That I Did Have a Conflict, and That It Hurt

Filed in:

Both Feet Firmly on the Ground (Cosmology)

 

Until recently, it had been my longstanding view that the earth is really old, and that Gen 1-11 must be figurative.

I have changed my mind.

[That is: I now believe those sections are intended as historical.  I am adding this line, because a friend was unclear about my position. Updated at 6 pm, Nov 19.]

Before this change, I didn’t distrust scripture; I was just convinced that unscientific sounding parts couldn’t possibly mean what they sounded like.  I think this is because I had regrettably been convinced of a mainly materialist view of the universe.  I DID in fact believe in a spiritual side of the world, but it was OUT THERE in heaven.  My re-formed view sees a physical and a spiritual together DOWN HERE in the life we have.

It’s hard to describe how my two views were held side by side, but still divorced.  Unfortunately this was a very increasingly painful way to live.  I was always having to fight the battles of the conflicting views in my head, or to ignore the fact that I did have a conflict, and that it hurt.

I want to begin a series here to highlight biblical reasons to require our submission to the text in a more radical way than I had given it credit for in the past.

A friend of mine, Nathan, on one occasion, challenged my view that the book of Jonah was a-historical.

Now please be aware, if you have always been a 6-day person, you may not be aware how pervasive the view is amongst otherwise orthodox Christians that Gen 1-11 is mythic, and that Jonah is inspired fiction.  I never believed the bible was false, but I did believe that Gen 1-11 was teaching through allegory; however, I didn’t have a sophisticated view of how to fit together that Gen 11 was fictive, and Gen 12 was historical.

Back to Nathan’s challenge – he just said that he didn’t see any reason that it couldn’t be historical.

The question is: On whom is the burden of proof that texts are parable and not historical?

Jesus does speak in parable, but he says he is doing so when he does so.  Gen 1 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light!’ and THERE WAS LIGHT.’  And God saw that the light was good.”  So did he?

I want to write this over a string of posts, so let me outline some questions to deal with:

  • How does the New Testament present Gen 1-11 and Jonah?
  • Do we believe that the functioning of things in scripture is limited by material, and is knowable only by means available for examination through scientific instruments?
  • Do we believe that the functioning of things in the universe is limited by material, and is knowable only by means available for examination through scientific instruments?
  • Do we have proof that all things in the universe have always functioned in uniform ways and at uniform rates?
  • Is there a good and biblical reason that things in the universe resemble each other, that animals look so much like people?
  • Do we believe in miracles?
  • Do we believe in an otherwise spiritual world?

I don’t know in what order I will get to these things, but if you have been wondering about these things, keep checking back here in the near future, and I will make more suggestions, and explain more why I think we HAVE to affirm the historicity of all of Genesis, at the same time of affirming its poetry, symbolism and yes, even numerology.

This link will take you to the second post of this topic.

Advertisements

4 Responses to That I Did Have a Conflict, and That It Hurt

  1. […] That I Did Have a Conflict, and That It Hurt […]

  2. joelmartin says:

    Creation is assumed on almost every page of the Bible. I don’t how you can deny it and maintain inspiration.

    • saintluke says:

      Right, well, that’s a lot of what did me in. The more Psalms I sung, the more passages I worked through, the less I could maintain my old position. I never denied creation, I just thought the phrases were figurative over long periods. But there are more and more posts that i have to put up about more and more passages that were persuasive to me in this very way. Thanks for the comment, Joel.

  3. […] That I Did Have a Conflict, and That It Hurt […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: