Category Archives: Theology
… or how streptomycin proves, or disproves, God I’m still interested in showing how God appears to be hidden in the workings of the world more because the prevailing materialist worldview is blind to him than because he is intrinsically invisible. There was a long (and ongoing) discussion on BioLogos recently based on a case-study I gave of a healing in response to prayer. I could have perhaps sorted the materialists (believing as well as unbelieving) from the atheists better by choosing a less “religious” example, such as the kind of phenomena pretty familiar in everyday life, but absolutely verboten in serious discourse, such as premonitions, knowledge of being watched … Continue reading
Since I considered “heaven and earth” in the recent series, in relation to the deliberate parallels between the Genesis 1 “cosmic temple” and Israel’s tabernacle and temple, it’s interesting to muse on how the ancient Hebrews thought about “heaven”.
This is by way of being an appendix to the main conclusions I’ve drawn in previous posts about the possible implications for human origins of seeing Adam, in the context of Genesis, as proto-Israel, yet also as a real and historical (not fictional) archetype. I’ve suggested that we should distinguish the whole race of mankind, created in Genesis 1, from Adam as one member of that race, chosen to become the forerunner of a new kind of relationship with God as Yahweh, analogous to the calling from the generality of humanity of Abraham, or of Israel the nation, or of those born again into Christ. But someone may ask if … Continue reading
At this point in the series, let’s move on to consider the world outside Eden, and perhaps before Eden, by summarising what I’ve already concluded from adopting the “compositional strategy” of the Pentateuch or Torah proposed by John Sailhamer, and applied to the beginning of Genesis by Seth Postell. I put this overview in list form in the previous post, so please refresh your memory there if you need to.
In the last post I tried to show the overall thematic “plot” inherent in the Pentateuch or Torah, which John Sailhamer calls its “compositional strategy”. This makes the foundation-document of Israel a narrative of linked themes, which I will list below the fold.
Around thirty five years ago I noticed something very significant in the book of Deuteronomy (during an uninspiring church Bible study, as it happens), which I’d never heard of before and have seldom come across from others since. It’s in ch.5, in which Moses, addressing Israel on the border of the promised land after their wilderness wanderings, restates the Ten Commandments of the Sinai covenant, and says: Hear, Israel, the decrees and the laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this … Continue reading
In my last post I wrote about Seth Postell’s work on the clear typological role of Adam, in relation to the over-arching message of the Pentateuch and, indeed, the whole Hebrew Bible. This message turns out to be the failure of Israel to keep the Covenant, their subsequent exile, and the promise of restoration through the coming prophet/king who would become known as Messiah. Adam’s history is closely parallel to this. I hinted that this makes Paul’s teaching on the parallelism of Jesus with Adam, as the one who succeeded where both Israel and Adam failed, a continuation of a mainstream biblical theme, and not just a convenient illustration of … Continue reading
I’ve just finished Seth D Postell’s 2011 book, Adam as Israel: Genesis 1-3 as the Introduction to the Torah and Tanakh, which although perhaps a little scholarly (ie interactive with the “academic literature”) for the average reader is a great eye opener in considering the whole question of understanding the first chapters of Genesis.
In my last piece I argued that “natural evil” cannot possibly be an Old Testament doctrine because the very concept of “Nature” post-dates the major OT texts by several centuries. I also mentioned in passing that this goes along with the fact that since the idea of a “cosmos”, ie the world seen as a single, “organic” whole, is also a later Greek idea, it’s futile to ask about Israelite “cosmology”. You simply cannot have cosmology without a cosmos. Therefore no bubble floating in a cosmic ocean.
I see Joshua Swamidass posted a link to my Martin Luther King piece on the BioLogos Home School forum (now it can be told – it was he who sent me the link to MLK’s sermon). One of the first responses on his thread there, from a BioLogos moderator, challenged my point that, since Dr King attributes sin to the higher, “spiritual” aspect of man’s nature that includes his will, both the attribution of human sin to evolution, and the presence of evil in non-volitional Nature, cannot be valid. There is indeed, she said, another kind of evil apart from sin, “natural evil”.