Re: Discontinuity Conference Report

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 16:07:22 EDT

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    On Tue, 21 Aug 2001 11:27:21 -0600 John W Burgeson <>
    > Allen Roy wrote, in part: "To make a long story short, the conclusion
    > was
    > that the grammatical structure and use of words in Genesis 1 leave
    > no
    > room for anything but the clear and unambiguous intended meaning of
    > six
    > literal 24-hour days."
    > OK, I'll buy that. That leaves three possibilities:
    > 1. The story is meant to be read as a spiritual truth wrapped up in
    > a
    > myth.
    > 2. The story is meant to be read as literally true, and is literally
    > true.
    > 3. The story is meant to be read as literally true, and is not.
    > Obviously Allen takes possibility #2. His interpretation "trumps"
    > known
    > science.
    > Dawkins et. al. take possibility #3, and, partly on that basis,
    > reject
    > Christianity. A lot of people take that route, rejecting #2 as
    > intellectual suicide.
    > I, of course, as well as most Christians, take #1 as the most
    > reasonable
    > position, given that I must accept Allen's statement above. Which
    > may, or
    > may not, be true itself. I am suspicious of a person with so much
    > certainty.
    > John Burgeson (Burgy)
    There are various ways to take your 2. The one is the YEC way, that it is
    the exact history of the events, the "engineer's log." The second way is
    that it be the sequence of God's revelation, with no connection to the
    "history of creation." Consequently, one can hold a strictly literal
    interpretation of the story without being YEC. This also removes the
    problem of the order of events in Genesis 2 and having to compress it all
    into the sixth day. There is also the gap theory, which makes the six
    days of Genesis 1 to be the quick recreation after the destruction of
    what had developed over ages. This must be discounted because I
    understand that the "was" of v. 2 cannot be translated "became," which
    this view requires. Finally, there is the day-age interpretation, which
    declares that _yom_ is an indefinite period. The interpretation of day 4
    on this view is, IMO, ridiculous, along with other problems in timing.
    But it is extremely popular. Having worked through every occurrence of
    _yom_, I can say that always with a numeral (apart from the problematic
    occurences in Genesis 1) it clearly means either a 24-hour period or the
    daylight portion thereof. Tying "evening and morning" to it indicates
    that the Genesis usage is not unique.

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