Taking Genesis as Inspired - Creation and Evolution

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Taking Genesis as Inspired

English > Fields of Research > Genesis Interpretation

A. Held & P. Rüst (2000), Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 52/3, 212-214; http://www.aneste.ch/files/GenInspired.pdf
Original web publication by the American Scientific Affiliation (but with defunct addresses):


A response to a theologian's criticisms of the article A. Held & P. Rüst (1999), "Genesis reconsidered", Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 51/4, 231-243

- On a hot, thirsty day when on a strenuous hike (like here in the Calanche on the isle of Corsica, France), we often need a fresh, cool drink.

- But as spiritual beings, we even desperately need the water of life given us by Jesus Christ, the Word of God.

- The inspired word of God, given us in the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, includes the early Genesis chapters. And these are relegated to mythology by some critics!

Main points:

Some assume that the biblical authors were bound to the science of their culture and time. But divine revelation implies the communication of contents at least some of which are unknown. Is God permitted to reveal some future or past history? In the Bible, theology and history are intimately connected.

A text understandable by the ancients need not imply the use of factual errors held in their culture. Therefore, it is meaningful to seek an interpretation compatible with known facts, even though it may have been interpreted differently by the ancients. God wants the texts to be trustworthy for all readers.

We discuss various Scripture texts misused by critics of God's freedom of choosing what to reveal. One egregious case concerns the astonishing claim that Mat.19:8 supports the idea of God accommodating himself to the defective morals of the time.

We also refute claims that the Bible contradicts science, such as Gen.1:2 supposedly asserting that the earth originally was covered with water; Ps.24:2 and Ps.136:6 that the earth is floating on the ocean; Gen.1:6 that the "firmament" (expanse) is solid; Gen.1:20 that birds came before land animals.

Belief in a spherical earth would not have been beyond the thinking of some ancients, especially those familiar with wide plains or the ocean. There is no reason to force biblical texts to support a flat earth mythology.

In contrast to genuine myths, Gen.1 correlates in an amazing way with the scientific picture.

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