Re: Hyers' Article - Cods Wallop!

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Sun Feb 22 2004 - 11:36:37 EST

Phil Jones wrote:

>Dick Fisher wrote:
> >>The biggest problem theistic evolutionists such as Hyers face is what
> to do with Scripture. Typically, they proclaim the Bible to be "true" as
> an inspired piece of literature, but the truth stops short of being
> historically accurate. Instead of Genesis 1 being a chronological
> sequence of events, the order of presentation becomes in Hyers' words, a
> "cosmogonic" order.<<
>Because a text does not fulfill the role of a historical narrative does
>not deem it a source of lesser truth.

I think Peter answered this better than I could. But let me add something
and begin with the parable of the school girl. A certain man had a
sixteen-year old daughter who was doing poorly in school. He helped her
with her homework one evening, took her to school the next morning, and
when he picked her up after school asked her about her day, whereupon she
tells him something about her classes.

The man listens intently and makes mental notes so that he can help her
plan for the next day. That evening the man gets an email from her sixth
period teacher who informs him that his darling daughter skipped class and
instead went to the 7 Eleven with some friends. This resulted in a
confrontation with severe penalties.

The point of the parable is that the man did initially what we all do. He
took the narrative of the day at school as if it was a historical
rendition. It was only after receiving unmistakable, contradictory
information that he was forced to concede that he had been misled.

And that is the priority we need to give to the Genesis text. We take it
at full face value as a historical narrative unless there is an overriding
reason to assign it to some other category. First of all, it appears as a
historical narrative, and even has "days" (which I would argue are intended
as epochs or eons) sequenced from one to seven. The order of presentation
follows roughly what we know from scientific sources. And Genesis has been
accepted as a historical narrative from the moment it was received up until
just recently when it has been questioned.

And why was it questioned? Simply because there is a lack of understanding
of the fourth day. Nothing else is so glaringly out of sequence that we
need to look for alternatives to understanding Genesis One.

One interpretation from Bible scholars more astute than I is that the
subject of the fourth day is the function of the heavenly bodies and not
the creation of them. Just reading the text, including the Septuagint
version, it should make sense that this is at least a possible
interpretation even if you may think it is a wrong interpretation.

If we at least allow the possibility, and no more, that this was what the
writer of Genesis intended, then we have in hand one possible, acceptable
interpretation. If we want to explore other possibilities and raise them
up for consideration, fine. If another method of interpretation proves to
be superior, that's okay too.

But the idea that Genesis One was intended as a polemic against false gods
has no textual support. The notion that on day one he dispelled a couple
of gods, and on day two some more, then on day three some others get the
axe is simply "California dreaming."

In lieu of any other reasonable explanation, I believe we should place
Genesis One in the historical narrative category and move on to Genesis
2-11 where again I would argue that this too has historical integrity.

Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
Received on Sun Feb 22 11:42:58 2004

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