In a message dated 2/15/02 10:35:03 AM Mountain Standard Time,
> 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.
First, thanks for your apology to the group earlier today. I can imagine
that when you've worked on something and then present it to a new audience
and don't get the response you hoped for, it can be easy to get frustrated
and start pushing too hard. Particularly on the Internet, where belligerence
is the norm in many discussion groups (we try to do better here, with
imperfect success) and it is easy to forget that there are real people, made
in God's image, on the receiving end of the electrons. We all fall short
there sometimes. Recognizing that and apologizing shows maturity.
There's hope for you yet ... now if we could just get you to read a book or
two ... :-)
Anyway, I wanted to comment on a key phrase in what you wrote above. That is
the description of deciding not to read Genesis 1 as a science text as
"giving up." Is it "giving up" if we decide that the parable of the sower is
telling us about response to the Gospel rather than about agriculture? Is it
"giving up" if we decide that the story of the Good Samaritan is not intended
to be a crime report? I would call that "letting the Bible be the Bible" in
reading the passage according to its context and purpose, rather than
imposing some modern ideas of scientific reporting that would have been
foreign to Moses.
Sometimes it seems like people think it is "better" if Genesis 1 can be made
to work as a scientific text, and that if it is "only" a theological message
in language that uses the prescientific concepts of the time, that is a
disappointment. That position basically says that teaching figuratively
(rather than the modern scientific style that some people want) is a
second-rate way of conveying truth. That position is exploded if one
considers the way Jesus taught -- I don't think we can call him a second-rate
teacher. Nor is there anything second-rate about the powerful communication
of the doctrine of creation (as George noted, in the more important
*theological* sense of "creation") in Genesis 1.
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"
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