Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 16:27:37 EDT

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: George Murphy
  Cc: ASA list
  Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:15 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  George said: Where is the judgment he promised?" but "Where is the promise of his coming?" (Pou estin he epangelia tes parousias autou) They go on to say that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." Nothing is said here about judgment by either the scoffers or the biblical writer.

  Thank you for correcting me on the precise language of verse 4. However, the "coming" of Christ is directly linked to the "day of the Lord" in verse 10. The "day of the Lord" is an unambiguous reference to judgment. Therefore, it is crystal clear that the context is speaking of judgment.

  The parousia is often connected with the idea of judgment, but to say that it's "crystal clear" that the text is about judgment is a great overstatement, & even more so is the notion that this connection allows us to connect these verses with the local character of Sodom and Gomorrah in the previous chapter & thus cancel out the clear language about the destruction of "the world," "the present heavens and earth" and "the earth and everything that has been done on it."
  II Peter addresses 2 main groups of "scoffers" - those of Ch.2 whose characteristic is licentiousness, greed &c & those of Ch.3 who ridicule the idea of the return of Christ & the end of the world. Of course there may be some overlap between the 2 but they are really different ideas.

  George said: If you'd talked to him just after he wrote this & convinced him that there were inhabited lands beyond the pillars of Hercules & then asked him if they too would be destroyed, I see no reason to think that he wouldn't have said "Yes."
  First, that probably would have taken alot of convincing -- more likely it is such an anachronism that it would've been impossible. Second, you might be right, but that is not what this passage is teaching as an authoritative matter given the context.

  I was giving an illustration of what is the authoitative matter of the text - the destruction of the world. The writer's knowledge of the extent of that world is irrelevant.

  George said: Or a non-YEC who is presenting a reductio ad absurdum argument to try to convince a literalist that there are other ways for a text to be true
  I don't think the hermeneutic I'm employing here is "literalist." In particular, I think the reference to "fire" and the earth being "laid bare" in verse 10 is best understood as figurative and not literal.

  These sorts of references to the cosmic effects of the Day of the Lord are linked to similar references in other Biblical apocalyptic literature describing the Day of the Lord (e.g. Isaiah 34:4: "all the stars of heaven will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll"; Rev. 6:14: "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."; Rev. 8:12: "The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night."; Rev. 20:11: "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them"; and so on).

  Often, the OT literature applies such imagery to more limited judgments as a foreshadowing of the Day of the Lord. For example, Nahum 1 directly concerns the judgment of Ninevah, but the language is cosmic: "He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry.....The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it." A thread of this language is picked up in Amos 10 in reference to the Day of the Lord and then picked up again in Rev. 6 also in reference to the end times judgment. (See G.K. Beale, NIGTC Commentary on the Book of Revelation, p. 400-401: "These OT allusions are figurative expressions in their respective contexts for divine judgment of Israel or Ninevah, which were historically fulfilled. Here (in Rev. 6) they are taken as foreshadowings of the last judgment.")

  This imagery was also employed in Jewish midrashic commentary on OT passages concerning the Day of the Lord, and was prominent in extra-Biblical apocalyptic literature contemporary to the time of Revelation. (See, Beale, NIGTC Commentary, p. 483-85 (discussing the midrashic backround of the use of cosmic effects as figurative symbols of God's judgment).

  Thus, a consistent hermeneutic suggests that none of these references ought to be taken as actual statements about literal cosmic events. The Bible simply isn't teaching us exactly what will happen at the final judgment, whether geographically or otherwise. It is teaching us only that the final judgment will come unexpectedly and that it will be awful for those who have rebelled against God. I don't think this is a non-YEC inerrantist's fanciful attempt at harmonization; I think it's rather an application of a proper historical and literary hermeneutic.

  You have a bee in your bonnet about judgment. Sure that's one of the themes of biblical eschatology but it isn't the only one. (& its rather tendentious to insist upon the theme of judgment & then point out that of course many examples of judgment are not universal.) The hope of the end of the present order of things & "new heavens and a new earth" - i.e., a new creation - is another. & the latter is the issue in Ch.3.

  I agree that "The Bible simply isn't teaching us exactly what will happen at the final judgment, whether geographically or otherwise." I am not insisting on the details of fire, melting of "the elements" (or of what those stoicheia are - there are at least 4 possibilities). I am simply pointing out the most basic point that the writer is making - that the promised end is an end for the whole present order of creation. OTOH, by trying to limit the scope of the destruction you are the one who is insisting on geographical details.



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Received on Thu Mar 29 15:28:17 2007

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