Re: A Third Method of Apology

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sun Aug 08 2004 - 13:30:31 EDT

Why in the world does apologetics have to focus on Genesis 1 - 11? Of course if people ask about it there's a need to address it, but that isn't where we have to start.
For a better way - or at least a "fourth way" - see my article in PSCF a few years ago, http://www.asa3.or/ASA/PSCF/2000/PSCF9-00Murphy.html.

Besides, the description below of the "liberal" method of interpretation (where I suppose people would try to group me) is inaccurate at several points. (E.g., why would a "liberal" use the NIV, which waffles with its rendition of raqia` as "expanse"?)

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: ASA
  Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 12:04 PM
  Subject: A Third Method of Apology

  I would like to solicit your comments, online or off, on this proposal to launch a third method of apology I call a "moderate method" in contradistinction from the conservative method and liberal method currently in use. Of course, these are generalizations, and not intended to represent every shade of belief.

  Predominantly, Christians use one of two methods of apology, and Christians tend to be polarized between these opposite extremes.
  Characteristics of Conservative Method
  1. Genesis 1-11 is interpreted as the factual history of the creation of all mankind.

  2. A "literal" interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is advocated, but flawed by inconsistent exegesis.

  3. The Bible alone is seen as sufficient for all understanding.

  4. The Bible is seen as inerrant either as translated or in the original manuscripts.

  5. KJV is given priority as the preferred English translation.

  6. The "days" of creation are seen as 24-hour periods.

  7. Adam is considered the progenitor of the human race who lived approximately 6,000 years ago.

  8. The fossil record was distributed by a global flood.

  9. All the world's languages commenced at the tower of Babel.

  10. History is ignored and science is subverted to align with flawed biblical interpretation.
  Characteristics of Liberal Method
  1. Genesis 1-11 is interpreted as a theological presentation of human creation.

  2. Adam represents the first human being who may have lived over 100,000 years ago, or didn't live at all.

  3. Genesis 1-11 may be understood as allegory, poetry, mythology, or tradition.
  4. Genesis 1-11 has theological value, but is considered to be factually flawed.

  5. A relationship with Christ guides our understanding as the Holy Spirit reveals what is important.

  6. Biblical interpretation is a matter of faith, though influenced by the revelations of science.

  7. The Bible is considered to be authoritative and divinely inspired, though not inerrant.

  8. NIV usually is the preferred English translation.

  9. The "days" of creation in Genesis 1 are considered as "day-age" and realigned.

  10. Modern science generally is taken at full face value, and Bible and science are reconciled by subordinating Scripture.

  Characteristics of Moderate Method

  1. Genesis 1-11 is considered the factual history of the Semites, not the entire human race.

  2. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is preferred using sound, consistent exegesis, and mindful of archaic Hebrew language.

  3. Scripture is inerrant in the autographs, but suffers currently from errors in transmission, translation, and interpretation.

  4. KJV is preferred, though needs revision in light of historical evidence.

  5. The "days" of creation are seen as days of God's time, not man's time.

  6. Adam is considered to be the federal head of the human race, the biological head of the Semitic race, and the first to receive God's covenant.

  7. Faith alone has proved insufficient for understanding.

  8. Scripture can be clarified by Scripture, and Bible interpreters should consider revelations of modern science and ancient history.

  9. Impartial, unbiased data and evidence should guide us in formulating theories of understanding, both theological and scientific.

  10. Scientific theories are best left to credentialed scientists, and modern science poses no threat to Genesis 1-11, correctly interpreted.

  Again, what do you think? Please realize that I have compiled a wealth of historical data to support this method.

  Also, if your church group, seminary, university, or Christian organization would like to see a live and in person Power Point presentation on "Historical Genesis: From Adam to Abraham," let me know - offline, please. Bags packed, will travel.

  Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
  Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
Received on Sun Aug 8 14:02:59 2004

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