Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments - REPOST with corrections

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Mon Sep 28 2009 - 23:49:01 EDT

I think you are dead on. John Walton, OT scholar from Wheaton presented
a lecture for Canyon Institute for Advanced Studies in Phoenix in 2006
titled, "Reading Genesis 1 with Ancient Eyes: What Does it Mean to
Create?" In it, he discussed at some length this matter of ancient
perspective, and I believe he would agree entirely with your surmise
that the division implicit in those the two words would be
incomprehensible to those ancient eyes. Science had neither defined nor
differentiated itself in those days. Nor did they did think in
material terms per se, instead understanding everything as a part of
God's presence and activity in the world, what things and entities did,
rather than what they were or were composed of. Walton mentions that
"miracle" is a New Testament word, denoting a significant departure from
what nature has the capacity to do on its own in the material world. In
contrast, the OT terms are signs and wonders, and distinctly (he says)
not about shuffling material things around, again because those ancient
eyes and hearts (hearts being a western metaphor) do not have a
framework at all like western material-based terminology and
explanation. He suggested our traditional way of interpreting much of
Gen. 1, for example, would fall on the ancient ears about as well as an
explanation of daylight saving time.

JimA [Friend of ASA]

Murray Hogg wrote:
> Hi Denis,
> I actually wonder if using the terms "science" and "history" in this
> context isn't - in the end analysis - anachronistic.
> I'd offer the observation that what "pre-modern" societies do is tell
> stories - they don't do "science", and they don't record "history".
> And if one can escape the need to force Genesis into either category,
> then the result is very liberating. One can even begin to read Genesis
> theologically as per the entire point of the narrative!
> Here I think much benefit might be gained from a familiarity with the
> field of ethnohistory - which discipline gives some interesting
> insights into the way non-Western and pre-modern societies deal with
> their past. It's on my list of subjects to get around to "one day."
> Actually, as I think about it, this might be more or less another way
> of putting your entreaty of "Separate, don't conflate", viz; if one
> can discriminate between "history", "science", and "story" -- where
> "story" is a way of conveying meaning (theological meaning in the case
> of Genesis) -- then one is, I think, well on the way to resolving the
> "problem" which arises in light of our modernist inability to see that
> there is more than one way of conveying spiritual truth.
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Denis O. Lamoureux wrote:
>> Dear Bernie,
>> You are a scrapper my friend!
>> You write:
>>> Ancient theological idea:
>>> Adam was the first human to sin.
>>> This statement is nothing but theology
>> NOT true. It's ancient science (creation
>> and existence of Adam) delivering an inerrant
>> and Holy Spirit-inspired theology (sin is
>> very real and humans are sinners).
>> Bernie: Separate, Don't Conflate!
>> Best,
>> Denis
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Received on Mon Sep 28 23:49:49 2009

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