Hope you are continuing in God’s grace!
It does not necessarily imply that, not in the least bit.
Now if you start with the assumption that the only correct interpretation of Genesis 7 is a global flood, you would also have to insert that implication into the text of Genesis 7.
You keep phrasing your statements as if the one and only faithful way to interpret Genesis 1 - 11 is in accordance with young earth creationism. The way you keep formulating your steps of reasoning–your use of phrases in this fashion–are not helping you to consider alternative views like evolutionary creationism with an open attitude. It’s your right to accept or reject as you will, but the way you have been articulating your arguments does not seem to square with your professed goal of wanting to seriously consider alternative hermeneutical methods.
So your response is to attack the credibility of archeologists.
That’s not a strategy I would employ, myself. I would want to respect the archeologists enough so that when they find an engraving from 900 BCE in Palestine that references “Daoud,” a king, that I would be able to herald it as evidence for the veracity of Scripture.
If I attack what the archeologists say about the Magdalenian civilization (16,000 BP - 12,000 BP), however, I can’t rely on archeological evidence, period. Essentially, my faith in God’s revelation in Scripture must become something completely divorced from any discussion about textual, historical, and archeological evidence.
And that is why your line of reasoning leads to a very powerful version of post-modernism. There is no way to discuss evidence; there is simply the story that one wishes to believe. You have reached the apotheosis of post-modernism.
Moreover, you are making the assumption that I am asking you to deny the Scripture in favor of archeology. Far from it! I am asking you to consider whether your particular exegesis of Genesis is less reliable than you think it is. As Jon has pointed out, many ancient Jewish scribes did not believe in a global flood. As I have pointed out, Augustine of Hippo, the theologian that both Protestants and Catholics tried to claim for themselves during the Reformation, did not believe in six-day creationism.
There is plenty of room for very well-reasoned, faithful interpretation of Genesis in a non-6-day formulation.
In the opinion of Augustine, we do not have that testimony, Mike.
We do have the testimony that He created the universe out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3) and that He arranged it with an order that would be suitable for His habitation and ours (Genesis 1-3). We also have the testimony that the entry into peace and our true calling, which can occur after God has established the order and which the Bible refers to as “rest,” is worth celebrating once a week. And that is the rest that we enter into when we trust in Christ (Hebrews 4).
Thank you for clarifying that. I still stand by my contention that the statement that God took 6 days to create something does not imply that the something cannot be billions of years old.
My bottom line, Mike, is not that my favored interpretation of Genesis 1 - 11 is the only possibility for the faithful. I know that my interpretation is not the gospel! The gospel is the gospel.
However, my experience of living in a foreign culture has helped me to make the imaginative leap that is part of faithfully and respectfully interpreting Genesis within its cultural milieu–a cultural milieu which is even more foreign than West Africa to my “home” culture. So I see the young earth creationist view as just one of the many hermeneutical approaches that can provide insight into Genesis. Other possibilities include the framework interpretation and the functional ontology interpretation.
Given that there are many such approaches, how do I choose which one is best? I could simply choose on the basis of my own comfort: choose the one I grew up with, and that my fellow church members follow. That would certainly be the most comfortable path for me, and it would lead me into a YEC hermeneutic. However, because I am aware that my degree of comfort is irrelevant to the discussion, and because I have, through my experience in West Africa, become acquainted with the difficulties of interpreting texts from one cultural context into another, I am willing to give other hermeneutical approaches careful consideration.
On further investigation, I discover that the YEC hermeneutic leads me into a very militant post-modernism, where classes of evidence that I widely accept and even herald when they agree with my story (such as archeology) get roundly rejected when they disagree with my story. In this case, the only important consideration is my story and the tenacity of my belief; evidence is ultimately meaningless.
Since I am aware that other hermeneutics are plausible, I can also investigate them as well. And it just so happens that the “framework” hermeneutic and the functional ontology hermeneutic are not only highly compatible with a culturally aware exegesis of Genesis, but they are also highly compatible with evidence from science and archeology.
So I have a choice between two plausible ways of interpreting Genesis. One leads me to reject vast bodies of evidence; the other is compatible with those vast bodies of evidence.
Which one should I choose?
Grace and peace,