To Concord or Not to Concord

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 13:21:58 EDT

  • Next message: Don Winterstein: "Re: Genesis and inspiration"

    Howard wrote earlier:

    >Having observed once again on this list several concordist attempts to bring
    >pieces of early Genesis text into agreement (concord) with pieces of modern
    >natural science, I am led to ask a series of closely related questions:

    What is the purpose or goal of this exercise?

    If early Genesis does not differ to any substantial degree with history and
    science, the Bible itself has more overall credibility that we can use to
    evangelize unbelievers who may mistakenly believe the Bible is merely a
    collection of fairy tales.

    >Why is concord expected?

    Paul describes Scripture as "God breathed." If God himself through the
    Holy Spirit inspired the writers to produce something that was to establish
    the ground rules by which we can either have or miss eternal life, it had
    better be reliable.

    >Why is concord desired?

    By removing the stumbling blocks to understanding we can lead more people
    to Christ.

    >When specimens of concord have been crafted, what has been gained?

    "Crafted" is a loaded term. Tension between Bible and science can be
    reduced, maybe even eliminated, by isolating the passages that seem to be
    in error and looking for the real meaning that God intended. Remember,
    even Daniel didn't know what he was writing about, but God instructed him
    that it was for future generations who would understand.

    Bible translators have caused most of the heartburn. They labored under
    the misconception that the entire human race commenced with a man (Adam)
    who lived roughly seven thousand years ago, that the entire globe was
    covered by the flood from which only Noah, his sons and wives survived, and
    that all of our languages began at the tower of Babel - which it turns out
    was a Mesopotamian ziggurat.

    By not having a handle on the historical setting of early Genesis and its
    Mesopotamian background, they dug a hermeneutical hole for us from which we
    have to extricate ourselves.

    Concordism itself should not be the goal. If the Bible falls short on its
    own, then so be it. Eliminating misunderstanding, however, I believe is a
    worthwhile goal.

    But nothing is gained if no one takes heed and refuses to change his or her
    mind. If everyone remains fixed in the belief that science and history can
    be beat into submission to an outdated method of interpretation on the one
    hand, or that Genesis is simply allegory, poetry, mythology, tradition or
    outright falsehood on the other hand, then the paradigms remain, and we
    muddle on in endless discussion.

    Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
    Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

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