Monday, April 22, 2019

If it ain't real, it ain't tell'n me nuthin.

I'm reminded of an article, famous in some circles, by Deirdre McCloskey "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

I think it was published in the American Scholar (when Deirdre was Donald).

Its a story of 'put your money where your mouth is' and comes to mind as I contemplate attending the local Anglo-Baptist church where a series on Genesis 1-11 is to be presented next term.

I can guess at the outcome: 'Nothing here is real, folks, but still, take it seriously. Now, move along, nothing more to see.'

The nagging trouble with approaches to Genesis, particularly chapters 1 and 2 (and no, Dorothy, they are not separate creation accounts), that present it as other than representing concrete events in and about the world where we encounter and fellowship with our Creator, present it as something completely other than it presents itself, and is so treated by the rest of Scripture.

The top of this pile of refuse is the Framework Hypothesis (for a shorter piece, and here and here). Like those in McCloskey's sights in the article mentioned above, it treats God as a not very good business consultant: can't give the substantiating detail, but only a 'framework'!

Like all non-realist views of Genesis 1, whether regarding it as allegory, 'parable', analogy, metaphor, illustration or opera (!), unless anchored in the concrete and meaningful creation as we experience it and in and by which we encounter God, the account, under these pretenses, can tell us nothing about the real world: the world in which we fellowship with God; or the God who fellowships with us in that same real world. God, fellowship, are consigned to a fantasy land equivalent to the Aboriginal 'dream-time'.

If the events of Genesis 1, the events that define the ground and scope of our fellowship with God, of God's initial move of love, that tell us...indeed show us who we are and the and the nature or the reality that is...that sets the base and ground of our thinking as Christians and knowledge of the world and our relation to it...did not really happen, then something else really happened. Then it is this 'something else' that tells us who we are, what our relation to The Real and our God really is and how our knowledge and experience of 'being' are defined, are to be construed and their significance.

But, on the non-realist vision, we do not know anything of this from the Bible despite its claim to the contrary; and such knowledge is left for the fragile hands of mere human imagination (or materialism riding on the back of an assertion of science). So much for the core and substance of Christian faith in the God who is love, who speaks, and redeems!

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