It’s time to bring together the material from the last two posts to show how Moses makes a brilliant literary move in his Genesis 1 creation account. What does he do? He takes the normal ANE metaphor “the temple is creation” and reverses it to “creation is a temple.” This literary move has huge theological implications.[Read more…]
Memes are a modern phenomenon that we associate with social media. But in a way, memes are as old as human culture. In this post, I want to think about the idea of “temple” as a meme in the ancient Near East that served as a way for people to understand their place in creation, especially their place in relation to God. We’ll see how the idea of temple, like a meme, was transferrable to different contexts. Then we’ll be ready for the next post, when we’ll see how Genesis 1 uses the temple meme to communicate theological truths about creation.[Read more…]
Sometimes reading Scripture can be tough but there are a few skills we can gain that provide a big return on investment in terms of helping us get a feel for how the whole thing fits together. Topping this list of skills is understanding the role of the sanctuary in the plot of the Biblical narrative.
Tired of reading? Doing the dishes? Listen to this post on audio.[Read more…]
In response to my most recent post in my series on “The Evangelical’s Creation Conundrum,” A friend asked my opinion about the Mohler-Collins conversation about Scripture’s teaching on the age of the universe that took place on February 1. Rather than an extensive response, I picked out one of Mohler’s statements that I think is representative of the way young earth creationists sometimes rhetorically distort the debate by forcing us to go all in on a lopsided bet.
Creation was meant to be a place of provision and protection. That’s what the ordering of the six days of creation communicates. But Genesis 1:1-2:3 sets in motion a big idea that drives the whole biblical story from beginning to end. The temple theme is rooted in the seven day structure of creation and opens up the possibility that the author did not use “days” to express length of time, but rather to set up the all important temple metaphor as the lens through which we understand the creation narrative.[Read more…]
I recently got a question from one of my Slovak seminary students,
In the Roháček (a Slovak) version of Num 24:4 we read that Balaam, “fell into a sleep” while the Ecumenical version reads that he was in “a state of ecstasy.” Does this mean that the author is expressing some kind of physical sleep but that during the sleep the person is in a state of (prophetic) awareness?
Walking through the exegesis of this text turns out to be a pretty fruitufl exercise for demonstrating why we need to be careful as we interpret small segments of text.
It’s finally time to turn to Scripture to see what Gen 1:1–2:3 teaches. At first glance the text seems to clearly teach that God created the world in six, twenty-four hour days. But if we look more closely we’ll see there is a very clear symmetry in the text that takes us in another direction. The primary teaching of this text has little to do with when God created and everything to do with why.[Read more…]
If science and Scripture have some superficial conflicts but no deep conflicts when viewed from the ultimate perspective of wisdom, then we need to think carefully about the various claims of science and the Bible that appear to be in conflict. Are these apparent conflicts due to the limitations of the science perspective or due to our interpretation of Scripture? We need to be careful because sometimes our first attempt at finding a deeper unity might not be correct.[Read more…]