Saturday, December 17, 2011

Genesis Debate, part 3

ME: Well, I guess that in the same way you affirm “**creation in 6 days**” I affirm “**your position**”.

‘Mountains of evidence’… was that a pun? ;?) How big do you think the mounts of opposing ev were in Galileo’s day?

So is the debate: ‘my int.... of Gen’ vs Nature OR Genesis vs Your interpretation of nature? IMHO it’s too high a view of “science” – having spent countless hours renewing our minds via Discovery Channel HD, we’ll not doubt 1 jot or tittle of this month’s National Geographic. I’d blame your high school education, but … ;?)  [we went to the same High School]

Of the “2 books of God’s revelation” – Scripture and Nature [only 1 of which is actually a “book”] - which one is more clear? When they seem to conflict, which do we bend to fit? Which is subject to revision? Which involves more interpretation [ie. Which is harder to “read”?]? I’m telling you that Genesis is not compatible w/ these “scientific” interpretations. The text itself does not allow it.

The question is [cover your ears kids] epistemological. As one said: in Scripture, what is the opposite of “faith”? The knee-jerk Reformed answer is “works”, but that is not it … it’s SIGHT.

A, I really appreciate your candor, bro. ... I’ll reciprocate – no, I don’t read much science. But the question isn’t scientific, it’s literary. What was Moses saying? What did Israel believe? What did the Apostles teach? IMO, that’s the bottom line – take it or leave it.

HIM: B...Mountains of evidence! HA! I made a funny, and didn't even realize it! : D

I think you are well aware that there are many conservative evangelical, even Reformed, OT scholars who don't seem to have a problem understanding Genesis ...1 in such a way that it doesn't require 6 24-hour days. Ben, have you considered the fact that much ANE literature utilized a 7-day structure, which was clearly a literary device never intended to convey literal 24 days? Is it absolutely outside the realm of possibility that Moses could have used a literary convention such as this, one that his original audience (the Israelites) would have appreciated, even if we don't?

As I've tried to emphasize before, the truth discovered in God's creation will never contradict the truth in Scripture. With that much I think we agree. However, our interpretations of both creation and Scripture are fallible. You're convinced that I'm interpreting creation incorrectly (although you admit that you don't really understand the "story" that creation is telling, because you haven't read much in the area), and I'm convinced that you're interpreting Scripture wrongly. Can I humbly suggest that before you get locked in to that position, that you invest in "Bible, Rocks and Time" or another book providing the multiple lines of evidence behind the age of the earth? To me it just seems like the intellectually fair thing to do. When we get together for lunch, I'll even lend one to you.

You make jokes about putting too much stock in science shows, magazines, etc. The implication is that you think scientists are somehow more "fallible" than Bible interpreters. I beg to differ! C'mon, Ben, you've gone from being Arminian to Reformed, and from credobapist to paedobaptist (and perhaps you've changed your views in other ways too). Are you seriously trying to suggest that there aren't a lot of fallible interpretations held by fallible brethren in Christ?? On the other hand, in the scientific community NOBODY affirms a 10,000 year old earth, EXCEPT the handful of people who are bound to a specific interpretation of Genesis; and they don't really have credible scientific evidence to bring against an old earth...just an unwavering faith that this interpretation of Genesis 1 is the only conceivable interpretation. Don't you find that even a little bit troubling? Just a wee bit?

B, would you admit that there have certainly been times in the past when the commonly held beliefs of the day (which were engrained in minds because of what people THOUGHT was supported from Scripture) have been RIGHTLY discarded mainly due to new light that scientific discoveries shed? If you admit it, please remember that history tends to repeat itself.

ME: A - because you are a gentleman, brother in Christ, and buddy - I would certainly be willing to reconsider your position. Let me ask this: what do you think are the 1 or 2 strongest arguments WITHIN THE TEXT ITSELF for a loose reading/interpretation?

@ N [per A's comment] No N, actually Satan is involved a lot earlier on in the process, enticing Christians away from the practice of plainly believing what they have plainly read in the Bible from its first pages.

"Yea, hath... God said? ... Oh ... yeah, He did. But He didn't actually mean THAT, did He?"

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