RE: [asa] (Book of Mormon analogy) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Wed Sep 30 2009 - 12:00:21 EDT

Anyone can make any theological claim. The essential question for Christians is if those theological claims are consistent or not vis--vis the Bible and not so much with respect to modern science, which when unadulterated makes no theological claims.

Moorad

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 11:26 AM
To: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] (Book of Mormon analogy) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

Murray said:
"It will work if you can show the Book of Mormon is an ancient text."

Joe Smith claims the Book of Mormon is a translation of an ancient text. Ever hear of their "Book of Abraham?" (Book written by Abraham, supposedly.) We don't believe it; we think it is a modern fabrication. Why is that? Because of modern science and history.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Murray Hogg
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:46 PM
To: ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

Hi Bernie,

It will work if you can show the Book of Mormon is an ancient text. If it's not, then it's simply not an analogue to what's going on in the transmission of pre-modern oral traditions and hence not a counter-example. Likewise, your thief in Navada story is INTENDED to distort history NOT to narrate meaning at a deeper level. So, again, it's not an analogue.

The claim "the bible is masquerading as history" simply won't fly when - based on what we know of the transmission of similar stories in other contexts - the original framers of the story most likely didn't even have the category "history".

What you should realize, Bernie, is that you are, throughout, assuming the one thing I'm challenging you to reconsider: namely, that the ancients primary interest lay in making an accurate record of events in space-and-time. My point is that such an assumption leads to an imposition of modern Western categories on the text and THAT is what gives rise to the problem.

Ultimately, it's an issue of literary genre. And as long as you misinterpret the genre of Genesis, you're going to apply the wrong interpretive rules, and get a bad exegetical result.

Blessings,
Murray

Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> Hi Murray- will that same approach also work with defending the Book of Mormon? For example, there are no cities in America as described in the Book of Mormon, but maybe they were just stories to teach theological truth? You see, the problem with that approach is that real history is implied by mentioning real people and cities. In fact, you can use this evidence to actually discredit the story.
>
> Example: If a thief told you he was innocent because he was in Nevada at the time of the crime, but it was then discovered he was at the scene of the crime in Australia, then his story based in time/place can actually be used to discredit him. Same with the Book of Mormon. Same with the Bible. Lamoureux's approach basically is as you suggest- Genesis up to ch. 11 is a story using incidental science/history to teach theology. The problem with this is, if true, is that the Bible passages are heavily masquerading as real history, leading many people, like Dick Fischer, to wrongly accept it as it appears. If God is trying to teach humans something, this sure is a foggy approach, and doesn't work well; given that it seems like so many evangelicals, probably the majority, reject evolution because they think it conflicts with God's revelation. Just think- if it wasn't for the creation story in Gen. 1/2, then there probably would be no Christian objection to evolution.
>
> ...Bernie
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Murray Hogg
> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 4:31 PM
> To: ASA
> Subject: Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments
>
> 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 Wed Sep 30 12:01:06 2009

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