Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: Pete Enns <>
Date: Tue Sep 29 2009 - 19:02:52 EDT

Gen 1 is definitely less controversial than Gen 2ff. The same
reasoning that applies to Gen 1 when applied to Gen 2-3 yields a view
that many Christians are not willing to accept because of what is
perceived to be at stake: the gospel itself.

On Sep 29, 2009, at 2:28 PM, Michael Roberts wrote:

> Pete
> 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 19:03:45 2009

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