Well, let’s hope I can bat 1.000 rather that .500! And I tip my hat to your sense of humor and congeniality, too.
I should state for the record that I believe that the Scriptures support both a material and functional view of God’s creating the universe. This does not necessarily mean that all passages that speak of creation have both perspectives in view.
The “binary” aspect of your posts is that, give some passages in Scripture that seem to speak of materialistic origins of the universe, you feel that Genesis 1 - 3 must logically have the same materialistic origins in view. Perhaps this is not the right way to speak of your view, though, and I am willing to approach from a different angle.
In any case, I respectfully disagree with the attempt to systematize the creation passages. Just as the four gospels have four differing perspectives on the same underlying ministry of Jesus the Messiah; just as Samuel/Kings and Chronicles have differing perspectives on the same history of Israel; Genesis and other Scriptures have differing perspectives on God’s creation of the universe. Hebrews 11:3, for example, clearly has a material ontology in view when it speaks of God’s creating the universe “out of nothing.” This does not, however, imply that Genesis has to have a material ontology in view. Walton provides very good reasons to think that Genesis 1 - 3 has a functional ontology in view when it speaks of God’s speaking the world into order. And if Genesis has a functional ontology in view, then we can safely set aside the “literal six 24-hour days” Ken Ham interpretation in favor of a view that respects God’s revelation by recognizing its roots in the ancient Hebrew words that were first spoken to an ancient Hebrew audience.
It is not our responsibility, I strongly feel, to try to systematize the Bible so that every passage would all speak from a single cultural and logical perspective. In fact, I think it harms our understanding of God’s interactions with His people throughout history. We miss out on the mind- and heart-expanding work that God wants to do in us if we try to reduce the Bible down to a single logical system from a single cultural perspective. God desires to speak to people in every culture in these last days. Would we expect Him to use the same language and cultural viewpoints across the board? I certainly would not. And I don’t bring such an expectation to the Bible, either.
There is another reason to respectfully question the citation of multiple Scriptures to refute Walton’s view. I will present it in my next post.