Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 14:41:46 EST

I really go along with this. Blocher is too much for someone schooled in YEC and literalism to swallow. I don't Godfrey's book but it seems just what is needed. I also agree with George that a Concordist view is a good half-way house.

Thus I always affirm views like these and would do so for either Concordist or the Gap Theory and be very relaxed about them even when I groan at some of their theology.

George was right to say that biblical and theological issues are more important than refuting poor YEC science - here I feel Chris Sharp's approach though totally true is ultimately not effective. I have long said that the easy part of dealing with YEC is refuting YEC "science" the hard part is to persuade people that literalism is not necessary.

Michael

----- Original Message -----
  From: SteamDoc@aol.com
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 4:46 PM
  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 14:57:55 2006

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