Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Confronting the mysteries of the created and moral order

I am back into reading Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins by Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III. A really nice and helpful feature of the book is that before looking at Genesis 1 and 2, they examine other biblical texts with creation themes. This may be one of the strongest features of the book. Passages they examine in detail include Isaiah 40, Job 38-41, various Psalms and New Testament passages. Here is part of what they say about Job:
In referring to the cosmic order and the animal creation, God does not simply give Job some scientific information. Instead, God asks Job to consider the mystery and complexity of the created order that God himself fashioned, and to learn important principles from that. The point is that the natural order of the universe parallels the moral order in many ways, some of the natural order being beyond human understanding. Some aspects seem hideous, futile, wasteful, or fearsome, but all represent the work of a wise God who intentionally made the cosmos in the way it is for his own purpose. (p. 87)
The authors reference p.481 of David Clines article on Job in the New Bible Commentary.
A more detailed summary and discussion of this part of the book is in a post Creation and World View at Musings on Science and Theology [which mirrors posts on Jesus Creed]. [I cannot figure out who the author rjs is.] In particular, they discuss how these passages may force a rethinking of some Christian concerns about whether predatory and wasteful aspects of evolution are inconsistent with Biblical notions of creation.
The Lord answering Job out of the whirlwind, William Blake.
Plate 13 of Illustrations of the Book of Job

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