Re: [asa] The rib...

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 11:42:14 EST

2 observations:

1) A symbol & a sign are different things. A sign merely points to
something but has no intrinsiuc connection with it. A red octagon with the
word STOP is just an arbitrary sign meaning to decrease your velocity to
zero. A symbol, OTOH, participates in the thing it symbolizes.

2) Bill is right. God's purpose for creation is to unite all things in
Christ (Eph.1:10). Creation is in fact for the sake of the Incarnation &
that uniting of all things with the incarnate Word. "The end of all God's
works is embodiment" (Oetinger).

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Powers" <wjp@swcp.com>
To: <philtill@aol.com>
Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>; <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 10:29 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] The rib...

The question, as I understand it, is why God spoke of taking Eve from
Adam's side(rib), or why use a small number of loaves and fish to feed
5000, when (1) He in both cases required "more" than what was initially
provided, and (2) He could have simply created the entire end product ex
nihilo?

The same question might be asked about the Crucifixion or even the
Resurrection. God could simply report through a prophet that someone in a
distant world had died for their sins. Why use the body of a man Jesus,
who dwells among us? Surely more was required than a mere man, a mere
body.

The use of the word "symbolism" entails that something is being used to
refer to something else. That which is used is "merely" a means for the
ultimate referrent. The particular means employed is incidental, and any
number of perhaps infinite other means might have been employed for the
same end.

This view, I think, would miss much of the point. I am not prepared to
argue this cogently, but I suggest it has to do with the fact that God is
in a very important sense embodied, incarnated, enfleshed in the world. I
don't mean by this only Christ. I mean this is evident in every page of
Scripture, even in the Scripture itself. It is God's Immanence. He is
palpable, earthy, alive.

If this can make sense to you, then the means is not merely accidental.
The means is exalted because it is God with us. He is history, in flesh,
sweat, and tears. His hot breath is upon us. He is where we are.

I won't say anymore. I don't mean to say here that Phil intended
something less when using the word "symbolism." Consider my words as a
reminder, or perhaps a corrective to what I think can be the danger of
speaking too much of "symbolism." It readily leads to a Gnostic religion,
a disembodied God and life in Christ, draining Him and us from Today.

bill powers

  On
Tue, 3 Mar 2009, philtill@aol.com wrote:

>
> I think it's a theologically motivated symbol and not literal.¬ Adam was
> taken out from the dirt because he is "united" with the earth in a special
> way.¬ Eve was taken out from Adam because she is united with Adam.¬ It
> shows connectedness.¬ It makes sense within the schema of the story to
> indicate that she was not separate and yet his equal in dignity and
> value.¬ The text even comments on this point (she is bone of my bone...).¬
> But as a mechanism of creating Eve it makes little sense because what came
> from Adam's side would be too small and God could just as well make her
> out of the abundant dirt.
>
> We have an excellent example in the
> NT:¬ Jesus multiplied the fish and bread into a larger quantity of fish
> and bread.¬ Kind of like taking a little part of Adam's side and growing
> it into a woman, right?¬ But again, this was done for the symbolic value.¬
> Jesus didn't really
> need some bread or fish as his starting point.¬ Jesus was
> teaching that his disciples could feed the world with the gospel, as
> few as they were and with the little as they had.¬ The connection to some
> pre-existing fish and bread was to show how a small thing can grow into a
> large thing when we trust God.¬ It was teaching via the
> connectedness of what comes before to what comes after.¬ For the same
> reason, the Genesis story uses Adam to make Eve to teach their
> connectedness.
>
> But if taken literally as a mechanism of creation (apart from its symbol
> ic value), I can't see much logic in it for exactly this reason.¬ Lots
> more material would need to be added to whatever small quantity came out
> of Adam.¬ This material would need to be changed into proteins, DNA, RNA,
> cell structures, tissues, etc., in more than 1 trillion cells.¬ Or, this
> new material would need to be made ex nihilo.¬ So even if some DNA from
> Adam's biological material were used in one or more of Eve's brand-new
> cells, there would still be billions of times as many cells that God would
> need to make in which the DNA were simply created de novo or ex nihilo
> apart from Adam's DNA.¬ (There is no process of chemistry or physics that
> would allow the small quantity of Adam's DNA to replicate outside of a
> womb into a trillion cells.¬ Mimicking the gestation process but outside
> of a womb would require the wholescale abandonment of physics and thus in
> the final analysis would be no different than simple de novo creation of
> the "replicated" cells but with the window-dressing of mimicking a
> biological process without the physics that ordinarily drives biology.)¬
> So if his DNA wasn't needed in making the majority of Eve's body, and she
> was actually made out of dirt or other materials in the majority of her
> body, then it would appear that making her "out of Adam's side" is nothing
> more than window dressing.¬ (or actually symbolism!)
>
> For this reason, I think the symbolic value is what it's all about.¬ It
> could have been a literal event with symbolic20value, or it could be a
> non-literal story of the "myth" genre to teach theology via the
> symbolism.¬ Either way, it's all about the symbolism.
>
>
>
> Phil
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
> To: 'Dehler, Bernie' <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
> Cc: ASA <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 4:35 pm
> Subject: RE: [asa] The rib...
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> Ah, how did God make the axe head float?¬ How did God
> resurrect Christ?¬ How did Christ feed the 5,000?¬ Wait until he gets
> older.
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> ¬
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> One of the things I found of interest in ANE literature is that Eve means
> "life" in
> Hebrew and she was taken from Adam's rib.¬ The Sumerian word ti means both
> ‚?olife‚? and ‚?orib.‚?¬
> A Sumerian pun on the words was: ‚?oThe lady of the rib is the lady of
> life.‚?¬ A curious coincidence or fraught with meaning?
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> Maybe, you should read John instead.
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> ¬
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> Dick Fischer, GPA president
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> Genesis Proclaimed Association
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> "Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
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> www.genesisproclaimed.org
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> ¬
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> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf
> Of Dehler, Bernie
>
> Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 1:18 PM
>
> To: asa@calvin.edu
>
> Subject: [asa] The rib...
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> ¬
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> I was telling my 7-year old kid the creation story, and he asked a
> question I never thought of before.¬
> How did God create a woman from a
> rib?¬ The rib is not very big, and it doesn't look like a female.
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> God made man from dirt.¬ That is easy to see- like building a
> snowman then breathing life into it.¬ But the rib...
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> ...Bernie
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Received on Tue Mar 3 11:43:27 2009

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