RE: The Problem of Liberal Theology

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 16:07:34 EDT

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            Well, I think that your approach, Glenn, should not be seen
    as the only or
    even the referred approach to Gen 1-11.But if you want a historical
    reconstruction of Gen 1-11, go ahead. May the Force be with you.I think that
    your historical interpretation ends up being as subjective and symbolic as
    my "Mythopoetic" interpretation, but you want to portray yourself as the
    "objective scientist standing up for history & truth versus mythmaking
    liberals like John, George, and myself, knock yourself out, Saint Glenn...

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of Glenn Morton
    Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 10:46 PM
    Subject: RE: The Problem of Liberal Theology

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: JW Burgeson []
    >Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 7:29 AM

    >Glenn wrote, in part: "one of the problems is that when one tries to prove
    >it [Gen 1-11] COULD be accurate, everyone chides that person for trying to
    >PROVE it or chides them for wanting to have historical proof, or
    >chides them
    >for having a YEC mindset, or chides them for not seeing it for the myths
    >that it is, or chides them for not understanding that the true message has
    >to do with a proclamation that there is only one God as opposed to the
    >polytheistic religions of the day or they chide them for not
    >seeing that it
    >is a poem or they chide them for...... on and on ... ."
    >You have a long list there. Let me try to respond.
    >"... everyone chides that person... ."
    >1. Not everyone.
    >2. To the extent that any post of mine here is perceived by you as a
    >"chide," apologies. I do not mean any of them that way.

    Burgy, my friend, you are taking my words a bit too literally. Have you
    become a literalist? :-) I would be shocked! :-)

    Of course not everyone, ever and I hope you know by now that people can say
    almost anything to me or about me and don't get too bothered by it. Often I
    find it a bit amusing. But their is (ok I will say it correctly) almost
    always a stream of notes telling me that this isn't the way one should do
    it. Indeed, Shuan was quick to tell me that AFTER I posted the above note!

    >"... for trying to PROVE it..."
    >For the record, I am pleased that you take this task on, and, as I've
    >mentioned before, the thesis you argue in your two books still
    >appears to me
    >to be the soundest explanation GIVEN THAT ONE ASSUMES THE
    >I am particularly impressed with the observation that your thesis is a
    >scientific one; it can be falsified; it can be supported by possible new
    >evidence yet to be uncovered.
    >"... or chides them for wanting to have historical proof,"
    >Speaking only for myself, I would be delighted to see "historical
    >proof." I
    >just do not see it as a foundational need; I think you do.
    >"... or chides them for having a YEC mindset, ... ."
    >That was me. Let me unpack that statement. A "YEC mindset" does
    >not mean one
    >is a YEC, or a "bad guy," or simple minded, or anything like that. It does
    >mean, as I used it, that one sees the Xtian faith as primarily
    >rather than CONFESSIONAL.

    I know that one was you--I chose it because it was you. And indeed, in some
    sense, Burgy, you are correct, I do have a YEC mindset but I would argue
    that the YEC mindset, of looking for concordance with reality, IS the
    scientific mindset. The problem with the YECs is that they don't incorporate
    the other part of a scientific mindset--correctability. They are constantly
    and incorrigibly incorrectable.

    >Suppose if in Acts 1 Jesus had said "And you shalll be my apologists,
    >bringing everyone into compliance with correct doctrine about me, ... ."
    >Then a prescriptive approach to Xtianity would clearly be
    >understood. He did
    >not, of course, but instead said "You shall be my witnesses ... ."
    >"...or chides them for not seeing it for the myths that it is,..."
    >My argument to you on this is that I don't see you understanding that
    >position as a possibly valid one. You poke fun at it, and that's OK except
    >that sarcasm and irony on this LISTSERV is often not understood as
    >such and
    >is seldom productive. I think I can fairly argue your position,
    >Glenn. I do
    >not think you can argue mine.

    Believe it or not, I might be able to argue it, but on this list I have seen
    no reason to try. And, no, I probably don't see a reason to hold that it is
    ok to have so little historical content as you. But even you fall to my
    position if I ask the question would you believe the OT if none of it was

    >"... or chides them for not understanding that the true message has to do
    >with a proclamation that there is only one God as opposed to the
    >polytheistic religions of the day ... ."
    >I think you understand that message, Glenn. I think that all on this
    >LISTSERV probably do. You are looking for more -- to bolster or make more
    >credible the faith; I applaud that effort without seeing it as
    >useful for ME. It may well be useful for others, of a more
    >conservative/fundamentalist persuasion.

    Actually, I am glad it isn't useful to you. You probably have less trouble
    in these issues than I.

    >"...or they chide them for not seeing that it is a poem or... "
    >Not quite, But I would encourage people to EXAMINE THE ARGUMENTS why some
    >folks think it is a poem.

    I know the arguments but I think it actually makes no difference. It is the
    truth or falsity of the poem that makes a difference and of course, as usual
    I am not speaking of internalized spiritual truth.

    >My daughter is a lawyer. She tells me that if she does not know her
    >opponent's arguments as well as he does, she is likely to lose in the
    >courtroom. She is a smart cookie.

    I won't claim to know every persons argument as well as they, but I do know
    it and actually could do a credible imitation of it. I really think you
    underestimate me here. I am arguing against a position which spiritualizes
    early Genesis, because of the necessity for God to be the creator. That
    doesn't mean I don't know the arguments. For goodness sake, George has
    excellently propounded them enough. And I have (boringly) replied often


    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle


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