Seely's Views

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Sun Aug 15 2004 - 10:40:11 EDT

Hi Paul, I knew I would get a reaction. :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2004 2:33 AM
 I do not believe Genesis 1 (or 1--11) is "only the work of the human
writer." I do believe that it is 100% divinely inspired. But, was it
the INTENTION of God to teach us HOW the universe was created, the
order, the length of time, the nature of the physical world, etc.? Did
any prophet, apostle, or Jesus ever cite Scripture in order to teach
physical science? 2 Tim 3:16, 17 tells us why the Bible was inspired: so
that "the man of God may be adequate (or proficient), equipped for every
good work." The purpose of the inspiration is to give us information
that educates us spiritually, not scientifically.
GRM:The epistemological problem I have with the above statemen is that
nowhere is it clearly stated what God's intention is. It is your belief
that that is what God intended, but unless he told you something he
hasn't told others, God's intention is unclear.

When missionary translators went to New Guinea, they found a primitive
people who knew nothing of sheep, but had an economy and culture based
upon pigs, and they very highly valued pigs. Now the absolute truth is
that in the OT pigs are UNCLEAN, and were not used for sacrifice.
Further, the absolute truth is that John the Baptist said of Jesus,
"Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
But, in the interests of good communication the missionaries made
concessions to the deeply pre-ingrained cultural ideas, and they
translated the text, "Behold the Pig of God who takes away the sin of
the world."

Looked at from one angle, the missionaries made that Bible verse False,
simply false; but would you say it is no longer inspired?
GRM: I would say that I find such arguments quite compelling of the
conclusion that theology doesn't matter. Sure it is harmless to the
concept to replace sheeps with pigs. But why stop there? What is the
brake on this sort of substitution? Maybe sin was something the ancient
hebrews understood that other cultures of the time didn't and thus God
talked about sin, to get across to the Hebrews other concepts, say
God's love?
One can probably make a case that in the OT, the word 'heaven' means
merely the sky, not the place of eternal bliss. Did God accomodate his
theology to the beliefs of the mid-east culture of 2000 years ago and
add the concept that there was a heaven, when in fact there isn't one?
And did God accomodate his theology to the understanding of first
century that there must be a returning political king and make up all
that nonsense about his physical return?
Did God accomodate his theology to that extent? Give me a non ad hoc
explanation for why that couldn't have occurred? What exactly defines
the line across which your substitutionary approach must cease? Your
approach seems to have no coherent stopping point to me, which is why I
find it so wrong
Or can genuine inspiration employ concession to deeply pre-ingrained
cultural ideas while at the same time communicating absolutely true
spiritual truth?
GRM: Sure we can communcate that way. But one has no natural stopping
point for this type of concession.

In fact, by mistranslating the verse, by making it say something that
was absolutely not true to what the text actually said, did they not
enhance the communication of the spiritual truth?
GRMMy question goes deeper than merely enhancing communication. It
concerns given several millennia of these concessions, would we have any
way to tell the difference between concession and non-concession? Would
we have any means to discern the real message. I note, with
disappointment that you didn't address the islamic and Moonie cliams
that they superceded the Christian theology. Is God in the process of
trying to correct the misunderstandings which come from his concessions
to the first century Christians? Please answer this because it goes to
the heart of the problem I see with your approach.
Received on Sun Aug 15 11:02:48 2004

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