From: George Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jun 14 2003 - 14:46:51 EDT
Perhaps this is unnecessary but I seem to have doen an even worse job of proofreading
than usual. Here's a corrected version of my post of earlier today.
George Murphy wrote:
> Vernon Jenkins wrote:
> > George,
> > As the final paragraph of your latest response you wrote:
> > "What your claims seem to come down to is that Vernon Jenkins has been
> > sufficiently freed from the power of sin to know the truth, and that
> > all who disagree with him on these matters are - literally - insane.
> > If that's your view - whether or not you explicitly avow it - then
> > there's no point in continuing this conversation."
> > I make no such claims, but simply draw attention to certain 'forgotten
> > verses' which strongly suggest that the Christian needs to exercise
> > great care in deducing - from whatever observational data is available
> > - anything that is likely to impugn the Scriptures.
> Again I agree that one should not "impugn the Scriptures." But arguing for an
> old earth and biological evolution impugns the Scriptures only if Genesis can be read
> only as historical narrative which, as I think I've shown, it doesn't.
> Suppose we have a bright young Christian who is interested in geology. He
> firmly trusts in Jesus as his savior & believes that the Bible is true, but has never
> given a great deal of thought to questions of biblical chronology. (His Bible doesn't
> have Bp. Ussher's dates in the center column.) He starts studying varved clay
> sediments, which in certain localities in Scandinavia can be traced back year by year
> for long periods of time. He goes back 100 years - no problem. Back 1000 years - no
> problem. He keeps going - 2000, 3000 years. No sign of anything catastrophic or
> disruptive taking place & the sediments keep up their regular pattern of variation. But if he keeps on going much past 6000 years before present then (according to
> a strict YEC account) the corrupting effects of original sin have kicked in and deluded
> him. The varves don't indicate real ages past about 4004 B.C.
> The external evidence seems to indicate ages a lot greater than 6000 years but
> Vernon Jenkins (it seems) must hold that our young geologist and anyone who believes that these ages are real is, in some sense, crazy - deluded by the effects of effects of
> > Let me now, for the sake of argument, accept your suggested parallel
> > between the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Genesis 1 account of
> > the Creation, viz that neither need be literally true to achieve its
> > respective purpose in the divinely-inspired text. But if you
> > believe the Creation narrative to be an accurate but _figurative_
> > account of what in reality is a theistic evolutionary process
> > extending over aeons of time then, I suggest, there will be certain
> > inevitable expectations, viz (1) a clear mapping of the written
> > details onto significant events in this assumed process, and (2) a
> > clear harmonisation of the orders in which those events occurred.
> > Accordingly, how do you respond to the point that, according to
> > Genesis 1, birds are created _before_ land animals (Gn.1: 20, 24)?
> > Evolutionary theory, of course, requires that this order be
> > reversed. Again, what is the evolutionary parallel to the 'division of
> > the waters' (Gn.1:6,7)?
> > Another problem arises in connection with the 6 days of creative
> > activity followed by 1 day of rest. Clearly, these are important
> > features in the Creation narrative. What would you say are the
> > parallels in the evolutionary account?
> > You may be interested to observe that here, in the very first chapter
> > of the Bible, we have an explicit example of numerical
> > geometry involving the expression of 7 as a hexagon of 6-around-1
> > - this figure, a derivative (by self-intersection) of 10 as triangle.
> > Further, observe that the self-union of the same triangle
> > generates the hexagram 13 -revealing the 12-around-1 feature of the
> > tribes of Israel/God and the disciples/Jesus.
> I repeat that I have not said that Genesis 1 is a parable. My argument was
> simply to show that there is a variety of literary types, all of which are capable of
> conveying God's truth, in the Bible. I certainly don't believe that Genesis 1 is an
> _allegory_ with a one-to-one correspondence between items in the text and a scientific
> account of origins - e.g., days of creation corresponding to geological ages. Genesis 1
> can be read on a number of levels but for Christians it functions (or should) in the
> most fundamental way as a theological statement about God's creation of, and
> relationship with, the world and humanity. It says that the world was created by God
> alone, by God's Word, and that creation is good. It suggests (I would not put it more
> strongly) that God created living things from the materials of the world. It says that
> humanity is given a special place and special responsibilities in creation. It suggests
> (with the Sabbath) a goal of creation.
> This is, of course, not intended as an exhaustive theological intepretation: I
> touch just a few major points. This provides part (not the whole - cf., e.g., Genesis
> 2) of the theological context in which, among other things, our scientific understanding
> of origins is to be seen.
George L. Murphy
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