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Monday, May 2, 2011

2 books: forked tongue

A while ago in Southern Cross, the SAD monthly rag, there was a letter on when dinosaurs were created: the letter pointed out the logic that they must have been there at the time of Eden, because they were animals; thus, created on day 6.

In response, a local genius, one Stenning, pointed out, as though no one had ever heard of it, that there were 'two books' that God used to communicate: the book of revelation and the book of nature. And anyway, this giant of scholarship pontificated, Genesis 1 was poetry.

Well I think we've can join most Hebraists and disagree that it is NOT poetry (and setting aside the well begged question that poetry cannot be factual), and also put paid to the logic of the two books model, attributed to Francis Bacon.

The basic thrust of the recourse to 2 books is that it can be used to avoid the implications of what we read in Genesis 1.

This approach attempts to equate a real book (the Bible) and a metaphorical book ('nature') only set in words by people’s ideas; not God's revelation. As we know, people are prone to error, bias and philosophical pre-conceptions.

A couple of these pre-conceptions are: firstly, that an enquiry about matters important in the Bible can start outside the Bible, framed independently of God; and, secondly, that the Bible cannot make meaningful reference to origins. Is it strange that the Bible would have an interest in the continuity of time and space and matter, which construct the only world we know?

To claim that the Bible cannot inform us about creation in its own terms implies that God is not directly our creator, or author of the real world in which Genesis sets redemptive history. This claim means that the only information we have about his creation is denied to directly refer to the world created. Other terms than God’s are substituted whose effect is to obscure God's connection with the world. The theological risk of using human ideas to critique the Scripture, instead of the other way around, is that we will end up with a god of our own imagining!


sam drucker said...

It confounds me that people say that there can be an inconsistency in the Creation and the Word of God.

It is the same God behind both so how can he be inconsistent in his revelation of what he has done and what he says he has done?

Compromise to appease the world gives birth to a grotesque child.

Sam Drucker

John said...

We can all recall that giant of the theological and scientific world Gordon Cheng's comment that the koala's pouch is poorly designed. This is a tacit admission that God is not the creator but evolution. For even that fool of fools Cheng wouldn't blaspheme God by saying HE, Jesus, designed the pouch so poorly. So it must be evolution. That is, evolution created and not God.

Fools like Stenning and co can't have it both ways: either God created by His Wisdom, directly and rapidly, or it was a process removed and, for all intents and purposes, acting independently from God.

BTW, as I recall Stenning and his ISCAST group, a favourite of Moore and Jensen, are pagan followers of that heretic Teilhard de Chardin.

Critias said...

Hey, now we know the company they keep: TdeC? I sort of aren't surprised; but to have this dill being seriously taken in an evangelical diocese is galling: actually, that should be in any christian church!

What gets me is that the teachers of the diocese can't see the materialism in 'theistic' evolution, or the rejection of the word of God in slipping in interpretations that make the word other than it is.

Eric said...

I wonder what Trent had to say: he deleted his comment (and then I deleted the 'deleted' message); but I'll bet it was good. Someone called Trent would have to give pretty good theology.

sam drucker said...

Yes, a few good things have from out of Trent ... like ... Council of Trent!!!

Sam Drucker

Lloyd Geldard said...

I respond to your blog upon May 2nd 2011 pertaining to the "TWO BOOK APPROACH" to this topic of origins. In such an approach the Biblical record is presented as God's written revelation whereas the other book is somewhat metaphorical and is a reference to the world around us and thus God's revelation of himself via this world.

Now, a cynic might take a view that an advantage of the two book approach is that if one book is mistaken or lying or is simply to hard to read if not incomprehendible then there remains the possibility of 'the other book'. When I stopped laughing it occurred to me that towards the end of the Book of Revelation a curse was pronounced against anyone who would either add or take words away from that book. And given that that warning occurs towards the end of that book which is the last book within the bible people have tended to apply such a warning to any that might consider 'tampering' with any of the other scriptures. It then occurred to me that with this TWO BOOK APPROACH instead of adding or subtracting a few words what is conceivably occurring is that an entire new book or 'Volume of Volumes' is being added (indeed, one thicker than the original !).

Having said this I wish to discretely remark upon someones description of a certain person as a 'fool of fools'. I am assuming that such a description was presented as hyperbole for I do not remember him as a person who could be so described. I am unaware of the immediate background and precise circumstances that have precipitated such a 'response'/ description, however, it would seem unlikely that it would be appreciated by the one so described nor by his family and children who might read such things.