Re: Another thing people can throw rocks at

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 13:30:14 EDT

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    Of course, a story that didn't really happen can be true. None of us
    pressing toward "concordism" deny that--parables, fables, myths, etc.
    are all examples that we recognize.

    But the question is -- are the early chapters of Genesis in that
    category or are they true in a more historical sense?

    I will be the first to admit that there are certain mythic elements
    in these accounts; but, so what? This is not to say that the extent
    of their message IS that mythic element; or that the historical
    element isn't important or crucial to their message.

    You guys make us "fundies" (there's hardly a difference, you know,
    between a "fundie" and a "concordist") sound like idiots. It's not an
    either or issue. Just because there are literary dimensions,
    theological purposes, mythic elements, etc. doesn't mean that the
    historical isn't there or isn't important. Christianity is a deeply
    historical faith. If the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, etc.
    didn't happen (in a historical sense), then the Biblical writers, at
    least (maybe not 19th-21st century liberals), would say that our
    faith is in vain. Christianity is different from other religions--it
    doesn't just spring from humanity's religious sensibilities. The Old
    Testament roots are similarly historical and the religious experience
    is rooted in a historical redemption.

    FYI I recently scanned in and put on the web site an article by Dick
    Bube from 1980. It's doesn't directly speak to the immediate issue,
    but he does stress the unique historical message of
    Christianit--something I think we drift away from in many of our
    discussions (everyone except for George Murphy). In it he bemoans the
    direction some science/faith discussions take when they seem to
    ignore the uniquely Christian message concerning Christ and his work.


    >Burgy quotes a Native American lecturing at Illif. I think he got the
    >quotation from _Black Elk Speaks_. Black Elk tells a Lakota story and
    >concludes (according to his biographer John Neihardt), "I don't know whether
    >this story really happened, but if you think about it, it must be true."
    >(I'm quoting from memory, but I think I'm correct.). I frequently used this
    >quotation when I taught Mythology. Someone else defined a myth as "a story
    >that never was and always is."
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "JW Burgeson" <>
    >To: <>; <>
    >Cc: <>
    >Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 11:00 AM
    >Subject: Re: Another thing people can throw rocks at
    >> Wally wrote, in part: "foo on George for poo-pooing such "concordism" --
    >> whatever it is."
    >> Foo?
    >> I suggest that George did not so much disparage concordism as point out
    >> that, in the case of a reconciliation of Gen 1-11 that it was a failed
    >> project. At least to date. Glenn has come closest (IMHO) to putting forth
    >> intellectually respectable support of it, and in so doing has provided us
    >> with a wealth of data. Data that says to me that the particular view I
    >> that Gen 1-11 are "family stories," or "myth," and any apparent
    >> with what "modern science" at any particular time may say is just that --
    >> coincidence.
    >> Glenn, I see you have left YEC but you have not yet left the YEC mindset.
    >> And that's OK BTW; I applaud you for sticking to your guns on your quest.
    >> But try to get your mind around the following:
    >> In a recent class here at Iliff, a Native American was lecturing. He was
    >> both a Native American and a Ph-D professor of -- I think -- biochemistry.
    >> At one time in the lecture he wished to express his thoughts by telling an
    >> Indian folk story.
    >> He began with the words "Now I don't know if the things I am about to tell
    >> you really happened, but I do know that this story is true."
    >> Try to get your mind around that.
    >> The "Good Samaritan" events never happened, but that story is true.
    > > The unjust steward was a fiction story, but that story is true.
    >> The drama in the book of Job never happened, but that drama is true.
    >> Jonah was never swallowed by a big fish, but that story is true.
    >> Adam and Eve are not historical persons, but Gen 1-11 is true.
    >> Some events recorded in scripture really happened. Others, unless one is a
    >> literalist, did not and could not. Still others are debatable.
    >> The resurrection event really happened. But all models of that event are
    >> man-made and necessarily imperfect.
    >> Jesus really did utter SOME last words before he died. But we are not
    >> altogether sure which of his "seven last sayings" was the last.
    >> Did Jesus make wine from water at Cana? This seems to be among the
    >> ones. I strongly favor the view that it is factual. But I don't think my
    >> vote counts.
    >> Think of Gen 1-11 being told around the campfire to a nomad band of
    >> slaves. The speaker begins by saying, "Now I don't know if the things I am
    >> about to tell you really happened, but I do know that this story is true."
    >> Burgy
    >> _________________________________________________________________
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    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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