Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Tue Sep 29 2009 - 14:28:10 EDT


That is interesting. I have been doing a long study on the history of
Genesis interpretations and have focused mostly on Gen ! (paper published in
Geol Soc of London spec publication). In a sense it is the least
controversial part.

If you take Buffon in the 18 century, the controversy he caused was over the
historicity of the Flood not geological time. Most miss that. Even RC
priests J Needham were arguing for millions of years in the 1760s and
getting imprimaturs!

Gen 2-3 are more challenging,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pete Enns" <>
To: "Denis O. Lamoureux" <>
Cc: "Jim Armstrong" <>; "ASA" <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

> Denis,
> This is my main criticism of John Walton, too. I think he is doing
> marvelous work helping people who are struggling with the implications of
> Gen 1. I will likely see him at SBL in November, and I hope to ask him
> whether he intends to continue he work into Gen 2-3.
> I also am not entirely convinced of his material/function distinction,
> but it is certainly valuable to consider.
> Pete Enns
> On Sep 29, 2009, at 12:42 PM, Denis O. Lamoureux wrote:
>> Dear Jim,
>> It's easy for Walton to use his "it ain't about material origins,
>> but functional origins" in Gen 1.
>> But did you notice something? HE STOPS AT GEN 1.
>> Why doesn't he use his thesis on Gen 2 and Adam?
>> Ask him if he thinks Gen 2 is historical? He works at
>> Wheaton College, and if he says there is no HISTORICAL
>> Adam, then he's gone . . . .
>> D
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Armstrong" <>
>> To: "ASA" <>
>> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 8:19 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments
>>> 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 with 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 not think in
>>> material terms per se, instead understanding everything as a part of
>>> God's presence and activity in the world. Walton mentions that
>>> "miracle" is a New Testament word, things that denote some departure
>>> from what nature has the capacity to do in the material world. In
>>> contrast, the OT terms are signs and wonders, and distinctly (he says)
>>> not about shuffling material things about, again because those ancient
>>> eyes and hearts (a western term) 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 Tue Sep 29 14:29:10 2009

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