From: Debbie Mann (email@example.com)
Date: Sun May 04 2003 - 20:19:25 EDT
I think that perhaps one of the best thing about this list is the fact that it not only provides new insights into the Bible, but also inspires study.
Rich sent me his paper 'True Religion' on Darwinian principles. In it he theorizes that Jacob was using genetics in building his flock while Laban's suffered. In effect, the blessed one of God was using his own ingenuity to perform God's purpose. He also points out that there is a series of elder serving younger with regards to Jacob. I find both of these thoughts intriguing.
The greater point, that God favors natural selection, I find more troublesome. There is a lengthy footnote on a debate as to what kind of eyes Leah had - due to difficulties in translation.
Your paper did provide an interesting perspective. I agree that the whole incident with the women indicates that Leah was not attractive. If she was, why would her father have resorted to subterfuge to get her married to a man who did not love her? The purpose of the sentence in question seems to be providing the reason for her being an old maid. Her eyes clearly were not 'lovely' but rather 'weak' or something close to it.
You fail to mention in your argument for natural selection that Rachel stole her father's idols and lied to prevent being put to death. Her subsequent death in childbirth could be interpreted as a fulfillment of her husband's vow. Further, her weakness in the fertility area would not lend itself to the survival of the fittest argument.
I find your paper persuasive in the local context, but not in a wider one. And, I do not believe God favors the superior. According to Corinthians, God's strength is made perfect in weakness.
The fact that God made it available for us to do it right, and that sin and the consequences of sin have weakened us genetically is, I believe, indisputable. However, it appears that you are taking it to the point that God gives special favor to those who are superior, regardless of their faith in the here and now.
I agree that favor added to strength will generally provide a better result than favor added to weakness. Those whose ancestors have abided by certain Levitical rules may have a head start. But, I also believe that God blesses all those who come to Him in the name of His Son, believing that they may receive. And, further, He humbles those who think themselves great.
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