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