Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

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Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 11:46:18 EST

Keith Miller wrote:
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.
I agree with Keith that Blocher's book is a great resource. But apparently
his "very conservative" credentials are not universally accepted. In
correspondence with somebody on this issue, my correspondent dismissed Blocher as
having sold out to liberalism. This judgment was not based on Blocher's
reading of Genesis, but I don't recall now exactly what Blocher's alleged serious
deviation from the conservative line was (maybe something to do with original
Another book with solid conservative credentials that can help wean people
away from naive YEC readings is "God's Pattern for Creation: A Covenantal
Reading of Genesis 1" by W. Robert Godfrey. Godfrey comes from a conservative
wing of the Reformed tradition, takes a rather fundamentalist view of
Scripture, is skeptical of evolution, and dead-set against evolution when it comes to
humans (the last conclusion comes as a non-sequiter at the end of the book --
after solidly defending figurative language throughout the book he suddenly
insists on a literal rib and literal dust). Yet he shows how the texts are
telling a richer story than a simplistic reading would suggest.
I think that when dealing with people who are coming from the more
conservative wing it is important to choose one's sources wisely. I have been reading
"Honest to Genesis" by Margaret Gray Towne. While I find worthwhile
material there, her approach to Scripture and orthodox doctrine is sufficiently
"liberal" that I would never recommend that book to my more conservative friends.
 It would just reinforce their view that evolution and non-literal readings
of Genesis 1 are another manifestation of the abandonment of Biblical truth,
as they see it.
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Fri Feb 3 11:47:03 2006

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