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45 responses so far ↓

  • Must agree that Keller’s “Reasons for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” is excellent. A very accessible read.

    In reference to Matt’s unsuccessful job interview, please keep in mind that we all suffer losses from those who would seek to restrict opportunities to those who share their particular religious or non-religious views. Here is an extract from a telephone message which a client left for one of my partners today:

    “As well, when I return from [vacation] I would like to schedule a quick meeting with you and [yours truly] in regards to his [Irreligiosity] newspaper article and the possible negative impact it could have on your firm and mine.”

    I can’t wait to attend the meeting. I’m interested to know why he feels my public atheist stance is any more relevant to his use of my firm’s services than his bible thumping is to our use of his firm’s services.

  • Madeleine, I really like this. It echoes the conversation we’ve been having around here since you came over at the weekend. I think there is an inherent anti-intellectualism in many streams of the church in NZ, particularly those I am most familiar with. These are often new pentecostal movements which came out of grassroot “revivals” where ordinary and often uneducated people found God en masse. These streams of the church highly value the accesssibility of the gospel to “everyman”, and are, unfortunately, usually fundamentalist and suspicious of ideas that challenge the truths they hold so dearly. As if ideas could take anything away from God! I also think that the tall poppy syndrome is still alive and well. Shame on us.

  • Excellent post, Madeleine. I should point out, however, that this is generally not a problem in developing countries. There is a much greater willingness to grapple with the harder issues and the drive towards evangelism tends to make developing churches deal with real-world objections.

    I see this very much as a spiritual battle in Western churches. After all, it is the truth that sets you free, not ignorance. The lack of critical thinking in our churches is nothing less than a particularly nasty form of bondage. One that results in a darkness of intellect that makes the dark ages look positively sunny. The getto- ization of Western Christianity must count as Satan’s biggest victory since the Fall.

  • I find it interesting that often when Matt will point out a hermeneutical difficulty in a post and will explore different ways of reading it that makes sense that you’ll get Christians saying “but if it isn’t what literal English in 2011 makes it seem like it means the average Christian will get confused.” I am usually pretty gentle with such people but part of me wants to scream WAKE UP! I mean, why does the average Christian get confused by this? How many years have they been turning up to church on Sundays and bible study group on Wednesdays?

    Like anything, theology is a discipline that a lot of us will pick up a working understanding up but unless we really study and put in the hours and do the work we are not going to become pro’s at it which is why we need theologians – it is the same with anything, I can change a lightbulb and a fuse but when sparks fly out of my power-socket I realise I need to consult an electrician.

    The church has lost the theological skills that used to be present in it. Some pastors and ministers might hold a Bachelors degree but it will often be a BMin (ministry) not a BTh (theology) whilst a lot of others will self-taught but good communicators with strong people skills (and some of these will be very touchy about anyone noticing their lack of theology training). Those that are qualified will have invariably been taught in either one of the colleges I was talking about above or one of the ones that is filled with liberals…

    Resources to remedy this are out there. If the colleges won’t budge then we need to find them and get them into our churches and into our children.

  • Just to mix it up a bit, I don’t think the theological training situation in NZ is really that terrible. There seems a reasonably widespread acknowledgement that certain liberal institutions have not been great for the Church, along with a gradual ‘evangelicalisation’ of one or three of these as younger theologians move up and older ones who’ve gone off the rails (or perhaps were never within the rails) slip out.

    Our institutions don’t seem to be great at teaching intellectual engagement with the secular elite, but maybe that job is best left to scholars in the respective disciplines and Christians in the universities anyway. In such a secular society, it’s gonna be hard for theology and theologians to get a hearing without earning credibility first. Solid teaching in biblical preaching as we see from a few quarters, will I think bear fruit and help the Church to develop a Christian mind rather than a simply instinctively accomodatory or reactionary one. This could be supplemented by better analysis of where the power in and generator of modern culture actually lies; but the truth of that is the subject of a genuine argument that might have to be more conclusively won before more effort is put into engaging with culture thus-perceived.

    In this vein, the rhetoric from a certain evangelical college is impressive; I love the tag line and I respect very much what they seem to be doing, or trying to do. Let’s hope it continues to develop and that scholarship and public figures come from there which will be listened to.

  • Well I have never studied at a theological institution in New Zealand but I have perused the qualifications of the faculties and taken note of the publishing records – most are in house, very few seem to be world class. And I have sat in plenty of different church pews and I am left wondering where the New Zealand Pastor Timothy Keller’s are.

  • Andre, I agree that there are improvements relative to the “Geering era” of the past and we do have good evangelical scholars like Paul Trebilco at Otago for example. I also know of some really good evangelical scholars who have gone into the ministry and will be a real asset. I think however, particularly with the large charismatic movement in NZ, the attitudes Madeleine refers to remains quite strong. I have been to Compass conferences in the last decade where people like Michael Bauman and Greg Koukl have exposed very quickly the theological confusion and illiteracy amongst so many evangelical young people.
    My assessment of evangelical institutions is a bit different to yours as well. I think there are signs, in terms of rhetoric, towards moving in the direction you mention but much of the critical theology is influenced by continential trends and takes post-modernism and various fads far to seriously, while analytic theology is ignored.
    I also don’t know that I agree with your comment about a “secular society” post 9/11, I think it is quite apparent that we do not live in a secular society. My admittedly anecdotal experience is that many people are quite interested in theological questions and dimensions to issues and will listen to people who address these issues, provided the people are credible and know what they are talking about and speak in contemporary English. The mainstream media, on the other hand, like to trivialise this discussion with sound bites or by grabbing people like Brian Tamaki and this creates a PR image of theological discussion which is quite inaccurate.

  • I’ve also spent quite a bit of time browsing theology faculty details and I agree, there are few top notch scholars in NZ, particularly outside of the universities. From where I’m sitting, the concept of original research doesn’t seem too familiar to many.
    The church in NZ has a far more ‘pastoral’ focus, which does seem to somehow be linked to the massive influence of the charismatic movement. It’s good to clarify these things. I’m not entirely sure that a pastoral/ministry focus is a bad thing; perhaps it depends who we’re trying to reach. The majority of society, as you point out, isn’t secular and may be more open to a more relational, narrational or conversational approach – but the institutional framework (including the media) is avowedly secular – an intriguing contrast.
    In view of that, we definitely need good evangelical pastor-teachers. But perhaps it’s a case of ‘different strokes for different folks’ – I’m not sure. I find it easy to criticise them, but when I take a step back, the charismatic/pentecostal churches are having real success and I have been warned by credible people of over-intellectualisation in Christian communities. The question is how to approach things thoughtfully while keeping the conversation open to non-Christians and not losing those whose faith has been less thought-through. If the youthful success can be augmented with a more careful/thoughtful grounding (something I try to facilitate wherever possible), I think we’ll have a new Christian generation worth taking notice of for more than its occasional musical accomplishments.

  • I think we need a whole body approach, head, heart through to hands and feet. Some organs/parts need to be more dominant due to the importance of their role for the health of the whole body but they should not dominate the body beyond this.

    The heart and brain by necessity have to both be strong before the other organs and the more practical parts can do their thing.

    All head with no heart is not very nice and won’t win many hearts but likewise all heart with no brain is not very bright and won’t win many brains. Balance is what I am calling for in the face of imbalance.

  • Sounds like you should make a little compromise. Teach God’s word as it is written and say that you’ll do that at interviews. :)

  • Yeah Matt, at your next interview with a Christian school when you’re asked “how would you structure a lesson on who Jesus was?”

    Answer: “why, I would simply teach God’s word as it is written. Jesus was a grapevine, a woolly ovine, a door to a house, a piece of bread (with wine for blood), a road, a man, the savour of the world, a rock, a jew, a rabbi, a light…”

  • Wow. I’ve been following some of the more recent OPs and and I never thought that I’d read something like this.

    The major reason that I began engaging with Christians was because of the possible teaching of YEC in UK schools, particularly in the semi-independent academy schools such as those run by the Emmanuel Foundation.

    It’s good to read that there are Christians teachers who don’t want to teach by rote or by completing crossword puzzles.

    Do you mind if I quote and/or link to this OP, as I think it’s a very important piece ?

  • I am in general agreement with the conclusions of this post Madeleine. I don’t remember being dismissed for having questions growing up, though at times there were a paucity of answers for a variety of reasons.

    I wish to add a further perspective. While I appreciate the development of the mind, I am not certain that all do. I dismiss the approach that says “do not question, have faith” (in the way this comment is often used). And I am surprised by the testimonies I hear about people facing crises of faith because they are taken back the first time they hear a superficial challenge to Christianity (though I hear this more from US than NZ cases). But for many people it seems a non issue. I have heard complaints about excellent sermons because of their intellectual character. I have taught Bible studies where there is less interest in dealing with theological challenges and more interest in relational issues.

    Now this is not true of all, some of my students enjoy when I teach because of the discussion topic, but in the group there are some who struggle to understand, don’t really see the point, and even some who are happy with the “have faith” comment as they themselves advise this.

    I do not mind when people are like this, but my point is I think some people are generally happy not asking these questions because they would rather serve, or worship, or pray. They may not have the answers but I think that some of them really do not care that much. They learn, but are content.

    My concern is as yours when those who do not have these passions dismiss, or ignore the deep and real questions some do have. They may not be aware of the importance to the other person, but I think they need to realise that rather than giving unhelpful trite answers, they direct questioners to people who do wish to teach others about these things, who do think that asking questions is helpful.

    If a musician asks me about some finer point of music, I might direct him to the music team rather than offer a trite explanation.

  • Sure Paul, glad you enjoyed it.

  • Expelled – the other viewpoint…

    One blog in particular has been catching my eye, because of the quality of the apologetic being put forward. I would like to highlight the latest opinion piece there because it is an honest and sincere personal statement of experience from a Christian …

  • Flotsam and jetsam (1/11)…

    Madeleine Flanagan reflects on The Importance of Critical Engagement. Citing one study regarding teens in the church: The study indicates that students actually grow more confident in their Christian commitment when the adults in their life — parents, …

  • Help, I’m being impersonated.

  • It’s far worse in the U.S. I’ve written off both churchianity and the academy because of their rampant anti-intellectualism and narrowness. The unchurched constitute the overwhelming majority of Christians in this country, and thinkers outside of the academy are far more open-minded than most professional philosophers, who are fixated on intellectual fashions and publishing for the sake of tenure etc. Anyone who thinks I’m overstating the latter need only read American Philosophical Quarterly during the last five years of Rescher’s editorship, through five years after, to see a good analogy to what has happened to philosophy in the U.S. Tragic, and with much the same parallel consequences as Madeleine has outlined with regard to churches’ attitudes toward the intellectual struggles of pre-college youth. All of my professors are in almost complete despair over the poor quality of students, and the outlook for the very existence of academic philosophy is grim to put it mildly. Part of this is its own fault, admittedly, but part of it is the general culture, and K-12’s feverish avoidance of logic, grammar, and controversial issues, defaulting to Sesame Street-like, everyone-just-get-along mindlessness and sterility. No wonder students are so bored and just following their whims.

    But Allan Bloom pegged the university situation incisively: The universities are like refugee camps, where all the geniuses have been run off by an unfriendly regime.

  • I completely agree with your comment about the body Madeleine. We do need balance. Often God the Holy Spirit moves in our lives by engaging directly with our heart and emotions, and this should never be discredited. Of course then the mind needs to also be engaged and enlightened but this should be liberating, not a burden.

    Christians that are looking for help with “relational issues” are genuine people with genuine needs. Surely if the bible has something to say on nearly every aspect of the human condition, then theology can be engaged with on a variety of levels and through many entry points? Good theology will enlighten our relationships. It’s the same with music, isn’t it? Good theology makes our “musical accomplishments” more meaningful. Why compartmentalise? Is theology only theology when it involves books and blogs and serious conversations?

  • Interesting post, and I see I rate a mention. I’ve posted a response here: http://www.lostsoulblog.com/2011/01/religious-experience-and-social.html

  • Just a few questions about this:

    “Christians who think Genesis 1-11 should not be interpreted literally…”

    but how do we know what is and what isn’t meant to be taken literally?

    What about the christians who think Genesis 1-50 isn’t mean to be taken literally?

    What about the ones that think Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 isn’t meant to be taken literally?

    How are we meant to find the truth?
    Do we all need a PhD in Theology? Even then there will be people with PhD’s who think all of it is meant to be literal and others saying none of it is meant to be taken literally. Surely we don’t just find out all the different opinions and then decide which one we think sounds like the truth to us.

    So.. Is there a sure way to find out which Bible verses are literal and which are figurative?

  • Actually Rosjier, if we were to “find out all the different opinions and then decide which one we think sounds like the truth to us” I think that’d be a pretty good method for deciding stuff. That doesn’t need to imply picking it out of a hat or anything; being rational beings, we can think critically. God’s quite happy for us to use our minds – as far as I can tell, He even commands it.

    I think the literal/figurative dichotomy is a bit misleading. In a different context (that of the resurrection event itself) NT Wright suggests (I think) the terms “concrete” and “abstract” might be more helpful. Here I think it’s even more complicated. In terms of language, there are a range of styles that we might call “figurative”. Clearly there’s metaphor (the indicator of which might only be the fact when taken literally, it gives an account which would be absurd), but also other things such as poetry of various forms, which may be more appropriate in classifying passages which are more extended than “I am the good shepherd/light/door” etc). When words like ‘myth’ and ‘metaphor’ are used in the context of explaining Genesis, it can be taken to mean the person speaking has little respect for the text – but while that’s one possibility, it’s certainly not the only way to interpret what they’re saying!

    In the case of the first few chapters of Genesis, I don’t think the text by itself determines what we ought believe about certain details of the earth’s history. I’m no expert, but think it could be described well as a creation hymn, with various stylised elements and a symmetrical structure, intended to make clear the relationship between Israel’s God, man and the wider creation; this leaves open the possibility that it is simultaneously a ‘lab book’ style account of seven 24hr days of world-creation and rest, but doesn’t necessitate that. Whether it ought to be taken literally (or, some would say, literalistically) may best be determined by our knowledge of the natural world and the general state of things – the kind of knowledge we apply in interpreting other figurative language, in its various forms.

  • A public statement of atheism could possibly affect business, but I think the alleged negative effect in this case is a red herring for the real cause: the person’s own intellectual paranoia due to a long-standing unwillingness to having thought out their own views. Yet another example of the damage caused by anti-intellectualism, combined with the fact that most believers do not personally know very many—or more often, *any*—atheists.

  • I agree that the Figurative v Literal argument is a bit of a rabbit trail. Just read the text and accept what is being said at face value. Much like you would accept any piece of information at face value. If something comes up that you find has to be impossible then perhaps that is something you need to dwell upon.

  • So basically to answer my question:
    “Is there a sure way to find out which Bible verses are literal and which are figurative?”

    Both of you say no.
    Andre says to think critically which does not lead to us being sure of everything if anything.
    by all means think critically, but I don’t think that could be the measure of truth.
    Grant says just presume it’s literal unless you have reason not to, except of course nothing is impossible for God.
    Again this can be good advice, but is not the measure of truth, how can it be when it’s constantly changing?

  • What is it that you think is constantly changing? Just read the story. If you do not understand something, read a little deeper.

  • Rosjier
    1. In answer to your question, I’d ask how you tell when someone speaking to you in English is talking literally or using irony, or sarcasim, or metaphor and so forth, you take the statement in its context and take into account the known Genre.
    Take the Pauline epistles, we know what Paul meant be all men have sinned, because we know the context in which he says this, at the end of 2 chapters where he argues that both Jew and Gentile have disobeyed God. We also know this phrase comes in the middle of an epistle. On the other hand when we read revelation referring to a lamb we know if we read the context this refers to Christ because it identifies him as Christ in the text, so it can’t be literally true. We know also this is the book of revelation which is Apocalyptic literature and hence highly symbolic.
    2. you are concerned that with some texts there is disagreement over this, that’s correct, its also life. There is also disagreement over wether God exists or not, or wether morality exists, or wether democracy is a good system of government and so on, on any issue of importance where people have to make important choices there is disagreement. That’s unavoidable. To let it paralysis you when it’s the biblical text and not in any other context makes no sense. And seems to confuse the notion of getting a consensus with getting to the truth.
    3. Why did I mention “Christians who think Genesis 1-11 should not be interpreted literally” and not those who take “think Genesis 1 to Revelation 22” non literally A couple of reasons, first, no one claims that nothing in the bible is literal, so that really is not an option. Second, I was in an evangelical school, and within evangelical scholarship there is a significant opinion that Genesis 1-11 is a anti-mythical polemic, and not literal history. This is determined by comparision with other ANE texts from the same period which have stories of floods, towers, creation myths, and so on which appear similar in certain respects suggesting these are common features of a certain kind of Genre. These features are absent from the epistles or Kings- Chronicles, and so on. On the other hand at the more popular level evangelical churches are heavily influenced by creationism. I think informing students at a senior level involves being honest that this discussion is occurring within evangelical scholarship.
    I guess the difference here is that some people seem to think that creationism is a non negotiable piece of orthodoxy on par with belief in God and the virgin birth. I don’t see any reason for accepting this.
    4. last you ask “Surely we don’t just find out all the different opinions and then decide which one we think sounds like the truth to us.” Actually that is to some extent what we do, when we face any issue on which there is disagreement we are in practise going to adopt one option. I would encourage people who have questions about how to understand Genesis 1-3, to be aware of the arguments for different positions, and to develop the critical thinking skills to asses the various arguments.

    To many evangelicals want someone to just tell them what to think rather than face honest questions and think them through. That’s not spirituality its laziness.

  • I agree that the Figurative v Literal argument is a bit of a rabbit trail. Grant how do you want me to understand the phrase “rabbit trail” in this comment.

  • :chuckle:

    I literally want to see you running through some scrubland. Bye bye now.. :D

  • Grant, my point is that as a competent english speaker I know immediately what you mean. A person who did not speak english and gave a transliterated rendition of what you said would not.

    This is the same with Greek and hebrew, when you read the “surface” reading. You are actually reading an english translation, someone who has both competence in the language and also has acess to the early manuscripts, has done the hard yacks for you.

    It can be perilous in certain contexts to assume that whats the obvious plain meaning to a 21st westerner is what the original author asserted.

  • I think that when it comes to Creation it is important to let people know there are multiple alternatives, that they do not feel like they have to be committed to one thing. I’ve been a young earth creationist, an old earth creationist, and a theistic evolutionist. I’ve gone back and forth between these views dozens of times. You read one book, and you feel certain that young earth creationism is true. You read another book, and you feel for certain evolution is true. The trick is to realize that people that argue for a living can convince the average person of almost anything, and that creation is a very complex topic. Therefore, take everything with a grain of salt and realize this is a long-term search for truth, and ignore anyone who treats you like you’re stupid for not going along with them.

  • Exactly, Matt. Perhaps I was too flippant in my response, but believe me, I got the point. :)

    Another thing to remember is the bible is a very long book and is full of redundancy in presentation of message. Thus even with a bad translation, the original meaning can shine through.

  • I agree grant, but that requires reading it, and reading it as a whole narrative. The problem is a lot of contemporary Christian’s read individual verses in isolation and never read the text as a whole.

  • I see the issue that Rosjier is getting at. It is a common fact amongst Christians that really important issues such as what is necessary for salvation and what is necessary for human flourishing have different and contradictory camps. These camps are replete with passionate adherents who have impressive credentials and who make convincing arguments. Many people do not have the time or the intellectual capacity to sift through the whole sworded issue. And this is a question of eternal life or death, not temporal issues like politics, that in the context of eternity do not matter very much.

    The fact of the matter is that only a small minority of Christians have the ability to understand the nuances of the whole debacle of Christian disunity on vital topics. Why therefore would God not give us a living tool to dynamically respond with truth we can be certain about no matter what our intellectual or material abilities are? The answer to this is that He did as He established a living authority in Peter and his successors as Bishop of Rome, and the rest of the Apostles and their successors. All Christians can look to their authoritative decisions through the ages as the standard for what is necessary for salvation and other important topics.

  • I see that attitude as a cop out and very defeatist, Anthony. Sure, there are complex issues that are not easy to fathom, but the truth is that the gospel of salvation is accessible to all .. and with a little perseverance that message can be understood. And nobody who reads the bible and accepts what it plainly says is going to get too far away from what is right and true.

  • Firstly Thank you Jim for your post.
    I think you answer Grants question:
    “What is it that you think is constantly changing?”
    better than I could have.

    “I’ve been a young earth creationist, an old earth creationist, and a theistic evolutionist. I’ve gone back and forth between these views dozens of times.”

  • I think one needs to distinguish the main message of scripture from the nuances of particular interpretive issues.

    I think the message of genesis 1 for example is clear, God created the universe, the sky the sea, the earth, the land and sea creatures, he created human beings in his image to gain dominion and to reproduce God requires people to work in reflection of his own creation work and to set aside one day to rest. man and women were created to form a monogamous one flesh union, human beings wanted to be like God so choose to “know good and evil” rather than gain immortality, as a result man is mortal and is alienated from one another, nature and God. This pattern has been repeated in subsquent generations so that mans heart is evil from birth. None of this is terribly obsurce.

    Whats less clear are things less central to the message, is evolution true, was the creation done in 6 24 hour days, most of which I am inclined to think the author did not really care much about. Previous pre darwinian generations would not have had these questions nor would they have occured to them, so its our context that creates questions about how to play this all out.

  • Secondly Matt,
    you said “In answer to your question, I’d ask how you tell when someone speaking to you in English is talking literally or using irony, or sarcasim, or metaphor and so forth, you take the statement in its context and take into account the known Genre.”
    It seems you answer the question yourself not allowing me to answer. Take it in context and genre yes, but more importantly inflection in the voice, gestures, and facial expressions. Even with this advantage when talking with Christ Nicodemus gets confused, and needs to ask: “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” and he obviously knew the context and genre better than you or I.

    Matt you seem to contradict yourself. You say:
    “There is also disagreement over whether God exists or not, or whether morality exists, or whether democracy is a good system of government and so on, on any issue of importance where people have to make important choices there is disagreement.”
    And:
    “I guess the difference here is that some people seem to think that creationism is a non negotiable piece of orthodoxy on par with belief in God and the virgin birth.”
    So you say there is disagreement, and then you say some things are non-negotiable. Either you are certain that God exists and there was a virgin birth or these are educated guesses as you say: “when we face any issue on which there is disagreement we are in practice going to adopt one option.” But it’s not an option it’s non-negotiable. Is there a way to tell what is non-negotiable and what is up for debate?

    You said “No one claims that nothing in the bible is literal.” Of course people do, they’re called Anglicans. (Ok a little harsh.) They’re the ones with the BA’s that get the job because you’re over qualified. My friend’s Scripture study teacher at an Anglican school announced: “Jesus didn’t actually literally rise from the dead.” Some Anglicans are pro-choice, some lesbians are Anglican Bishops, I only need to say two more words on the topic: Glynn Cardy. (As a disclaimer I presume these groups in the Anglican church are minorities, and no doubt their are many devout holy Anglicans that will be in front of me in the line going to heaven, however The teaching of the Anglican church allows all these views to exist.)

    Not to mention the countless debates I’ve had with, no doubt God-fearing truth seeking, Bible-reading, Jehovah Witnesses, that have studied the Greek, have taken it in context and genre, yet firmly believe that Jesus is not divine. They just do the study with their own personal bias. How do you know your bias isn’t blinding you from the truth?

  • Lastly,
    Yes Anthony you do see what I am getting at. They do have impressive credentials and make convincing arguments. Just like Jim getting swayed by each book that’s read, any time you talk about, even essentials like: “Is Jesus God?” it can be confusing.

    So to answer my question Anthony would say “yes” there is a sure way to find out which Bible verses are literal and which are figurative.

    “There is a living authority in Peter and his successors as Bishop of Rome, and the rest of the Apostles and their successors. All Christians can look to their authoritative decisions through the ages as the standard for what is necessary for salvation and other important topics.”

    So what you’re claiming is that there is a line from Peter to the current pope? and these have held the authority given to Peter by Christ, and that this authority gives Christians a sure, certain way of knowing what truths of the faith are non-negotiable and which are up for debate. I’d have to think about that more Anthony.

    Grant I do not see this as a cop-out. Taking it at face value unless you feel the need to change your beliefs, that is more of a cop out in regards to searching for the truth. More than asking did Jesus give this type of authority to his disciples or not, and if so, does this authority still exist in the world today. “Nobody who reads the bible and accepts what it plainly says is going to get too far away from what is right and true.” I think you should think critically about that statement.

  • @MATT “Whats less clear are things less central to the message, is evolution true, was the creation done in 6 24 hour days, most of which I am inclined to think the author did not really care much about. Previous pre darwinian generations would not have had these questions nor would they have occured to them, so its our context that creates questions about how to play this all out.

    1. People were rejecting the story of Genesis when Jesus was on earth.

    2. The author of Genesis is very specific that these are six normal days. How could you imagine otherwise?

    3. The rest of scripture is clear that these are six normal days.

    4. Evolution is an idea specifically designed to remove God from the creation of His earth.

    5. If you still insist that evolution is somehow viable we can look at the evidence.

  • Grant, I replied to your comment in the N T Wright thread.

  • Sounds like you should make a little compromise. Teach God’s word as it is written

    Problem is the people I teach don’t speak 7 century hebrew or 1st century Koine greek, so I am not sure how I teach it as written.

  • “Problem is the people I teach don’t speak 7 century hebrew or 1st century Koine greek, so I am not sure how I teach it as written.”

    If you are familiar with these languages yourself you can still talk about the important points which exist in the original language to an audience that only knows English.

  • Max agreed, I was more trying to address the simplistic “teach it as written” comment.