Re: [asa] Pinnock on Climbing out of the Swamp

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Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 22:46:16 EST

David O. posted a nice quote from Clark Pinnock on how Evangelicals could
avoid a lot of problems if they read Genesis in its context, rather than asking
it modern (scientific) questions it is not trying to answer. David prefaced
this by saying:
Here is a quiz for everyone. Who said the following about Gen. 1-2, in
criticism of "concordism" in evangelical hermeneutics, and when was it
said? (I think the answer challenges Lamoureux's overly-broad thesis about
evangelical hermeneutics, particularly as the author of this statement is
mentioned en passant in one of Denis' footnotes)
Maybe I'm missing something, but how does this quote by Pinnock invalidate
the Lamoureux thesis about Evangelical hermeneutics? As I read Lamoureux, he
is saying that the preponderant (I don't think he ever claims 100%)
conservative Evangelical approach is scientific concordism, a symptom of an approach
to "inerrancy" that insists upon modernist perfection of the scientific
content of Biblical statements. Pinnock also seems to be lamenting that approach.
I don't think the fact that a few Evangelicals (like Pinnock, or Peter Enns)
reject the "perfect book" (by modernist standards) approach invalidates the
observation that it is the dominant approach (although I might agree that
Lamoreaux gives short shrift to the Evangelical minority [or at least it *feels*
like we are a minority] who dissent).
One could even argue that the case of Pinnock demonstrates Lamoureux's
point. Because of his deviation from rigid modernist inerrantism (and because of
his view on open theism), many in the Evangelical camp would not consider him
in that fold at all. Norman Geisler and others made a concerted effort
(which fell short) a few years ago to get Pinnock kicked out of the Evangelical
Theological Society. When an Evangelical deviates from the rigid inerrantism
that would insist on scientific concordism, it is widely viewed as an
aberration and/or a defection.
I suppose, as somebody in a related thread has mentioned, it depends on how
one defines "Evangelical". There are many of us who apply that label to
ourselves who do not buy into the modern "inerrancy" doctrine and scientific
concordism. Yet there is a large and influential collection of Evangelicals
(Geisler, the late Harold Lindsell, John MacArthur, the conservatives who took
over the Southern Baptist Convention, many in the PCA or EvFree denominations,
Dallas Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Biola, and the list
could go on) for whom such an approach to Scripture is the very heart of what it
means to *be* an Evangelical Christian. For that faction, many dedicated
Christians who affirm the authority and inspiration of Scripture (like Pinnock,
or N.T. Wright, or Karl Barth, or Fuller Seminary, or many of us on this
list) are traitors to the Evangelical cause because we don't toe the line on
inerrancy. I think it is this large (one might say dominant) faction that
Denis had in mind in talking about "Evangelical" hermeneutics in his article.
Allan (ASA Member)
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"

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Received on Mon Mar 3 22:47:50 2008

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