Friday, January 05, 2007

bible study

Evangeline is starting to do some of the math. We were saying something about Noah today -- actually, I was sharing some of the jokes from Bill Cosby's "Noah" routine -- and she said, "How could he be 600 years old when the Flood happened? That's impossible!"

Gyiah. The former evangelical in me feels like I should give her answers and assure her that the Bible is absolutely reliable, even in those mythic stories about people living several hundred years old. Traditional explanations include the nature of the world changing because of the Deluge; the nature of human physiology changing because of the much smaller gene pool after the Deluge; and the notion that it took people longer to die then because the world was still rather Edenic, and the Flood signaled a fall of Nature that removed everything much more from Paradise.

Part of me feels like I should give her answers and explain that the story has a meaning that's more important than a literal truth, and that we should view the mythic stories of early Genesis in that way.

And part of me feels like a coward and a fraud for not talking about it with her more openly.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I would encourage you to take a look at a theological approach that has come to be known as "open view theology". Any attempt by man to put God in a theological box is bound to meet with failure at some point, but I think you might find that this theology offers some refreshing alternatives to some of our traditional orthodoxy. Greg Boyd is particularly accessible. A couple of his books that provide a good start are, God of the Possible, Is God to Blame, Repenting of Religion, God at War, and Satan and the Problem of Evil. and Is God to Blame. I guess that is more than a couple. Start with the first three, in that order. Book reports are due at the end of February. ;-)