Sunday, 11 October 2015

Genesis Recast: Genesis as ancient cosmology and how it changes the conversation with science.

One of the accusations made by militant anti-evolutionists against evolutionary creationists is that they are seeking an audience or following. I admit to getting a wry smile out of that claim as if I was the sort of person who wanted fame, fortune, glory, and a following, I'd have chosen a far less controversial subject. I have gone public for one simple reason: intellectual honesty. W.F. Barling put it beautifully in his 1965 letter to The Christadelphian:
What is not generally realized is that this section of our community is not an organized, self-confident group bent on converting the remainder to a new opinion, but a number of perplexed individuals, deeply loyal to the community, desperately anxious not to offend those who do not share their anguish—let alone transfer it to their minds—but who feel that they must be intellectually honest. What they ask of their brethren and sisters is not a change of viewpoint but a change of attitude.
Unfortunately, when rational discussion of the subject is prohibited under pain of excommunication, those who are well aware of the overwhelming evidence for evolution are in the intolerable situation of not being able to even voice their concerns without being ridiculed, or threatened, making pages such as this a sad necessity.

One cannot help but note that other faith traditions are handling this question in a far more intelligent, rational, and informed manner. Recently, the evangelical apologetics organisation The 3rd Choice presented a seminar Genesis Recast in which the origins issues were discussed:
Session 1: Dr. John Walton “The Lost World of Genesis One”: Presenting Genesis 1 as a temple text speaking of order and function. Laying out an interpretive framework, and addressing both the Bible and Science

Session 2: Dr. John Walton “The Lost World of Adam & Eve”. Backlighting the significance of Genesis 2 with the ancient world of the Bible. Walton gives us the context, insights and clarity to reset the discussion and move forward.

Session 3: Dr. Craig Evans: “Origins in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament”. Evans will examine the creation story and origins from the viewpoint of the New Testament.

Session 4: Dr. Stephen Schaffner: “The scientific case for Common Descent from the fossil record and genetics.” Dr. Schaffner will present us with indelible scientific evidence.

Session 5: Skye Jethani: “Where is the Church Going? How can the Church think about these issues? How can progress be made?” The practical points of contact between the Bible and life.
The video for session three isn't available, but thankfully, the remaining videos are present, and are included below. For those seeking an informed, intelligent, rational discussion of the Bible-science question, this series is definitely worth watching.