Re: It's no joke!

From: <>
Date: Mon Apr 11 2005 - 02:41:31 EDT


Your wrote:

> Christopher,
> I don't mean to get at you, because I am also of the opinion that the earth
> is old and that YEC arguments, however clever they may initially seem, don't
> stand up to scientific scrutiny, and even if they did clearly cannot buy you
> six orders of magnitude in difference in age (billions -> thousands).
> I can also see that there are non-literal ways to interpret Genesis 1 & 2
> that don't mean they are false, but that they are valuable without being
> historically true. Nor do I accept the oft-repeated argument of YEC's that there
> was no physical death before the fall. It seems to me that in Eph 2:5 where
> it says that God made us alive in Christ while we were dead in our
> transgressions, that the latter phrase refers to our fallen state, and that it doesn't
> mean that we were physically dead - the description is of a spiritual state
> (like being born again doesn't mean you go back into your mother's womb.).
> I say all this to indicate I'm on your side (largely). However, it seems to
> me that you haven't answered Vernon's point about a straight reading of the
> flood narrative. You assert that it is Vernon's interpretation of the flood
> that is at fault, but I don't see what your interpretation is. For example,
> what is your interpretation of Gen 7:22-23? Particularly 23, which (in the
> NIV) states "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out".

There are several possible interpretations

> Does this describe
> (a) A historical event, which the writer has simply got wrong (and this is
> not in a minor detail, it's catastrophically wrong).

That is possible, such as Rev 6:13 where it is stated that the stars will
fall from
heaven. If this means literal stars, then of course this is completely
meaningless based on our modern knowledge, but would have made sense
within the context of ancient Hebrew cosmology, where it was believed that
stars were small lights fastened to the inside of the solid dome of the
firmament. A couple of days ago I was arguing in Bible study with someone
who literally believed this. I was simply astounded in 2005 that someone
could be so ignorant of astronomy.

I really don't understand why some Christians when they get saved and
baptized include a lobotomy in their salvation package.

> (b) Some allegorical tale. In which case, what is it intended to teach us?

I prefer this interpretation, because it does teach us something, regardless
of the original intent of the author. For me the ark represents the
of Jesus Christ, regardless of whether there was one, and if there was, its
size and the number of animals in it.

> I would be interested to hear what you have to say, because I think that
> would be a proper answer to Vernon's point that a straight reading of the
> narrative indicates a global flood. If you say his interpretation is wrong, then
> you should give some idea of what you think the correct interpretation is.
> (Like I did above in interpreting "no death before the fall".)
> Iain.

Even if a straight reading of Genesis can be interpreted as a global flood,
and personally I don't think it does, but if it does for the sake of
so what? What matters in the end in science is the empirical evidence, and
the empirical evidence clearly shows that there was no global flood. Modern
astrophysics, which is my field, or geology, which is not, cannot be held
hostage to particular beliefs of one particular tribe of ancient people, i.e.
the Hebrews, or others such as the Mayans, the Chinese or the Hindus.
What matters is the theology behind Genesis, not the science.

Christopher Sharp
Received on Mon Apr 11 02:45:08 2005

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