The Institute for Biblical Research (IBR) is an organization of evangelical Christian scholars with a vision to foster excellence in the pursuit of Biblical Studies. A fellow Pentateuch scholar and I have recently started a new research group on the Pentateuch and are accepting proposals for the 2018 annual meeting of IBR (at SBL). Proposals are due March 7!
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.
During my research stint with The Creation Project I had the luxury of being contractually obliged to read in areas that I normally don’t have time to explore. One result is a deeper appreciation of the relationship between reading and living God’s story.
I’ve just sent out the Janufleciton edition of our newsletter for January, 2017. This month I start my 26th year of ministry to Slovakia and in this edition of your newsletter you can rejoice with us as we look back to an awesome 2016 and find out how to pray for a 2017 with just as much potential.
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.