John H. Walton said what about concordism?

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Jasonf8676
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John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#1

Post by Jasonf8676 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:34 am

An article written as a rebuttal to John H. Walton views on concordism/day-age creationism in his book, The Lost World of Genesis One. What do you think?

https://oldearthcreationism.wordpress.c ... oncordism/

Philip
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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#2

Post by Philip » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:53 am

Walton has views similar to those in Dr. Johnny Miller's book (I've discussed before): "In the Beginning We Misunderstood." And that is, Moses is not providing the newly created Israel, with its pre-scientific age understandings and having absorbed 4 centuries of ancient Egyptian / Mesopotamian creation myths, a lesson per SCIENTIFIC understandings of the creation process (sorry, Hugh Ross and a whole bunch of other creationist apologists, both OEC and YEC.

Here, Dr. Heiser agrees (http://drmsh.com/the-cosmology-of-genes ... worldview/), with some key outtake statements:

Heiser:

"Walton knows full well that many of his readers will object to his thesis, having equated biblical inspiration, authority, and inerrancy with the question of whether Genesis 1 is scientifically coherent in its literal exposition."

Walton:

"If we accept Genesis 1 as ancient cosmology, then we need to interpret it as ancient cosmology rather than translate it into modern cosmology. If we turn it into modern cosmology, we are making the text say something that it never said. . . . Since we view the text as authoritative, it is a dangerous thing to change the meaning of the text into something it never intended to say. . . ."

Heiser:

"While I would quibble with Walton on certain points, as someone who is trained in Semitics, this reviewer sees Walton’s work as an essential primer on the realia of Genesis 1 and a much-needed corrective to the inconsistent hermeneutics found in apologetics material on origins."

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#3

Post by DBowling » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:00 pm

I think I've shared my opinion on this before, but I don't think concordism vs ancient cosmology is necessarily an "either/or" proposition. I think Walton and Heiser can be absolutely correct about the meaning of Genesis 1 within the context of ancient cosmology to the original reader/listener. And I think that Hugh Ross can also be potentially right about how those very same words can be understood within the context of general revelation and modern cosmology.

The place that I disagree with Walton and Heiser is their premise that the ONLY valid interpretation of Genesis 1 is what the original audience would have understood within the context of their ancient cosmology. That is certainly a significant and valid understanding, but it is not the ONLY valid understanding.
Scripture is full of examples of OT passages that had a particular meaning to the original OT audience, but then when understood within the context of the NT gained additional meaning. So I do reject the premise that the understanding of the original OT audience in the original OT context is the ONLY valid basis for understanding the OT Scriptures.

We have to remember that the Scriptures (both OT and NT) are inspired by the Holy Spirit. So even though the historical context of the human author is significant and important, the context of the Holy Spirit goes way beyond that of the human author. Which is why the meanings of the words of Scripture can potentially exceed the immediate context or even understanding of the human author.

This is why I can agree with Walton and Heiser on many things and still be a Day-Age concordist. I have no problem at all with the premise that the Holy Spirit guided Moses to use words that meant one thing to his original audience within the context of ancient cosmology, but those same Holy Spirit inspired words could have additional meaning when understood within the context of general revelation and modern cosmology thousands of years later.
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Jasonf8676 (Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:18 pm)

Philip
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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#4

Post by Philip » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:48 pm

DB: The place that I disagree with Walton and Heiser is their premise that the ONLY valid interpretation of Genesis 1 is what the original audience would have understood within the context of their ancient cosmology. That is certainly a significant and valid understanding, but it is not the ONLY valid understanding.
I agree BOTH are important. God, when He inspired Scripture, knew precisely the totality of the entire human audience that would ever read it. This is where also science - by studying the Creation (ANOTHER and simultaneous revelation of God) - ALSO teaches us great truths - and they certainly can't, properly understood, contradict each other. Today, we know far more about the Creation than the ancients ever could have. HOW - via scientific analysis and methodology - which only works because of the immense consistency that God built into the universe. So, there are likely simultaneous things true about where the ancient audience would have gleaned understandings, and where we would as well. But in such a belief, I think this means that some of what people like Ross read as scientific meanings, were never meant to be. With a key question, can the ancient Near East understandings also correlate perfectly with scientific ones. Where was a literalism meant, where not, and what exactly was the literalism (if accurate) actually referring to? Is a Creation "day" an AGE / vast period of time or not? Was it even referring to the time - or ancient, absorbed myths - or BOTH? The other question, was such a reference actually TO - was it to science or as per how false creation mythology was the thing being corrected, and thus the reason it's referred to as it is.

Of course, teaching the concept and sequences correctly - and the uniqueness of Yahweh vs. the (demonic) Egyptian gods was clearly an important goal of God's / Noah's. But further - and yet still accurate and correlating scientific truths might also be covered by the very same verbiage. And this is where a lot of the OEC / YEC wars come in - as people assume things all had to a thing is only true in a certain way. You start discerning the truth of a passage through the lens of your pre-conceived views and a whole lot of things can get messed up - and that's true whether we're talking of literalisms, science, symbolisms, metaphors, allegories - all of that. Men love to use whatever algorithm of their own making that they can sift all evidences through - but when such is faulty, so will be the conclusions. I just enjoy such topics with people who can agree on one thing, and without getting angry at the views of other Christians: That SOMEHOW the text is true and that there's a lot we might have wrong about it.

The biggest error people probably make about Creation as it relates to Scripture is that they want to over-simplify the issues to agree with whatever filter they've constructed.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#5

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:26 pm

IMO, the whole point of understanding that the various books and letters and stories and poems of the bible were written FOR us BUT NOT TO us is to understand the culture context of the writings.
It isn't that the HS didn't know that we would be reading these texts 2-3000 years after, it is that the writers did NOT write in a way that would make things clear for us and confuse the people of their time BUT that they wrote for THEIR generation and their audience and they assumed ( as those that write thinking that their writings will be read bu future generations) that we would be smart enough to figure these things out.


When I write to someone who has martial arts experience I write to THEM in a way that I KNOW they will relate and if that writing was to be read by someone without any MA experiences, they would need help to understand it, they would have to take into account the WHO I was writing to.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#6

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:26 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:IMO, the whole point of understanding that the various books and letters and stories and poems of the bible were written FOR us BUT NOT TO us is to understand the culture context of the writings.
It isn't that the HS didn't know that we would be reading these texts 2-3000 years after, it is that the writers did NOT write in a way that would make things clear for us and confuse the people of their time BUT that they wrote for THEIR generation and their audience and they assumed
I agree that the human authors of the OT Scriptures were writing to an audience within a specific historical context. That is why I consider it important to try as best we are able to understand what the OT documents would have meant to the original audience in the original context.
I absolutely agree with Walton and Heiser on that.

However, as you note, the human writers were not the only agents involved in the creation of the OT Scriptures. The Holy Spirit was also involved, and the Holy Spirit is not limited in scope to original audience or the original context.
Which is why Scripture is able to speak to all people of all times and all cultures. Even to those without decades of ANE training.

As I mentioned earlier, Messianic prophecies and the NT use of the OT Scriptures give plenty of proof that the scope of the OT Scriptures are not limited to the scope of the original audience in the original context.

The human authors of Scripture may have had a specific audience and context in their minds when they wrote the OT Scriptures. But the Holy Spirit is not limited by human constraints, as the NT use of the OT Scriptures repeatedly demonstrates.
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PaulSacramento (Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:21 am)

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#7

Post by Philip » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:36 am

However, as you note, the human writers were not the only agents involved in the creation of the OT Scriptures. The Holy Spirit was also involved, and the Holy Spirit is not limited in scope to original audience or the original context.
Which is why Scripture is able to speak to all people of all times and all cultures. Even to those without decades of ANE training.

As I mentioned earlier, Messianic prophecies and the NT use of the OT Scriptures give plenty of proof that the scope of the OT Scriptures are not limited to the scope of the original audience in the original context.

The human authors of Scripture may have had a specific audience and context in their minds when they wrote the OT Scriptures. But the Holy Spirit is not limited by human constraints, as the NT use of the OT Scriptures repeatedly demonstrates.
Which tells me it is entirely possible for God to have inspired the writing of truths that were simultaneously applicable to correcting creation myths absorbed in Egypt, so that the ancient audience had an accurate understanding but not necessarily a scientific one - and yet written in such a way that ALSO accurately reflects understandings of the scientific age. I think those who are quick to latch on to literalisms - and of a certain type of those - who also know very little about science, tend to be easily swayed by things that are sometimes written by AIG, etc.

Sad thing is, just asking good questions that might challenge church tradition is so often looked at as being heretical. Question whether the Genesis texts MIGHT be pointing to a greater mankind made first, and Adam to Christ's line made long afterward - as it better reflects the archaeological record - that's a reasonable question. And every reasonable question produces possible answers as well as reasonable challenges to such tentative answers. There should be NO dumb questions - certainly if they are warranted.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#8

Post by DBowling » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:25 am

Philip wrote: Which tells me it is entirely possible for God to have inspired the writing of truths that were simultaneously applicable to correcting creation myths absorbed in Egypt, so that the ancient audience had an accurate understanding but not necessarily a scientific one - and yet written in such a way that ALSO accurately reflects understandings of the scientific age.
:yes:

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#9

Post by riderontheclouds » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:45 am

I personally have to agree with Walton, I haven't read the article, but from what I've seen of Genesis 1, scientific accuracy is not the aim of the game. Light isn't a source independent from the sun, the earth didn't rise out of the sea and animals didn't 'come forth' from the ground.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#10

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:03 pm

riderontheclouds wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:45 am
I personally have to agree with Walton, I haven't read the article, but from what I've seen of Genesis 1, scientific accuracy is not the aim of the game. Light isn't a source independent from the sun, the earth didn't rise out of the sea and animals didn't 'come forth' from the ground.
Science states that for some time the earth was under water, during the Hadean eon I believe. Of course the atmosphere was around then though.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#11

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:16 pm

Genesis 1 isn't a down to the atoms scientific account, but it does have some rough parallels to what mainstream science teaches about the universe's history. Gen 1:1-thru first day is the several billion years or more from the beginning of the creation to the Hadean eon, the second day involves the formation of the current atmosphere, day 3 involves the first plants* appearing (they may be land plants then too) and land being exposed (some early supercontinent called Ur I think) around 3 billion years ago, shortly after the sky cleared enough the sun, moon, and stars appeared and thus functioned as time keepers, animals came about several hundred million years ago, and humans arguably came around about 2 million to 200,000 years ago.

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#12

Post by riderontheclouds » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:31 pm

thatkidakayoungguy wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:03 pm
riderontheclouds wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:45 am
I personally have to agree with Walton, I haven't read the article, but from what I've seen of Genesis 1, scientific accuracy is not the aim of the game. Light isn't a source independent from the sun, the earth didn't rise out of the sea and animals didn't 'come forth' from the ground.
Science states that for some time the earth was under water, during the Hadean eon I believe. Of course the atmosphere was around then though.
Was there not dry earth before then?

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Re: John H. Walton said what about concordism?

#13

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:47 pm

riderontheclouds wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:31 pm
thatkidakayoungguy wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:03 pm
riderontheclouds wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:45 am
I personally have to agree with Walton, I haven't read the article, but from what I've seen of Genesis 1, scientific accuracy is not the aim of the game. Light isn't a source independent from the sun, the earth didn't rise out of the sea and animals didn't 'come forth' from the ground.
Science states that for some time the earth was under water, during the Hadean eon I believe. Of course the atmosphere was around then though.
Was there not dry earth before then?
Yea, but the bible also used myths to help the people of the time of Moses to understand what happened. So it did not have to say that land existed beforehand, since it was not regarded as chaos which needed forming or reforming. Even though in a way it was, as the earth was meant for habitation.

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