Possibilities for Resolution
I came here asking for help in resolving the conflicts I see between the Bible and evolution.
Through our dialogue I’ve been able to be more specific in my request by saying that it’s the conflicts between what the Bible says about history and what evolution says about history that concerns me, not the science of evolution. Therefore, it’s the biblical arguments that have gotten you over these conflicts I’m seeking, not scientific arguments.
You have seen me reject the “you’re expecting too much precision from the Bible” argument as valid but insufficient to resolve the conflicts. I’ve explained why above and won’t repeat it here.
You have also seen me reject biblical arguments that dilute the idea that the Bible is the word of God. These come in the form of statements like “We don’t know who wrote these texts” and “The scribes got things wrong.” I don’t deny that scribes are human and that there is a need for textual criticism. Neither do I deny that there are textual variants that are difficult if not impossible to resolve. I just deny that any of the unresolvable variants are material. In other words, I adopt the view of the Old Testament that Jesus held. As I have expounded on this above, I won’t do so here.
I also reject arguments which suggest that idioms in the Old Testament are ancient people trying to teach false science. Thus when, for example, @pevaquark says that Ecclesiastes 1:5 is teaching that the sun revolves around the earth I wonder if he would accuse my local meteorologist of the same thing for saying “the sunrise will be 6:16 this morning.” I think it’s anachronistic to say that the biblical authors were “speaking in the science of their day.”
There may be other categories of biblical arguments that I’m overlooking right now, but I think I’ve left for last the one that I think holds the most promise for a resolution. It’s the category of figurative arguments.
Jesus often gave a figurative interpretation of something in the Old Testament - and it was often a figurative intepretation that no one was expecting. Such interpretations heightened rather than diminished devotion to Scripture. I’m open to that sort of thing with respect to the creation account, Adam as a real person, the flood, etc. As I’ve stated, it’s not enough to say “Well, it could be figurative.” One needs a specific figurative interpretation to resolve a specific conflict. A general figurative guideline could have utility, but not unlimited utility.
I hope this is helpful. I am certainly not trying to be difficult. As I’ve said, I will cease my posting today. (I have a family commitment which will consume my attention for the next 5-6 days). I have no plans to post after that (though I am not ruling out the possibility). Therefore, I hope you will give me your best responses in time for me to respond to you before I “sign off” around 3-4 eastern time.
Sometime after today, I will review this entire discussion giving even more thought to all you have said.