Re: Black Sea Flood

From: JW Burgeson (
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 13:52:34 EDT

  • Next message: JW Burgeson: "Re: Black Sea Flood"

    Walt wrote, in part: "The trouble is, Burgy, that I have not seen anything
    to study."

    Anything? Visit the library of any seminary sometime; there is a wealth of
    materials, book, articles, essays, etc. The library (ah, what bliss to be
    only 300 feet away from it) here at Iliff in Denver has 1000 times the
    volumes I can ever read. (Yes, Terry, volumes from the conservative side,
    too, although nothing I see from our ICR friends).

    "All I see are statements that it is clearly a myth from you and a
    disclaimer from George, who says it is theology."

    IIf I said "clearly" a myth, that is probably too strong a statement. The
    position that Gen 1-11 is a collection of folk tales, (myth, if you will)
    which was collected and put into its present form fairly recently seems
    pretty strong. I know there are conservative scholars who argue against
    this; I have read many of them. To me the arguments they make are not
    persuasive. A myth, of course, may have some -- even many -- points of
    correspondence with "real history," and it is an interesting exercise to
    identify these. But the history is not the message of Gen 1-11.

    "It seems to me that you have the minority opinion in general and it not
    even obvious that more than 50% of the ASA members agree with your

    The ASA tends to attract persons of a conservative background, and I'm a
    pointy headed liberal Presbyterian, so, as far as this list is concerned,
    you may be correct. The views I hold on this are probably similar to most
    scholars and ministers in the mainline Christian churches. But, of course,
    the argument from authority is not a very interesting one. Here at Iliff,
    BTW, I am considered as somewhat of a conservative. But diversity is an aim
    of this institution, so they put up with me.

    "Anyhow, if is not history, then in my mind it is simply an _error_ --
    not a myth or theology."

    That position is not unusual among my fundementalist friends, of whom I have
    many. I think it is a dangerous view, for when it becomes apparent that the
    science & history of Gen 1-11 cannot be reconciled with factual knowledge,
    then many persons just toss Christianity over the side as a bad deal.

    " It is pretty clear that if you read Genesis backwards you are looking at
    what someone _thought_ was the history of mankind."

    I'd probably agree with this, with the quick comment that "history" to the
    ancient Hebrews is not to be equated with "history" to a 21st century mind.
    Again, I refer to the statement by my Native American friend.

    " If he was wrong, then the Bible in that area is simply wrong."

    Here I have to disagree. Jesus told the story of "the Good Samaritan." Would
    you say that if Jesus was wrong about him -- that he never existed, that the
    story never took place, then the Bible is wrong? I think not.

    "...My inclination is to accept Genesis for what most people think that it
    is -- history. If I become convinced that it is mythology (and it sure
    doesn't look like it me), then I'll just stop paying any attention to it."

    That would be a shame. Gen 1-11 has a message to tell. It is just that
    history is not part of that message.

    Cordially, John

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