Genesis 1: Plenty of Rooom on the Slippery Slope

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Derek cites a Dutch professor, Ellen van Wolde, who is presumably of liberal persuasions, for her novel assertion that bara in Genesis 1 does not mean "create".  But is this really much different from the tactics currently en vogue in our own "conservative" Reformed circles for getting around the plain meaning and historical understanding of the creation account?  Is declaring a new meaning for a basic Hebrew word like bara much different from declaring that Genesis 1 is poetry (despite the fact that it bears all the marks of historical narrative and virtually none of poetry), and therefore that the theology may be divorced from the "messy" historical facts presented in Scripture?  Is it much different from our frameworks and analogies, all of which have the effect of giving us control of the text's meaning rather submitting ourselves to the text?  No doubt Professor van Wolde hopes to make a splash with worldly academics through her novel approach.  What are our motives in taking our liberties with Genesis 1?

 

When I was in seminary, I learned from my professors that even though Moses believed the days of creation were normal week days (as evidenced by his application of Genesis 1's chronology in the fourth commandment, Ex. 20:11), God was just using Moses' primitive cosmology to teach us something different from what the text said.  I was not surprised, therefore, when one of these professors recently appeared on the internet insisting that we need not maintain a historical Adam and Eve.  The slippery slope is broad enough for us all, my friends, not just for known "liberals".

Posted October 9, 2009 @ 10:38 AM by Rick Phillips
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