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Science, Scripture, and the Creation Narrative

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May 26, 2010 Tags: Creation & Origins

Today's video features John Walton. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

In these two brief video Conversations, John Walton emphasizes the importance of adopting the mindset of the ancient world in order to read Genesis more faithfully.

In the first clip, Walton discusses the problem of trying to integrate ancient scripture with our modern worldview. He notes that while people come to scripture thinking that they need to integrate it with the way we view the world now, it is not appropriate to read science out of the Bible or into the Bible. This makes the text say things that it never meant to an ancient audience.

In the second clip, Walton continues on the topic and points out that while modern people are inclined to think of creation in terms of material origins—as that is the way we view the rest of the world—ancient people did not think this way. Instead of being concerned about the precise methodology God used for the creation of matter, ancients were more interested in God’s role as the figure in charge of all matter.

In order to arrive at a better understanding of the text, we need to more fully consider its audience (ancient peoples who lacked scientific knowledge) and its purpose (to explain the role and significance of humans in the universe, not to provide scientific information).

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois and an editor and writer of Old Testament comparative studies and commentaries. Throughout his research, Walton has focused his attention on comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. He has published dozens of books, articles and translations, both as writer and editor, including his latest book The Lost World of Genesis One.

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Chris - #15229

May 26th 2010

I would highly recommended his book “The Lost World of Genesis One” to anyone who is interested in the topics he talked about. He goes into great detail on many topics concerning the creation/evolution debate from the biblical standpoint. Fantastic read.

ken wilson - #15260

May 26th 2010

And I might add The Lost World of Genesis One takes the text at face value in historical context—i.e. allows the text to speak for itself—and the view of creation it presents brings one to a more God-centered view of the creation as an outdoor cathedral which God seeks to inhabit.

Daniel Ankele - #15449

May 28th 2010

Here is what God says in Revelations about adding to his words. 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Listen to his words and obey!

True Follower of Christ,

Daniel Ankele

Jim Polsgrove - #15508

May 29th 2010

This comment has been removed by the moderator.

Denis O. Lamoureux - #15533

May 29th 2010

Regarding Jim Polsgrove - #15508 May 29th 2010

Dear Jim,
I appreciate your love for the Faith and the Word. But do you really think your post was helpful?

I’ve known John Walton for many years, and I assure you he is a wonderful born-again Christian and an excellent scholar.

John and I do not agree on the interpretation of the opening chapters of Genesis, but we utterly believe that these chapters are the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.  Through our differences we have learned from one another. If we would have sent emails to each other with the tone you express in your message, we both would have lost out on new getting insights.

Just a suggestion Jim: Try to find a central argument in John’s position that you believe is wrong, and then explain to him why you think its problematic.

In Christ,

Headless Unicorn Guy - #15650

May 30th 2010

My word-for-word reaction to “True Follower of Christ, Daniel Ankele” in #15449:

doubleplusgoodthink, doubleplusduckspeak.

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