Tuesday, November 19, 2019

From Evolution to Eden

We're very grateful for this review of From Evolution to Eden by Joyce.
Laughery & Diepstra's terms “science as informer” and “scripture as informer” beautifully lay the framework for seeking to achieve a balance between the two by calling for open and regular dialog between the scientific and religious communities. It was a welcome treat to be introduced to reading Genesis 1-3 as “cumulative poetic historiography” -vs- a less accurate “historical” interpretation. This understanding brought back many of the things I also learned from N.T. Wright's New Testament and the People of God which also emphasizes the need to read Genesis with an eye on the mindset of one living in the Ancient Near East. I was not at all familiar with Paul Ricoeur’s work, so I appreciated reading about his contributions to hermeneutics. The chapter “Sculpting in Time” was particularly engaging, ie, time as motion, narrative time, the “hermeneutical arrow” and dynamic reinterpretation, to the “cosmic drama that is still in progress”. I had forgotten how absolutely loaded early Genesis is with powerful symbols and imagery. I had not before appreciated looking at early Genesis as a “founding narrative” to the “unfolding drama” throughout Scripture and nature (including recent archaeological findings as well as new scientific discoveries). I recommend this book to every Christian who takes the Bible seriously, particularly those with a conservative bent who feel they must interpret Genesis literally in order to be faithful to Biblical Authority. It would also be of great value to those who are or have been struggling with their Faith believing it is in conflict with recent discoveries in the Sciences. Likewise, it offers a needed challenge to those in the scientific community who have long discounted religion and the Bible as contributing nothing to Truth.