Re: [asa] The Bible and the Anthropologically Universal Flood

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Fri Mar 16 2007 - 12:37:58 EDT

Jon -- good thoughts. Just one observation. You said, *"I believe "never
to rebuke you again" is actually a future-looking prophecy to the kingdom of
God set up on earth (Rev 21:4 no more rebuke, so no more tears)." *Possibly
this is so, but I think it establishes the overall point I was trying to
make: in no sense is anything about a passage like Isaiah 54 simple or
literal. It takes alot of hermeneutical gymnastics to get to your
eschatological reading of "never to rebuke you again," and even then there
are any number of plausible interpretations that don't involve some kind of
literal re-establishment of the Davidic monarchy in a literal future
millennial kingdom (I used to be a dispensationalist, but that is another
view I have abandoned after careful reflection and study). The point is,
there really is no such thing as a "face value" reading of a passage like
this, which means, IMHO, that even if a "face value" reading of the
passage's reference to the floodwaters is possible, it is not by any means

On 3/16/07, Jon Tandy <> wrote:
> David,
> I agree about the importance of context,, and about accommodation.
I have no problems with at least a limited accommodation view, in fact it
seems perfectly obvious and reasonable in many instances. The only problem
which some people have is the "slippery slope" argument, which is
technically a logical fallacy but nevertheless something definitely to be
concerned about. One ultimate slippery slope argument is, if God
accommodated to the people's understandings at the time, maybe Islam was the
real truth, but God simply accommodated to the Jewish people's prior
Messianic beliefs in giving them the "Jesus story", until the Prophet could
come along later and reveal the whole truth. (Or change the argument to fit
any other non-Christian religious worldview.) I don't believe that, of
course. But if we don't like the principle of accommodation there, where
does it stop? To what lengths will God go to reveal partial truth to an
imperfect people, bound by culture and prior experience? And though true,
accommodation is a difficult sell to many in the pews when it conflicts with
the very straightforward Bible stories.
> I am quite willing to believe that in non-theologically important details
(geology, etc.), there may any number of accommodations in scripture. Does
Glenn or any YECist really believe that God has a reserve of hail stored up
in the sky somewhere, which he scoops up and flings to earth in "time of
trouble" or "battle and war"? (Job 38:22-23) Everyone accommodates
according to what they know. Most don't know enough science to be troubled
with the parts they don't accommodate.
> On Isaiah 54, context is important. I believe this must include the
previous chapter. From the context, I believe the whole chapter is
basically apocalyptic, post-Christ and post-restoration of the house of
Israel, along with any number of other prophecies to that effect. My
apologies to those who take a non-literal, accommodation view instead. So
God's anger is no problem, because there are plenty of Biblical examples of
God's wrath and anger against sin.
> Agreed, a focus on the meaning of the passage could take the emphasis away
from the global nature of Noah in favor of the principle of God's mercy.
But a local "earth" interpretation still doesn't help much here. According
to a local flood view, Genesis is talking about a regional flood covering
the (local) earth. This has some contextual support. But this verse in
Isaiah 54 is in the negative sense, so to be consistent it would be saying
that God would never again flood the (local) earth. Does this mean any
local floods, or that he will never again flood the Mesopotamian plain (or
the Mediteranean Basin, or the Caspian Sea Basin, etc.)? This is the
problem I raised, which I don't think is answered without taking either a
global flood view or resorting to accommodation to the Hebrew traditions of
Genesis. Genesis 8:21 goes along with this, and is perhaps problematic for
Glenn's view as well, because it doesn't just say this was a destruction of
all modern man -- it was the destruction of "every living thing". If only
taken in a local event, has that been true in every local region for the
last 5.5 million years?
> And what was that about "I will never again curse the ground" (Gen 8:21)?
Does that mean the curse of Genesis 3 (thorns and briars) has hereby been
lifted following Noah's flood? I would like to see someone (YEC or
otherwise) deal with that question from a literalist viewpoint.
> Jon Tandy
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Opderbeck []
> Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 9:30 AM
> To: Jon Tandy
> Cc:; Glenn Morton
> Subject: Re: [asa] The Bible and the Anthropologically Universal Flood

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Received on Fri Mar 16 12:38:09 2007

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