I (Wayne) wrote:
If we are going to insist on anything, we should insist on the
Exodus and on Christ because those are the key testaments to
Chuck Vandergraaf commented:
This comment has placed me back on my ice floe again!
Maybe this needs something more said. Surely the main event
that would have motivated writing for posterity anything
at all would have been the exodus. I don't think Abraham's
life by itself would have done that, nor Isaac, nor Jacob,
nor Joseph. They would all be forgotten in the depths of
time past. However, the Exodus was a fulfillment. Moreover,
it was an event that took God's divine action to accomplish.
Anyone with any sense of gratitude at all, would surely make
some effort to remember those events. Even if one insists on
a JEDP theory for the construction of the old testament, it
would have relied on early documents as well as oral traditions.
At least some of it must have been written not so long after
the Exodus. Finally, the Exodus is a central theme that surfaces
again and again throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.
So for myself, not having grown up being told that the Bible
was true most of my life, and coming to a faith in college,
the first 11 chapters of Genesis have never been that important to
my confidence in testamony of scripture. However, if I must
accept that the Exodus is merely a "good story", I honestly
would have to reject most (if not all) of my Christian faith,
or at "best?", to preserve some remnant of my faith, I would
have to commit something akin to a Marcion heresy. I think
it would be quite difficult to preserve a faith in the Gospel
if the "Law" is simply a "good story".
What remains problematical is that the first 11 chapters do
contain geneologies like the later writings. If I am to take
the later geneologies seriously, which I think we should (at
least after allowing for some minor "telescoping"), then it
remains to be explained what divides Genesis 1-11 from the rest
of the Old Testament. I don't have an answer to that. There
are some people on this list who have done a great deal of
effort on that, and their ideas have inspired me to consider
Noah (for example) as an actual historical event, but whatever
the case may be, I do no pin my faith on whether or not the
account given in the first 11 chapters of Genesis is historical
or not. I do pin my faith in part on the events that lead
to the Exodus.
Without the Exodus, and surely without the life of Christ, God
is of little significance to any of us even if there is one.
by Grace alone do we proceed,
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