Re: Genesis One that Fits, #3

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 20:53:48 EST

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    Jim Eisele wrote:

    > Hi George.
    > In response to the two different creation accounts you wrote
    > >There's no conflict if they are read as theological accounts with
    > >different emphases. But they don't match up if you try to read them as
    > both
    > >chronologically accurate descriptions.
    > Where is Dick Fischer when you need him? He directly addresses this in his
    > "Historical Adam" articles and his book The Origins Solution. In a
    > nutshell, he says Gen 2 is the "details of Adam, Eve & the garden of Eden."
    > Like you say, they are separate accounts. Here's my best quick stab at the
    > chronology - "no shrub in the field" Gen 2:5, refers specifically to the
    > garden of Eden, not the world. The Hebrew translated as "earth" could just
    > as easily be translated "land" depending on context. Adam was one special
    > guy (also detailed by Dick). He was specially created by God. The animals
    > either had been created in the past, or were specially created (similar to
    > Adam & the special trees) for the garden.

            This is a quite forced interpretation of Gen.2 which no one would
    attempt without the unnecessary assumption that it must be brought into
    historical concord with Gen.1. But the really fata problem with Dick Fischer's
    argument is that the Adam-Christ arguments of St. Paul collapse if Adam is not
    understood to be representative of all humanity.

    > Additionally, George writes in response to the question of the sun's
    > creation
    > You've omitted my "&c" after "sun". This is just one problem, which
    > is not resolved by the creation of "light": Photosynthetic plants on earth
    > are
    > adapted to the solar spectrum. But more broadly, the order of creation
    > events
    > in Gen 1 doesn't match the geological record in which - among other things -
    > there were sea creatures before land plants. & even more broadly, the earth
    > didn't exist before the first stars.
    > Sorry about the omission, George. I place the "&c" with the heavens of Gen
    > 1:1. I'm not sure what you're saying about the photosynthetic plants. Your
    > point about the sea creatures before the land plants is a good one. I don't
    > pretend to know everything, but here's my take on that -
    > I agree that primitive sea creatures come before land plants. If that's all
    > that matters, I lose the argument. I suppose that will just come down to
    > individual belief. I have to give a nod here to the folks who say there is
    > some poetry in Gen One. Gen 1:24-25 shows that God's purpose is not a 100%
    > chronology. But nonetheless, the chronology is excellent. The "great sea
    > monsters" of Gen 1:21 (NASB) aren't detailed. But the Bible calls Leviathan
    > (crocodile) a great sea monster. And Encarta 98 places crocodiles at 200M
    > ago. God could have mentioned the great sea monsters specifically for that
    > purpose, as sort of a "placemark." To me, the rest of Gen One matches
    > science/chronology/logic far too well to expect much more chronological
    > precision than that.

            It isn't very convincing to say it's chronologically correct when it
    works and "poetic" when it doesn't.

    > In my first e-mail, Genesis One that Fits, I base my arguments upon grouping
    > within days. I think it is fair to say that the fish/great sea monsters
    > belong more after the land plants than before them.
    > One last thought about giving up on Gen 1 as a fair historical/scientific
    > account. A lot of people for a long time thought that it was a creation
    > account. It, arguably, presents itself as a creation account. I want to be
    > very sure that it's not before giving up. I don't want to force more
    > chronology on the text than it is trying to present.

            Of course it's a creation account! Creation is a theological, not
    scientific, concept, and the point of both 1:1-2:4a & 2:4b-25 is to speak about
    God as the creator of the world and of humanity. What is problematic is the
    insistence that these are historical and/or scientific accounts in the modern



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

    > Thanks for your comments, Jim

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