Here is how this paradigm works. First, there is a real world, but the Bible does not describe that world authoritatively. Its description is both culturally conditioned (solid sky, waters above, etc.) and rhetorically shaped. We cannot derive a scientific explanation of the world from the Bible, and it would be misguided to try to find scientific evidence for that description. Nevertheless, the Bible does interpret that world authoritatively (God’s work in it and relationship to it).
We can apply that same paradigm to the flood. There was a real, cataclysmic event, but the Bible does not describe that event authoritatively. Its description is culturally conditioned (the flood tradition we all know) and rhetorically shaped (universalistic cosmic proportions). We cannot derive a scientific explanation of the flood from the Bible, and it would be misguided to try to ﬁnd scientific evidence for that description. Nevertheless, the Bible does interpret that event authoritatively (what God was doing; why it happened: judgment, recreation, nonorder as response to disorder, covenant, etc.).—Lost World of the Flood, 11 (emphasis original)
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
A different paradigm
Yesterday we finished Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, so it's time for an Old Testament book again. We'll be reading through another one of the "Lost World" books, this time ;Lost World of the Flood, by John Walton and Tremper Longman. Follow along and decide if you think they are correct in their conclusions. Here's the first excerpt: