I'm using the term 'Theology' as shorthand for 'interpretation of Scripture' and so matters of historical fact fall under my use of the term, for this discussion at least. If there's a less confusing term to use I'm all for it. I just haven't thought too much about what it might be.

How about "interpretation of Scripture"? "Theology" is much to specific a word to be used in the way you suggest.

Again, category mistake. Do you mean to say that we must err on the side of our Theology (used as describe above) over Science?

Allow me to provide an exmaple: Scripture says that Jesus was resurrected in fact. "Science" says that resurrection is impossible. So we err on the side of Scripture.

Considering Genesis 1, there's lots of good reason. Have you read my papers yet?

I have. My objections follow:

1. Ex. 20:11; 30:17 cf. Gen. 2:3. The reason the Israelites are commanded to rest on the Sabbath is because that is the same day of the week which God sanctified because that is the same day of the week on which God rested. There is no indication whatever of there being a "metaphorical" day on which God rested and on which the Sabbath day is modelled. The seventh day of Genesis IS the Sabbath day. For you to conclude that because Ex. 31:17 applies an anthropopathism to God therefore the seventh day is not literal, is as ridiculous as concluding that because Ex. 31:18 applies an anthropomorphism to God therefore the stone tablets are not literal. BAD exegetical reasoning.

2. Regarding the literary structure itself, FI divides the days of creation into two tables, the first three being the realms, and the second three being the governors. Thus we have Day 1/4, the realms of light and darkness governed by the luminaries; Day 2/5, the realms of the seas and sky governed by fish and birds; Day 3/6, the realms of dry land and vegetation governed by land animals and man. There are some overlap problems to be noted here: the luminaries are set in the expanse created on Day 2/5 (your response to this objection is unsatisfactory as the luminaries require this space, as also the fish, birds, and animals require their spheres to be demarcated on the second day); the birds are not confined to the sky but are told to "multiply on the earth" (1:22); men are to govern not only dry land and vegetation, but also animals, and not only land animals, but also fish and birds.

However, I think you have a bigger problem to overcome than these. A pillar of FI is that daylight does not exist without the luminaries to govern it. But the same relationship between realm and governor does not occur with seas/fish, sky/birds, land & plants/animals & men. In fact, the realms must exist prior to the governors in these cases. Even God is not "enthroned as Creator King" until the seventh day in FI! Does the same not apply to light/luminaries? If FI is correct, then the realms of light and darkness ought to exist prior to the luminaries, otherwise the parallel structure FI presents is very precarious indeed. But then FI's own raison d'etre would be subsumed into the historical interpretation, which already holds that the existence of daylight is not dependent upon the luminaries.

3. The entire grammatical structure of Genesis 1 suggests a sequential reading. You have one day; then you have second day; then you have a third day; etc. None of the citations in your first paper have this numerical structure at all. In your second paper, you extrapolate that because the structure is atypical (cardinal, ordinal, ordinal, etc., with only two definite articles for days 6 & 7) Moses must be avoiding a chronological account. But you must assume FI to make such an extrapolation! Every other instance of an ordinal with yom in the Pentateuch is sequential. Has anyone, even those who were non-literalist, ever held that the very grammar is to be read dischronologically?

Furthermore, how do you explain the use of "evening and morning"? Each of the days, with the exception of the seventh, ends with evening and morning.

There are other issues I'd like to address, but this is quite a bit right here.


I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.