Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Aug 02 2007 - 11:19:02 EDT

I'll just address your problem "Mythical Adam ... Literal Christ" - doesn't
add up.

Why doesn't it?

Going back to the computer world "Hit the Enter key or click on OK" adds up
perfectly. But the Enter key is a literal physical key on the keyboard, and
the OK button is a metaphor - an illusion created by the computer.

That still adds up fine to me and I'm sure it does to you.

I think the nature of the writing in Genesis indicates clear figurative
intent. I have not studied the Hebrew, but according to accounts I've read,
from Hebrew scholars, the account abounds in literary constructs such as
word-play, puns etc. This is NOT the same as saying it's poetry - clearly
it is not. But all sorts of poetical devices are used, e.g. rhyme "Tohu
w'bohu = formless and empty". e.g. the fact that Adam's name is symbolic,
and means "man". e.g. the fact that the name also makes a pun with "mud" (
Admah). If one were to get the same "folk-tale" effect, one might call the
central character "mud-man".

Now if you contrast that with something that tells you literally what to do,
for example a car repair manual (many was the hour I spent on my first
ropey car with a Haynes manual following the instructions on how to replace
the clutch, wheel bearings etc), then you do not find witty word play -
indeed the writers of such manuals strive to be completely unambiguous.
This does not seem so in the way the Biblical text is constructed - and the
literary devices are clearly put there to show there is a spiritual meaning.

And as I said, but can't cite the source except that it was an industrial
chaplain, in the Jewish way of thinking the important question is not "did
it happen?" but "what does it mean?".

You may ask why I go on about it so much. It's because the cause of the
gospel is damaged. How can I be an effective witness to atheist colleagues
when they dig up laughable things like where all the poo went on the ark, or
the fact that they had to take baby dinosaurs on the ark to make room for
all of them? We're giving the scoffers plenty to scoff about, which isn't
even biblical. Then there's the RATE project that asserts that 90% of all
radioactive decay happened during day 3 of creation week - leaving unsolved
the simple fact that it would have raised the temperature to 22,000 C -
sufficient to vapourise the planet. I have to ask myself "what on earth has
all this bad science got to do with the gospel?"

Iain

bringing forward leaves the problem precisely where it always is for a
> non-literal, figurative Adam. It is "Mythical Adam, literal Christ – doesn't
> add up". Or to put it another way, the phrase is a mismatch and thus seems
> to be devoid of significant meaning.
>
>
>
> Blessings
>
>
>
> Peter
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> *From:* dopderbeck@gmail.com [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Thursday, August 02, 2007 3:00 PM
> *To:* Peter Loose
> *Cc:* Michael Roberts; Iain Strachan; asa@calvin.edu
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
>
>
>
> Peter said: *I'm hoping for something Biblical that illuminates my
> question!*
>
>
> Peter, I think one of the problems is that you are using, and asking for,
> proof texts. Before using proof texts, there are a bundle of theological
> and hermeneutical questions that have to be answered -- and there are no
> proof texts by which those questions can be answered! You can't skip the
> prolegomena and go right to the proof texts. Really, the use of proof texts
> assumes a very particular prolegomena without argument.
>
>
>
> I think your position is a coherent one based on the prolegomena you
> assume. But I think it's very unfair to then suggest that no other position
> could be "Biblical" without engaging the underlying assumptions.
>
>
>
> For example, you aggregate quotes from Luke, Timothy, and Jude. It
> doesn't seem that you've considered, though, the particular nature and
> purposes of those very different parts of scripture and the particular
> nature and purposes of the quotations you give within those different parts
> of scripture. Jude, for example, is a fascinating study because the author
> draws heavily on apocryphal works (particularly 1 Enoch) that include some
> fanciful stories most Christians today don't accept as canonical. How is it
> possible to string together a quote from a book like Jude with a quote in a
> pastoral letter of encouragement (Timothy) and another quote from a highly
> stylized geneology (Luke) -- all of which serve different purposes through
> very different literary forms? It seems very possible that you're
> systematizing something that isn't there based on an a priori decision about
> what the phenomena of scripture must look like.
>
>
>
> Again, not to suggest the "literal Adam" view is entirely wrong at the end
> of the day -- I've said before that I still feel compelled to find some
> essential historicity in Adam. But it just isn't so simple as stringing
> together proof texts.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 8/2/07, Peter Loose <peterwloose@compuserve.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Hello Michael:
> >
> >
> >
> > I do understand what you're saying – but it reads to me like just
> another opinion and isn't dealing with the focus I've sought to bring from a
> consideration of the Biblical text. I've asked some specific questions about
> the parallelism between Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ as exemplified by the
> Apostle Paul's treatment of that. All that you say I am well aware of and
> have heard often. As you'd expect, I find it evidentially unconvincing.
> >
> >
> >
> > While I agree with much of your general thesis that the Bible is neither
> literal nor figurative but a varying mixture of both, with respect Michael
> that's not the matter in hand. The matter in hand is simply what Paul says
> about Adam and Christ. What has to be shown for your thesis to have weight
> is that on the specific question of Adam and Christ, a figurative
> understanding is what the Apostle has in mind. This requires IMO an
> evidential response not a blanket assertion to the contrary.
> >
> >
> >
> > I'm hoping for something Biblical that illuminates my question!
> >
> >
> >
> > Blessings
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
>
> >
> > From: michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk [mailto:michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk
> ]
> > Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 12:49 PM
> > To: Peter Loose; 'Iain Strachan'
> > Cc: dopderbeck@gmail.com; asa@calvin.edu
> >
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
> >
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > You so over-polarise figurative vs literal that you do not allow any
> other position. Yours is a good debating tactic to the uninformed - either A
> or B but you ignore the possibility that Genesis may not be a totally
> literal narrative which means your simple either/or is invalid.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In fact the whole of the bible is neither literal nor figurative but a
> varying mixture of both. even the Gospels are not literal accounts.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > As literal historical is meaningless, so is a literal historical Fall.
> That does not mean that there has not been a Fall and that we are not
> fallen.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Further early Genesis does not state that animals did not die before
> humans appear.Too much reading into the Bible of notions like an alleged
> curse affecting all of creation with suffering sickness and death coming to
> the animals is just not justified.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Lastly I believe in the fall but not the curse as the latter is not
> scriptural.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >
> >
> > From: Peter Loose
> >
> >
> > To: 'Iain Strachan'
> >
> >
> > Cc: dopderbeck@gmail.com ; 'Michael Roberts' ; asa@calvin.edu
> >
> >
> > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 11:28 PM
> >
> >
> > Subject: RE: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Actually Iain, I did not mean what you appear to think I mean. I
> apologise for not being clear in the first place.
> >
> >
> >
> > If you read again what I said, it was your "stance in respect of bad
> things being literally due to…" that is cause for sadness on my part. That's
> why I went on and raised the perspective from Paul in I Corinthians - 'as in
> Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive'.
> >
> > This is what I said Sat 28/07/2007 10:54
> >
> > A challenge to the figurative interpretation of the origin of 'bad
> things' would be the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:22 (NIV) "For as in Adam all
> die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
> >
> > Would those who adopt a figurative interpretation of Genesis 3 in
> respect of the cause of bad things, please explain why Paul didn't take that
> same view – apparently? Do they propose a mythical Adam and a literal
> Christ? Or are they proposing that 'all will be made alive' is also
> figurative? Figurative of what may I ask?
> >
> > You are free of course to reject your YEC friend's view of The Fall. But
> in so doing you raise absolutely huge questions about the entire record of
> redemption. Are you seriously suggesting that one can have a mythical Adam
> and a literal Christ? The parallelism fails. I think this Genesis 3 'myth'
> or 'figurative' interpretation needs some careful discussion and explaining.
> Indeed, I find it impossible to understand the flow of reasoning in 1
> Corinthians 15 in any other way than demands a literal historical Fall as
> recorded in Genesis 3. A further sample of that account in 1 Cor. 15:21
> (NIV) "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead
> comes also through a man." is in harmony with 15:22.
> >
> >
> >
> > Do we understand something in this matter that Paul didn't?
> >
> >
> >
> > Blessings
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
>
> >
> > From: dopderbeck@gmail.com [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:35 PM
> > To: Iain Strachan
> > Cc: Peter Loose; Michael Roberts; asa@calvin.edu
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
> >
> >
> >
> > But Iain, though I agree with you on the need for a broader
> hermeneutical perspective, and though I agree with you that it's too pat and
> simple to attribute carnivorous animals and such to a recent historical
> fall, I'm really struggling with the way in which, it seems to me, you're
> dismissing a central narrative of the Christian faith. The picture
> scripture gives us of human rebellion against God is, in fact, the picture
> of a man and woman eating fruit God told them not to eat. And scripture
> does, in fact, suggest that this somehow messes up everything. It seems to
> me that we need to appropriate this picture and interpret it in the context
> of what we know about the physical world, but not to dismiss it.
> >
> >
> > On 8/1/07, Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> > On 7/28/07, Peter Loose < peterwloose@compuserve.com > wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Iain and Friends:
> >
> >
> >
> > I find this stance in respect of 'bad things being literally due to one
> historical woman and her husband eating a piece of fruit' to be very sad.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Sorry, but that is exactly what my YEC friends tell me. That the fall
> is a literal historical event, tied precisely to Adam and Eve eating the
> fruit, literally on a given day. As direct result of this God put the curse
> on the whole of creation, and from thenceforth all the bad things happened.
> "Carnivory" started up (I've even seen articles on this on the AiG website),
> animals started eating each other.
> >
> > The logical extension to this is that to answer Michael's pointed
> question as to why God "designed" the Ebola virus is that Adam's specific
> act of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit was the direct reason that
> God made this happen.
> >
> > My creationist friends tell me that the whole Gospel falls apart if you
> don't accept this.
> >
> > I agree - the whole stance is very sad indeed, and I feel honour bound
> as a Christian to continue to point out its absurdity - an absurdity that
> keeps people away from Christianity because most people think you must be a
> nutter to believe such things.
> >
> > As I have said elsewhere, we must think about what the Fall narrative
> _means_ rather than being stuck on whether it happened literally as
> described. (Man+woman+fruit).
> >
> > Iain
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> > Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.0/929 - Release Date:
> 31/07/2007 17:26
> >
> >
> >
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> > Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.2/931 - Release Date:
> 01/08/2007 16:53
> >
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> > Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.2/931 - Release Date:
> 01/08/2007 16:53
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.2/931 - Release Date: 01/08/2007
> 16:53
>

-- 
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Received on Thu Aug 2 11:19:24 2007

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