Re: Believe it even if it isn't true theology

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sun Feb 19 2006 - 09:06:00 EST


I couldn't get your link ..

> ***R. Christopher Heard (Pepperdine University
> Religion Prof.) on "Why I Am Not A Creationist"

to work. I managed to find the text at and scrolling
down to the entry that says "Why I am not a creationist". I thought the
article was very interesting, especially the following paragraph:

*6. Biblical creation texts seem perfectly comfortable with the idea of
intermediate agents/causes in God's creative activity.* After assigning
Genesis 1 for homework reading, I often ask my students, "Who made the
plants?" Those who grew up going to Sunday school, who *think* they know
what is in Genesis 1, and who tend to cut corners in Religion 101 because
they think they know the Bible stories through frequent repetition in
church, often answer, "God." And of course they're wrong—at least in terms
of proximate causes as described by the writer of Genesis 1. According to
Genesis 1, the earth made the plants—at God's command, mind you (and that is
of immense importance), but working "independently." The same seems to be
true of the animals on the sixth day and, *mutatis mutandis*, of the birds
and fish. In Genesis 1, God doesn't personally, hands-on, create plants,
fish, birds, and animals. Instead, God commands the earth, seas, and sky
(what we would call "nature") to produce them. Ranging farther afiled, one
finds Wisdom and Christ proclaimed as intermediate agents or helpers in
creation (Proverbs; Colossians).


A thought that has occurred to me recently as well is that if one interprets
the seven days as a chronological sequence, then one has to invoke lots of
artificial miracles (bodges) to get around the inconsistencies implied by a
strict chronological model. For example, one might ask the a simple
question about the light that was created on Day 1, three days before the
Sun and stars were created:

"Where does the light on day 1 shine from?"

In order to answer this, one has to posit that God made some temporary light
to make do before He got round to creating the sun, which then took over.
Such an absurd notion seems to me to make a mockery of the text. What the
text is telling us, it seems to me is that God defined the properties light
would have.

Another miracle that has to be invoked is that all the plants etc had to be
produced from the earth in a single day. (Well, it was before day 3, so I
guess this temporary light was pretty special in that it could produce
accelerated growth).

Received on Sun Feb 19 09:06:40 2006

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