Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu>
Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 11:04:24 EST

Merv wrote:

> But my point is -- here is somebody that under any other
> circumstance has as good an understanding of metaphor as any of us
> could be expected to have -- but when it comes to scriptures
> (unless they are explicitly self-labeled as metaphor), he seems to
> have a hermetically sealed compartment (or should I say
> "hermeneutically" sealed?) that prevents normal conclusions he
> might reach from applying in this special case.

I have recommended the book "In the Beginning" by Henri Blocher (IVP)
on this list several times before, and I will do it again. This book
presents a detailed exegesis of the first chapters of Genesis by a
very conservative evangelical theologian and Hebrew scholar. There
are a number of good exegeses and commentaries out there but
Blocher's I think would be the best received by those with a very
conservative view of scripture. The book also has the benefit that
Blocher is personally skeptical of evolution -- so his interpretation
of the Hebrew is not driven by a prior acceptance of an evolutionary
perspective. The book does a great job of showing the kinds of
literary patterns, word plays, parallelisms, and even puns that the
author of Genesis uses. These literary devises are very clear, and
are there for very deliberate theological reasons. I think that
someone with an appreciation of literature would recognize the
increased depth (and accuracy) of understanding of the meaning of a
passage that results when such literary devises are recognized.

Another issue here concerns the way in which individuals understand
divine inspiration. Some who view inspiration as some type of divine
dictation in which the writer is somehow excluded from the process,
imagine that God would speak only in a straightforward woodenly
literal fashion. But if scripture is understood as being God
expression embodied in, and expressed through, the biblical writers,
then scripture must be interpreted using the insight from literary
analysis, cultural context, etc.

Keith

Keith B. Miller
Research Assistant Professor
Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-3201
785-532-2250
http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~kbmill/
Received on Fri Feb 3 11:07:16 2006

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