Very sorry, Roy Squires, I’ve only just seen your comment on my article, 8 years after you wrote it!! I can’t find any Comment facility at present under that article or anywhere on the site and so I’m using the open blogposts area.
- Written by Roy Squires
Someting like this is stated several times in your article on Biblical Creationism”; “Genesis 2 and 3 should be interpreted literally as intended at the time of writing” How can you actually KNOW what was intended by the writers or the hearers of these creation narratives. Isn’t it a presuppostion which by its nature is not provable? Rather like a physicist having to assume cause and effect in his/her experiments but being unable to set up an experiment to prove cause and effect without assuming it to begin with. Regards
Thank you, Roy, for your very fair challenge.
There are two aspects of your comment to consider. One is your general presupposition that it not possible to know (really “KNOW’) anything without the claim being “proved”. There’s danger here of the taking the position we only know something if it is certain. Even mathematicians (and logicians) hesitate to claim that their proofs have absolute certainty. Knowing that “2 + 2 = 4” depends on presuppositions about the number series 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. (and about + and =). A mre workable view of knowledge is as reasonable belief about what is true, where “reasonable” means taking account of available alternatives. Thus, a hypothesis set within or presupposed by a theory accepted by experts the field it covers approaches definite truth if it survives testing that could refute it. My article happens to give an example as general as yours about cause and effect (which is commonly denied in contemorary physics!) – the Principle of Uiversality, a reasobable basic pressopostion until is is consistently refuted by observation or experiment.
Your example is important to me because I believe that causal processes are what The Trinity creates and sustains – not just physical causation but also social causation (as I quote from Isaiah 40 and Hebrews 1), and in my science mental causation too.
The second aspect of your comment is the constraints on speculsation about what the original speakers, writers, editors, listeners and readers understood by the Genesis account. I have sought as much information as I can over the decades about the history of the documents and the peoples in that region 2-3000+ years ago but I am merely an amateur scholar of that field. I cite a book for the general reader summarising the most releant literary history in the end notes – sadly the citations of note numbers in the main text were lost when the C-A-N- website was renovated – “3. For an exposition by a former research scientist who has long been a Christian academic scholar of the Bible, see Can we believe Genesis today? by the Rev. Dr. Ernest C. Lucas (IVP, 2001, 2005).” Just before lockdown, the Sunday morning sermon by the traned leader of my home church invoke the understanding of the poetic strcutre of Genesis 1:2-2:3 as a parallel sets of 3 days giving us a home in which to focus on the Creator, Sustainer, Judge, Saviour and Inspirer.
I hope that is helpful. Again, apologies for the very tardy response. – David