Re: Seely's Views

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Fri Aug 20 2004 - 17:14:32 EDT

I am not sure which thread I should reply to, as Schaefer and Seely overlap.

I think we should see this as a discussion between those who have a high view of scripture, which I consider as correct and essential, in contradistinction to those like Peacocke and others who will tend to see Genesis as myth in the common sense of the word, and who(ie Glenn etc) accept the scientific evidence for the vast age of the earth and universe, which cannot be contradicted as it is well substantiated.

I can see the attraction of concordism but as Paul has pointed out the bible is written in a background and acceptance of the cosmology (science if you like ) of the day. Hence for Genesis that means a solid firmament of vs 6-8 and tiny stars in the New Testament. We can have no concord with that and must say with Calvin that God "accommodated" himself to the rude and unlearned. Another way is to say that the OT does relate to the reality of the natural world and the cosmos but this is not a one-to-one relationship. We have the same problem with Paul's (St not Seely!) deficient biology of dead seeds in 1 Cor 15. Paul's message is clear but is science is utterly wrong. There is no way we can find concord between 1 Cor 15 and today's botany but that does not negate what he was teaching, the stars falling to earth in the Gospels - I liked P seely's comments about Pliny as I went to where he was killed by Vesuvius last year and Pliny's genius is beyond question. But then I judge any scientist from history by his contemporaries rather than what we know today. Thus I respect the crypto-geologists of the 17th century like Ray, Burnett and others for their skills and don't denigrate them for attempting to show all strata were laid down in the flood. But I have no respect for nearly all flood geologists today until they start questioning as did Glenn in the 80s.

To conclude we should not seek a concordist approach which was found wanting in the 19th century despite the valiant efforts of people like Buckland, Lawson, Chalmers and many others. In the 19th century people gradually moved away from Concordism and perhaps Hugh Miller in the Testimony of the Rocks 1858 was the last serious attempt and was severely criticised then. Ultimately to follow concordism

I think Paul is right to say many Evang OT scholars must fear for their jobs and I was surprised at John Currid - I bet Douglas Kelly isnt pleased with him. We need to consider what the Bible actually says and not what we want it to.

  ----- Original Message -----
  To: ;
  Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 3:11 AM
  Subject: Re: Seely's Views

  In a message dated 8/19/04 4:11:32 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

    I tend to share some of Glenn's misgivings about arguments of accommodation, but I also see the "scientific" passages as reflecting views of the day. I am more comfortable in labeling these as everyday or phenomenological language (cf. Calvin's comments on the astronomical deficiencies of ranking the moon ahead of the planets as a prominent light). Also, although the imagery of Genesis 1 and other passages certainly suggest a flat earth and a solid dome for a sky, if taken as scientific statements, they don't come out and say "the earth is flat". A flat earth and a solid dome for a sky both accurately describe their appearance to the ordinary observer and would certainly be part of the ordinary language of the day; they are still part of everyday language in our culture.

  What is it about accommodation that you are uneasy with?

  It may be a technicality, but Ramm, I think rightly, defined phenomenal language as having to do strictly with appearances. But, Genesis goes beyond appearances with God _making_ a firmament, and there actually being a sea above it, which later serves as a source of the waters for the Flood. The flat earth is not so important, but the sea below it (Ps 24:2) is since it also serves as a source of water for the Flood.

Received on Fri Aug 20 17:35:54 2004

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