the
>that most modern theologians have shied away from, them but they've
certainly not been
>"unknown". The reaction against them has been due partly to the fact that
they tend to
>dissolve the connection between creation & the physical world. You can
see extreme
>examples of that in notions that original creation was purely spiritual &
intellectual &
>that physical bodies, & especially sexuality, were a consequence of sin.
>thought, if I remember correctly, that the "garments of skins" in Gen.3:21
were to be
>understood allegorically as our physical bodies!)

If I recall from my philosophy grad school days, Philo was a neoplatonist.
He is still taught. While his views might be true, and might be neglected
for the reasons you give, I know of no serious treatement of the Days of
Proclamation view in any theological book and only Haywards'
Creation/Evolution and my book advocate this type of interpretation. So, I
would say that Capron's Days of Proclamation is neglected in a way that
Philo's and Origens' views aren't.

> I should add that I've used some semi-platonic ideas myself in relating
>& cosmology (& have been criticized for it!). E.g., "Cosmology and
Christology" in
>_Science and Christian Belief_ 6, 101, 1994.

Must be the Aristotelians or the Wittgensteinians who are criticizing you. ;-)

> This is sure a switch from the way I've understood "historical" to be used
>in our discussions - i.e., an account of temporal events as they actually
happened, or a
>reasonable approximation to such an account. If it's to mean that
someone in history
>believed it then the account of Alexander being fathered by Zeus in the
form of a
>serpent or any number of Kennedy assasination theories are "historical."

REmember that I outlined four different meanings of historical. In our
discussions I have generally used the meaning that something is historical
if it is a true account of events both before and after time started. But
there is a historical as I described and you find as a switch.

Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution