Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Augustine on Answers in Genesis

In Homily 260c Augustine compares the promises of Isaiah 57:19, “peace upon peace,” with the sabbath day of rest that is contained "in this temporal round of days.” God rested on the seventh day in order to indicate the eternal rest of his saints. This is foretold in Job 5:19, “He will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no harm shall touch you." The reason Genesis does not indicate an evening on the seventh day is because it moves into the eighth of eternity. But the eighth day is not the only thing that should be an indicator of eternity for Augustine. He chides “lovers of this world” who do not consider the “symbolic meaning of the days.” Failure to do so shows that their focus "is not the rest of a spiritual sabbath, from which their thoughts could also be directed to the eternity of the eighth." Rather, they are "given over … to the round of temporal thoughts, unable to entertain any idea of the eternal."—Early Christian Readings of Genesis One, pages 296–97

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Quite an indictment. I suspect Augustine would have these same words for those who are fixated on a scientific interpretation of the Genesis 1–2. Something to think about, at least, isn't it?

Just an
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