Re: Fw: [asa] Olasky on Collins

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Aug 13 2009 - 18:32:22 EDT

>> Depending on one's denomination, opinions on the overall merits of the
>> Westminster standards will vary, but it certainly represents a
>> concerted effort by conservative biblical scholars to summarize what
>> the Bible teaches.
> This statement contains an ambiguity.  It could be taken to mean that the
> "conservatives" of the 17th century all subscribed to the Westminster
> standards, as opposed to the "liberals", who didn't.  It is important to
> note that the standards represent a concerted effort by conservative
> *Protestant* biblical scholars (of a Calvinist bent) to summarize what the
> Bible teaches.  There are of course Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Anglicans and
> other kinds of Christians who are "conservative", but don't regard the
> Westminster standards as authoritative, and even some "conservatives" (e.g.,
> neo-Thomists) who would think that certain statements within the standards
> aren't very good.

Agreed; I intended to classify them as "conservative" by modern
theological standards, not to imply that all who might qualify for
that label would agree with them but that they cannot be dismissed as
accommodating to theological liberalism of a sort that developed a
century or two later. (Cf. the person who told me that The
Fundamentals was liberal when I pointed out that it rejected YEC.)

> I would add one more point, which is that, while trees don't literally "clap
> their hands", there may be more attributed to nature in such Biblical
> statements than modern people, even early modern people such as Calvin, are
> inclined to grant.  I discuss such expressions, and the Hebrew idea of
> nature generally, in my book on the Bible and Baconianism.

Again, agreed, with the caveat that I haven't read your book.
(I also haven't checked what Calvin said about the trees clapping
hands. Calvin did see a conflict between the prominence of the moon
in Gen. 1 and astronomical knowledge that Saturn was actually bigger
than the moon; he argued that astronomy wasn't the point of Gen. 1.).

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Aug 13 18:33:11 2009

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