RE: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: Duff,Robert Joel <rjduff@uakron.edu>
Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 12:51:07 EST

I would very much like to concur with Allen and Keith's book
recommendations. I have recomended both to friends at various points but
the Godfrey book in particular is currently my #1 recommendation right
now. I have multiple copies just so I have them to lend out to friends.
I have found that the YEC friends that I have gotten to read this book
have found it hard to be offended by it or to mount a serious argument
against it. Godfrey's credentials are excellent and his writing is very
accessible to the lay Christian and is of a length that can be read in a
sitting or two. I had hoped this book would get wider play than it has
so far because I am convinced if a person can be convinced to read this
book prior to a discussion of Genesis interpretations, it will
fascilitate a much more rewarding discussion. In fact, I have decided
that in some instances that I will tell individuals that I won't spend
time discussing the topic until they have read this book as
representative of the types of concerns and positions that I hold.

R. Joel Duff
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology
ASEC 185, University of Akron
Akron OH 44325-3908

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Subject: Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

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 sin?).
 
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 | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Fri Feb 3 12:51:49 2006

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