Re: Black Sea Flood

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 00:34:17 EDT

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    I think Burgy has a really good point. In all my
    years of teaching, I always told students I don't care
    at the end of the day what you think about a
    particular issue, but I do care that you know why the
    other guy disagrees with you and have thought about
    why you hold to your position despite her disagreement
    with you. This is important.

    The other point that Burgy makes that I am trying to
    make is it is not a salvation issue.

    I think we have a uniquely protestant problem here, in
    some ways, due to the primacy of "rationality" in a
    protestant world view, when there are different
    definitions of rationality and what it means to look
    at something objectively.

    The more I learn about Orthodox theology the more
    wisdom I see in the view of some things as mysteries.
    This is not merely a dogmatic side step to avoid
    dispute, but recognizes the fact that are models are
    partial and imperfect. For example, the sacraments,
    including the Eucharist are a mysterion -- from which
    we derive the English word mystery. The Orthodox for
    example avoided the whole tansubstantiation,
    consubstantiation, merely symbolic, lets toss them out
    division over the Eucharist that separates Catholics,
    Lutherans, other protestants and anabaptists. I think
    there is wisdom in this. While saying that the bread
    and wine are the body and blood they do not hold to a
    rationalistic account of what the Eucharist is.

    Quite simply, it seems to me, that God is a mystery
    that has been in part revealed to us. We should never
    be too certain that we understand very much about that
    mystery. At the end of the day, systematic theologies
    try to draw too tight a constraining ring around God,
    whom I do not believe is subject rigorously to our
    propositional logic.

    Hence, even if one believes in the Fall literally, one
    does not need to believe in hardline Original Sin and
    if one believes in hardline Original Sin, one does not
    have to believe unbaptized babies burn in Hell for
    eternity. Such "rigorous" propositional logic
    conclusions are inapposite to God.

    A corrolary of this, to me, is that literal
    interpretation of scriptures, especially as relates to
    parts of the OT, are less and less likely to be

    Like the Eucharist, Creation is a mystery which can
    only be partially illuminated by modern science.
    After all, as any honest physicist points out, we can
    only really go so far back to the beginning of the Big
    Bang before it becomes speculative in the extreme and
    many of the competing cosmologies are metaphysical and
    really unverifiable in a rigorous sense (many worlds
    of quantum cosmology, phoenix universes, black hole
    universes, string theory, etc., etc.). Regardless of
    which of these may be true, Genesis stands for the
    proposition that God is the Creator of whatever
    ensemble of or single universe(s) we have.

    --- JW Burgeson <> wrote:

    > Walt said: "I cannot accept the myth, allegory,
    > theology story. Sorry guys."

    > No need to be sorry, and no need to accept something
    > you don't believe in.
    > This stuff is not either a salvation issue or a
    > "what rewards we will get in
    > heaven" issue.
    > I suggest, however, that if you reject the "genesis
    > 1-11 is myth" arguments,
    > it is incumbent on you to study them until you can
    > uderstand the arguments
    > as well as -- or better than -- those who espouse
    > it. If it were a far out
    > minority opinion, such a study could fairly be
    > ignored. It is not, and it
    > cannot.
    > Burgy
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