Re: [asa] Pinnock on Climbing out of the Swamp (was Lamoureux, Concordism, and Inerrancy)

From: Austerberry, Charles <>
Date: Tue Mar 04 2008 - 10:20:05 EST

Denis Lamoureux made one important point, I think: God's inspiration of
the Biblical writers apparently did not override those writers'
contemporary views of the cosmos. Rather, divine inspiration replaced
polytheistic mythology with monotheistic theological truth. Seely's
communication at the end of the PSCF issue makes much the same argument
as Lamoureux's essay. I find them both pretty compelling. By the way,
no doubt we today also have some cosmology, biology, etc. that in the
future will be seen to be erroneous.

Lamoureux says that concordism takes two forms, both fueled by a refusal
to accept that Biblical writers had what we now know to be) mistaken
cosmologies, such as the solid firmament, and waters above the

(1) Straining to translate Hebrew and Greek words so that the
scientific/historical errors are minimized - e.g., arguing that the
Biblical texts don't really refer to waters above a solid firmament, but
to expanses, atmospheres, clouds, etc.

(2) Claiming that the Biblical authors wrote metaphorically about waters
above a solid firmament - even in the same verse in which the moon and
stars, for example, were written about in a literal, non-metaphorical

I certainly agree (and I think Lamoureux does too) that the writer(s) of
Genesis 1 used a literary device - the framework of two triads of days,
with creation of habitats in days 1-3 and creation of inhabitants in the
corresponding days 4-6. But within that symbolic story, there are still
clear non-symbolic references to ancient cosmology (e.g. firmament with
waters above) that were as real to the writer as the sun, moon, and

Lamoureux ends his essay by noting that Biblical writers apparently had
no concept of the evolution of living organisms. But that Paul, for
example, erroneously thought a single Adam was literally the first man
should not shock us nor shake our faith. E.O. Wilson (in his book
Consilience) claims that the absence of evolution in the Bible led him
to reject the Bible. The same could be said of Darwin himself.
Lamoureux might note that such is the result of concordist hermeneutics
which refuses to accept that God accommodates the erroneous worldviews
of the people God is inspiring.

Where it gets stickier is, what was Jesus' own view of cosmology and
origins? Did Christ empty Himself of knowledge of evolution, for
example, when He was incarnated as Jesus in first century Palestine?


Charles (Chuck) F. Austerberry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Hixson-Lied Room 438
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: 402-280-2154
Fax: 402-280-5595
Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education

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Received on Tue Mar 4 10:21:08 2008

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