Re: Black Sea Flood

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 00:09:55 EDT

  • Next message: Dr. Blake Nelson: "Re: Information generation"

    --- Walter Hicks <> wrote:
    > Let me start by saying that none of this is really
    > fundamental to our
    > Faith in Jesus Christ -- lest misinterpretations be
    > made.

    > The problem with this is that you (like George often
    > does) start by
    > saying that the Bible is full of things like poetry,
    > songs, etc. and
    > then YOU apply it to Genesis which pretends to be
    > nothing more than a
    > _history_ of mankind up to certain point in time.
    > Then YOU follow this
    > up by saying that one cannot treat the books of the
    > Bible uniformly the
    > same -- which exactly what YOU just did above.

    Actually, I did not. I am more inclined to treat
    Kings and Judges as history, because that IS what they
    purport to be. If, however, someone can show that one
    of the judges did not ever exist in history, I would
    feel no worse about God or Jesus, even though I
    believe those books are intended as history.

    Does Genesis have the same character as Kings or
    Judges? No. It does not. Am I saying it is only
    poetry? No, I am not. I am saying that I do not
    think it necessary to treat it as history as Judges is
    history. Might it be true? Sure. Do I think we
    should believe it to be literally true on some point
    where it absolutely contradicts scientific knowledge?
    No. Not even Augustine, from whom all our
    conservative protestants supposedly descend
    theologically believed that.

    > Those who wrote Genesis clearly wrote as though it
    > was history. If there
    > are any written statements in Genesis to say that it
    > is anything other
    > than history, could use please spell out exactly
    > where they appear?

    As skeptics love to point out, the Hebrew word
    describing the sky is a bowl. Do you believe the
    writers of Genesis literally meant the sky is a bowl?
    If you do, the game is over since the whole Bible
    (according to Glenn) is now a tissue of lies. I, on
    the other hand, think at worst, the writers used the
    description of a bowl to describe what they saw (hey
    even Calvin and Luther before him made it clear that
    the perspective of those writing is the human
    perspective, not God's so when the sun rises, this is
    not a claim to a geocentric universe). Moreover, I
    think we should not make the OT a stumbling block to
    belief in the Risen Christ. This does not mean to
    disregard it, it only means that we must be aware that
    the chances are higher that we misunderstand it and
    its purposes than we misunderstand the witness to the
    life, death and resurrection of Christ (which we may
    also misunderstand). Do I think that water "the deep"
    coexisted with God at the beginning? It goes against
    creatio ex nihilio. The answer is I don't know, and
    it doesn't matter. I think regardless of how you read
    Genesis 1, it tells about a magnificent act of
    creation dependent upon one true God who maintains
    everything in existence. That is the important part.
    Not to be overly syncretic, but it seems to me there
    is a core in regards to what MUST be believed to be a
    Christian and what may vary depending on
    interpretation and exegetical stance.

    I want to reiterate, Genesis 1 may be literally true,
    I do not know (certain areas of human knowledge
    suggest that to be in concordance with the age of the
    universe it has to be somewhat different than what a
    literal reading may imply). However, I think it
    simply wrong-headed to say the literal interpretation
    MUST be true.



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