Informed Bible Study and Creationism

Bruce Alderman discusses a recent post by the Internet Monk on the topic of how learning to take the Bible more seriously (my summary) moved him away from young earth creationism.

I empathize with the process. I find it interesting that people think that somehow the theory of evolution drove me to a less literal reading of Genesis. Now other than disliking the phrase “less literal,” I have to note that I changed my reading of Genesis before I took any time looking at evolution at all. I didn’t actually study geology or paleontology until after I completed my MA program, and then only on an informal basis.

But I did study the Biblical material seriously and looked at it in relation to the literature of other ancient near eastern culture, and simply decided that it was not narrative history. I also don’t like the general category “myth” as I don’t think it’s helpful enough in understanding either the intent of the writers or the impact of the text over history. (It is helpful in some ways for some passages.) One has to get more specific than that in my view. For example, I would categorize Genesis 1:1-2:4a as liturgy.

In any case, read the two posts to which I link, and then possibly connect them to my post today on my Participatory Bible Study blog, in which I urge those who can to teach their Bible study method when they have an opportunity in the church, which I think is the most constructive thing we can do.

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