Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 10:36:54 EDT

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    > Back to the creation of human beings. Granted, for the sake of argument,
    > that the potential for human beings was present at time zero, would it not be
    > consistent with the biblical picture of God's creative activity that God's
    > word was needed to initiate the process of human development, to actualize
    > what was only a potential?

    By "the biblical picture" I presume that you mean the Genesis 1 creation
    narrative, rather than any of the other biblical portraits of God's creative
    activity (portraying God as tentmaker, artisan, builder, sovereign king,
    holder of wisdom/discernment/knowledge, etc.)

    > I think I have read elsewhere that you do not give much weight to the Genesis
    > account of creation. Am I right in that?

    I presume that you did not intend to suggest that I count the early chapters
    of Genesis as lightweight fluff. Nonetheless, that's the impression this
    comment conveys.

    The fact is that I give the biblical creation narratives a great deal of
    weight, not as cryptic chronicles of what-happened-and-when in the
    Creation's formational history, but as confessions that God is the One and
    Only Creator that has given being to the entire universe; that nothing
    visible on/in/above the earth is a god to be feared/placated; that we are
    creatures privileged to have the capacity for self-awareness and
    God-awareness; that we are accountable for what we do and say.............
    The list goes on.

    So, contrary to the "not much weight" characterization noted above, it is my
    intention to give to these narratives far more theological weight than they
    would have as little more than primitive answers to our modern scientific
    curiosity about timetables and mechanisms.

    Howard Van Till

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