Re: Genesis and inspiration (was: The forgotten verses)

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Sat Jun 21 2003 - 06:36:03 EDT

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    Just a few comments, as it's apparent we aren't going to make a lot of =
    progress on this topic: =20

    First, I hadn't fully realized from your paper, Genesis Reconsidered, =
    that your age-days were intended just to give an origin-sequence of =
    categories of things, such as plants of any kind coming before animals =
    of any kind. This would mean, of course, that many of the age-days =
    would have huge overlaps. Your scheme thereby gets close in some =
    respects to the one proposed by Glenn Morton on his website. But this =
    kind of interpretation seems unnatural to me in view of the simple =
    linearity of the simple Genesis narrative. =20

    I still think your assignment of /oph/ to insects is at the very least =
    inconsistent: Previously you'd said the text failed to mention =
    invertebrates because they weren't "living souls;" so why would God =
    suddenly assign winged insects, which are mostly "unclean" invertebrates =
    and presumably also not living souls, such importance? =20

    You wrote: "God did not shape Adam as a potter forms the clay, but =
    formed him in
    his mother's womb and then called him as an adult and filled him with
    his spirit for a specific assignment among the preadamites." But aren't =
    you doing considerable violence to the clear meaning of the text? What =
    justifies rejecting a literal meaning here when you're taking such pains =
    to be literal elsewhere? =20

    You wrote: "If Adam hadn't sinned, what would God have
    done? I think this is an inappropriate and useless question; the bible
    never considers it." Yes, but if one wants to take the text literally, =
    one must take the Tree of Life literally and its potential consequences. =
      So while I agree that the question is theologically useless, it's not =
    inappropriate. The question is appropriate for making the point that =
    the text is not to be taken literally, and that myth is a good solution. =

    You wrote: "The great problem I see with considering them [Genesis =
    creation accounts] modified myths is how
    to distinguish gold from straw. What is inspired, what is not?" It's =
    all inspired, but "inspired" in this case means true to what God wanted =
    people to get out of the story at that time, and not true in perhaps any =
    other way. Like it or not, we all must continuously decide as we read =
    in what sense the biblical words are to be understood. Furthermore, =
    those myths probably weren't pagan. They could have originated with =
    Abraham, as he certainly did not subscribe to the local polytheistic =
    myths as he received them. =20

    You wrote: "The OT does sometimes picture God as husband (or father) to =
    Israel, but
    in the NT, it's Jesus who is the bridegroom to the Church as his bride,
    whereas God is consistently referred to as our Father." Granted; in NT =
    times God was the Father and Christ was the husband. That was a =
    perspective constrained by the historical proximity of God the Son. =20

    It's now 2000 years later, a lot has happened, but one thing that has =
    not happened is the second coming of Christ. This means God had =
    objectives other than just a quick consummation of history in Christ. =
    It is then quite natural for God to have reassumed his OT role as =
    husband of more than one earthly wife, the wives in this case being =
    something like the various branches of Christianity. The future bride =
    of Christ will be the unified organism comprising the individual humans =
    that make up the various wives of God. The various branches of =
    Christianity these days are far from united and thus are more =
    realistically seen on Earth as several distinct organisms than as a =
    single bride of Christ. =20

    This idea in combination with the natural fit to scientific =
    interpretations of the world makes God as husband truly a compelling =
    theological thesis. The fit to science is good because, if God seeks a =
    wife, he would want her to come into existence as independently from =
    himself as possible--hence the lengthy and apparently unguided processes =
    of creation. The problem of evil also disappears because God's priority =
    is to create a "person" independent of any obvious attempts to shape =
    her--hence her need to be subject to the laws of the world, which =
    include natural catastrophes. As a rule the creation of an independent =
    wife has higher priority for God than the physical welfare of any =
    individual or group. =20

    After living many decades with these ideas I find them so compatible =
    with God, history, science and general observations of the world that I =
    feel they'll eventually become widely accepted, the more so as the time =
    until Christ's second coming grows. =20


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