RE: [asa] Moderate Theology

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Sun Oct 14 2007 - 20:14:51 EDT

Thanks to all of you who responded. I'll try to answer some questions.

 

Iain asked:

 

>>I'm also intrigued as to why under "moderate theology" you state that
the KJV is the preferred translation. Could you elaborate on why?

 

Since you made me think about it, I'll probably drop it. But the reason
the KJV is preferable is because, although all Bible translations labor
under the notion that all mankind descended from Adam, there was a
worldwide flood, our basic languages were scrambled at Babel, the words
and phrases in the KJV are closer to the Mesopotamian epic tales. Thus
the connections are easier to see. Also I think that "fundamentalist"
or "creationist" should be added instead of just saying "conservative."
Michael, Gordon and Paul brought that up too.

Burgy wrote:

 

>>Where does the word "evangelical" fit?

 

I think the term "evangelical" could cross all spectrums but normally it
is associated with conservatives.

 

George wrote:

 

>> I agree with the comments on Dick's post but there's a
deeper issue. Dick focuses on a very small set of theological questions
& it's hardly accurate to label one's theology as a whole in terms of
what one thinks about early Genesis.

 

I agree. I'm not saying that the view held on Genesis summarizes the
entire range of beliefs that can accrue from being either a conservative
or liberal Christian.

 

Phil wrote:

 

>> My main concern is that the "moderate" view is too
particularly your own view, because there are other "moderate" views as
well and these have been excluded.

 

Guilty as charged. What I'm trying to do is put a label and quantify a
short list of beliefs, primarily concerning Genesis, which just happens
to be the view I hold. I felt that labeling it something would allow
people to accept or reject it as they choose, but at least they would
know what it entails. Instead of saying I don't like what Dick Fischer
thinks you can say, I don't like moderate theology. Now if someone says
that term has already been registered, copyrighted, or means something
else, okay I'll try to come up with another descriptive term that
doesn't impinge on some other school of thought.

 

Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

 <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/> www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dick Fischer
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 8:02 PM
To: ASA
Subject: [asa] Moderate Theology

 

Michael Zimmerman who is responsible for the Clergy Letter Project
(www.evolutionsunday.org) will be in our area 21-24 October. I hope to
get a chance to meet with him and discuss possibly getting some traction
for a "Moderate Theology." Since my book, Historical Genesis, is not
out yet all I can say at this point is please assume there is ample
justification to consider Genesis 2-11 as a historical account of the
origination of the Adamites and Semites. Here then is brief summary of
some of the highlights of conservative, liberal, and moderate theology,
side by side. Please scrutinize this tentative list and comment
affirmatively or negatively as the Spirit leads you. Naturally I'm
biased and can see the specks in your eyes unperturbed by the log in
mine, but I am earnestly soliciting your objections, corrections, and
comments.

 

Moderate Theology

 

Predominantly, Christians use one of two methods of apology,
conservative and liberal, and Christians tend to be polarized between
these opposite extremes. The following summaries are generalizations
only, and are not intended to represent every shade of Christian belief.
Moderate Theology attempts to borrow from the two polar extremes keeping
the good points from each and discarding unworkable methods of
accommodation. Bible, science, and history are all given the utmost
respect and consideration with a view that in the end all truth should
be reconcilable.

 

Some Characteristics of a Conservative Theology

 

1. Genesis 1-11 is interpreted as the factual history of the
creation of all mankind.

2. A "literal" interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is advocated, but
flawed by inconsistent exegesis.

3. The Bible alone is seen as sufficient for all understanding,
history is ignored, and science subverted.

4. The Bible is usually seen as inerrant either as translated or
in the original manuscripts.

5. The "days" of creation in Genesis 1 are interpreted as 24-hour
periods with Adam's creation on the sixth day.

6. No physical death occurred in the animal world until Adam
committed Original Sin.

7. No genetic links are allowed between species, all animals and
especially man were brought into being through individual acts of
special creation

8. Adam is considered the progenitor of the entire human race and
lived approximately 6,000 years ago.

9. The fossil record was distributed by a global flood that
destroyed all animal and human life with the exception of Noah, his
immediate family, and a boatload of animals.

10. All the world's languages commenced at the tower of Babel.

 

Some Characteristics of Liberal Theology

 

1. Genesis 1-11 is interpreted as a theological presentation of
human creation.

2. Adam represents the first human being who may have lived over
100,000 years ago, or perhaps he didn't live at all.

3. Genesis 1-11 may be understood as allegory, poetry, mythology,
or tradition.

4. Genesis 1-11 has theological value, but is considered factually
flawed.

5. A relationship with Christ guides our understanding as the Holy
Spirit reveals what is important.

6. Biblical interpretation is a matter of faith, though influenced
by the revelations of science.

7. The Bible is considered to be authoritative and divinely
inspired, though not inerrant.

8. The "days" of creation in Genesis 1 usually are considered as
"day-age" and may be realigned.

9. The Genesis flood may have been a local inundation perhaps
borrowed from Sumerian epic tales.

10. Modern science generally is taken at full face value, and Bible and
science are reconciled by subordinating Scripture.

 

 

Some Characteristics of Moderate Theology

 

1. Genesis 1-11 is considered the factual history of the Semites,
not the entire human race.

2. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is advocated coupled
with sound, consistent exegesis, and mindful of archaic Hebrew language
peculiarities.

3. Scripture considered inerrant in the autographs, but suffers
from errors in transmission, translation, and interpretation.

4. KJV is preferred translation, though needs revision in light of
historical evidence.

5. The "days" of creation are seen as days of God's time, not man's
time.

6. Adam is considered to be the federal head of the human race, the
biological head of the Semitic race, and the first to receive God's
covenant.

7. Faith alone has proved insufficient for understanding.

8. Scripture can be clarified by Scripture, and Bible interpreters
need to consider revelations of modern science and ancient history.

9. Impartial, unbiased data and evidence should guide us in
formulating theories of understanding, both theological and scientific.

10. Scientific theories are best left to credentialed scientists.
Modern science poses no threat to Genesis 1-11, correctly interpreted in
accord with the history of the ancient Near East.

 

Quick Contrast

 

View of Scripture

1. Conservative: High View, inerrancy upheld.

2. Liberal: Genesis not considered historically accurate.

3. Moderate: High View, inerrancy upheld.

 

History of the Ancient Near East

1. Conservative: Ignored.

2. Liberal: Ignored

3. Moderate: Given weight in interpretation of Scripture.

 

Science

1. Conservative: Subverted to biblical interpretation.

2. Liberal: Given full consideration.

3. Moderate: Given full consideration.

 

Please feel free to flail away.

 

Thanks!

 

Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

 <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/> www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

 

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Received on Sun Oct 14 20:16:37 2007

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