I only have a minute to post, but I’ve been in the midst of this book and it’s been spurring some good thoughts in my mind and needed a place to splurge them out. These have potential to spur some discussion,
The early chapters of Genesis are completely unique to the rest of Scripture. By “early chapters,” I’m referring to the first eleven chapters. Beginning with chapter twelve, the narrative shifts to Abraham and from there on we are dealing history that can/has been verified historically. It is the early chapters that deal with pre-history. It is here where the rub often arises between science and Christianity. It is here that is the heart of the evolution vs. intelligent design issue. Here are some specific points/questions/ramblings from this early portion of Scripture: (I’m interested to see what they spur in others)
* Does a belief in evolution deem the creation accounts false? Must we choose one or the other? Could God have used evolution to accomplish the things listed in the Genesis account?
* We don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner. Too many times Christians come out too strongly against things that aren’t necessarily that important. We state our case too strongly, and later information comes out to prove our position wrong. Ie. What if they find a gay gene? What if they find the missing links of evolution? We need to make room to for God to fit into whatever science proves. Maybe this is a copout. I’m not intending that.
* We must stay true to the genre. The early stories are true to ancient near eastern poetic literature. We cannot take them from their context and allow them to come immediately into 2006 white, suburban America – or whatever context we might find ourselves in.
McLaren’s book sets forth many interesting takes on evolution and the Bible. Too many times our rhetoric is lost in political debates regarding what’s going to be taught in schools when it would be much more proffitable to spend time setting forth an image that portrays Christianity in a more favorable light in its relationship to science.
I don’t have time to make this coherent . . . hopefully somewhere this makes sense to you.