The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science

The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science☀ The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science PDF / Epub ✍ Author M. Conrad Hyers – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Conrad Hyers offers a welcome respite from the counter productive effects of extremism that surround the creation issue Focusing on the creation texts from the book of Genesis, Hyers interprets the bi Conrad Hyers offers a of Creation: ePUB ✓ welcome respite from the counter productive effects of extremism that surround the creation issue Focusing on the creation texts from the book of Genesis, Hyers interprets the biblical account in light of its relationship to its culture, context, and purpose. This took me a lot longer to get through than my last creation vs evolution book It sheavily on the scholarly side, which isn t bad, per se, but makes for some dull reading at times Some chapters and paragraphs were very interesting and engaging, but many either repeated ideas with which I was already familiar, but to the nth boring degree, or went off on tangents I didn t really care about Definitely some good thoughts and insights, especially in the areas of the seeming conflict This took me a lot longer to get through than my last creation vs evolution book It sheavily on the scholarly side, which isn t bad, per se, but makes for some dull reading at times Some chapters and paragraphs were very interesting and engaging, but many either repeated ideas with which I was already familiar, but to the nth boring degree, or went off on tangents I didn t really care about Definitely some good thoughts and insights, especially in the areas of the seeming conflict between sovereign control and perceived randomness in the universe It does a lot of comparisons between the Genesis texts places the writing in the time of Solomon, rather than Moses, and has cited researched reasons for doing so, and while I haven t decided if I agree with this or not, it certainly gives an interesting alternate perspective of the purpose of the author in writing the first five books of the Bible with those of other ancient myths in the sense of mythos and origins , showing similarities and differences in content and in style It s very informative, but again, if you re not into ancient texts and literature and studying mythologies, you would find it incredibly tedious.Not one I would recommend to everyone interested in the topic, but it gave me some suggestions for further reading that I may explore, and further reinforced some of the ideas about the conflict or rather lack thereof between the theories of evolution and creation 3 5 4 for content, 2 for readability and interest Christianity has never been free from controversies or conflict with the surrounding culture, this is as true of the twentieth and twenty first centuries as the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries the period of the first Ecumenical Councils , as it is of even the beginning of the faith s separate existence Paul s conflict with Jewish believers over expected and acceptable behavior of Gentile believers in Messiah Every age in fact has its unique set of controversies The longest running contro Christianity has never been free from controversies or conflict with the surrounding culture, this is as true of the twentieth and twenty first centuries as the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries the period of the first Ecumenical Councils , as it is of even the beginning of the faith s separate existence Paul s conflict with Jewish believers over expected and acceptable behavior of Gentile believers in Messiah Every age in fact has its unique set of controversies The longest running controversy of modernity is the apparent conflict between Religion and Science the opposition of faith to reason as it is sometimes styled and in particular over the question of origins From the middle of the 19th century, portions of Christianity have been fixated on the question of human origins Creation vs Evolution arguments rage back and forth, and the resulting bitterness and entrenching of positions has all too often fueled criticism and rejection of Christian Faith as delusional, irrational and unpractical Yet it is not a foregone conclusion that Science and Religion must be at odds, and Professor Conrad Hyers of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota in his book The Meaning of Creation Genesis and Modern Science through a commentary on the two creation narratives in the first part of the Book of Genesis seeks to show how this can be so.Written in 1984, The Meaning of Creation offers a different perspective on the creation versus evolution conflict, and takes to task the shared assumptions inherent in a literalist reading and interpretation of the creation narratives from both the religious and scientific interpreters, as misunderstanding the real issues that the creation narratives wrestled with For Hyers, it is not a question of reconciling science and religion in the realm of human and cosmic origins, but of acknowledging that the two accounts biblical and evolutionary speak to different audiences using different languages addressing different needs, and further, that they may not even be responding to or asking, the same questions, separated as they are in time and space Hyers maintains, for instance that the primary motivating issues facing the writers of the Genesis accounts were the rejection of polytheism and idolatry from within Judaism, and that each account is written from a different socio economic perspective an agrarian perspective a priestly, orderly creation for Genesis 1 and a pastoral perspective for Genesis 2 and beyond an account that critiques unfettered advances of civilization and praises the nomadic existence and not about the naturalistic mechanisms that brought about the Creation as concerns modern science and modern scientists.Hyers, rather than trying to harmonize the Genesis creation accounts with current scientific theory, or arguing for the primacy of one approach over the other, instead puts forward a primarily religious reading of the texts Eight chapters, a prologue, and notes bring to life an argument that a literalist approach to the creation narratives does a disservice both to religion and to science, and that such an approach was not what the original authors of Genesis intended Most of the book is taken up with this discussion of the two creation accounts and their differing perspectives, leaving little space to consider them in relation to accounts of natural science and agnosticism This is at once its strength and major weakness as in fact Hyers makes only passing reference to such things as scientific method and theory, symbols and language, and little attempt to compare the two against each other, that one would expect from a book with the subtitle Genesis and Modern Science Chapters 2 4 bring out the imagery of Genesis 1 and chapters 6 7 do the same for Genesis 2, while chapter 1 sets out the difference between religious language and scientific language and applies this difference to the biblical texts for the rest of the book Chapter 5, standing between the discussion of Genesis 1 and of Genesis 2 and beyond, introduces the symbolic imagination and the religious uses of symbols and the contrast between it and the scientific imagination and the scientific use of symbols The last chapter is a brief exploration of three further problems or conflicts that arise out of the creation narratives and the doctrine of Creation in relation to a scientific understanding of the universe 1 chance versus design in nature, 2 the existence of evil and suffering in the world, and 3 the use of patriarchal language he argues that reconciling the two disparate accounts is effected by recognizing that such questions were not addressed by the author s of Genesis, and that to truly take in the meaning of creation we must accept both the order and ambiguity that it represents.With this in mind, the greatest weakness of the work becomes clear the paucity of the interaction between Science and Religion His actual discussion of Genesis 1 and 2 and beyond was quite meaningful, and helps put many of the subsequent theological themes of the rest of Scripture into context, but the final chapter s dialogue with science which covered so briefly the issues raised by the comparison of religious and scientific accounts of origins at the beginning does not really resolve itself, and properly deserves a book in and of itself.Not everyone will be comfortable with Professor Hyers treatment of the creation narratives, of course, or of his resolution of the problem such as it is and yet, compared with another work that rejects a simple literalist reading of the creation narratives John Shelby Spong s Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism Hyers offers areadable, erudite, and sympathetic argument Even if you do not agree with his assessment though, reading his book will enrich your understanding and appreciation of the meaning of Genesis 1 and 2, even if it does not bring a rapprochement, or even the outlines of such, between Science and Religion If there is one book that every Christian should read to be informed about the danger of the extremes of the creation evolution argument, it is this one.Conrad Hyers thoughts ring true now, even though it was written it the early 1980s As a professor of comparative religious traditions and a Christian, Hyers demonstrates the prevailing questions that Genesis was written to address, which aren t anachronistically the questions that most conservative Christians and atheists read into the text If there is one book that every Christian should read to be informed about the danger of the extremes of the creation evolution argument, it is this one.Conrad Hyers thoughts ring true now, even though it was written it the early 1980s As a professor of comparative religious traditions and a Christian, Hyers demonstrates the prevailing questions that Genesis was written to address, which aren t anachronistically the questions that most conservative Christians and atheists read into the text Despite this being written in 1984 it s really not that dated The bible is still the same and many people still feel there is a conflict between the creation account and evolution The author does not go into much of any detail debating the specific contradictions as it s assumed if your reading this book you already know about them Instead it focuses on the fact that Genesis is not a science book and instead focuses on the culture, context and writing style of the time Instead of some books Despite this being written in 1984 it s really not that dated The bible is still the same and many people still feel there is a conflict between the creation account and evolution The author does not go into much of any detail debating the specific contradictions as it s assumed if your reading this book you already know about them Instead it focuses on the fact that Genesis is not a science book and instead focuses on the culture, context and writing style of the time Instead of some books where they try to twist science to fit the bible or vice versa he acknowledges that the genre was written for a different audience who struggled with polytheism, idolatry and animism He does a great job of pointing out the problems of biblical literalism and how our modern culture completely misses the point of these ancient texts that at the time were filled with such meaningful allegory and are completely missed by the literalist.One of my favorite quotes from the book is It may be true that scientism and evolutionism not science and evolution are among the causes of atheism and materialism It is at least equally true that biblical literalism, from it s earlier flat earth and geocentric forms to it s recent young earth and flood geology forms, is one of the major causes of atheism and materialism Many scientists and intellectuals have simply taken the literalists at their word and rejected biblical materials as being superseded or contradicted by modern science Although the content of the book was good Some of the language and terminology was a bit difficult It may not be difficult for a graduate level theology major but to the layman I found a number of difficult words that I had to look up which really slowed things down I found it took me several hours just get to page 50 As an example when I read a new book I typically add any new words I find to a file on my phone in order to improve my vocabulary In a typical novel I ll find 3 4 The list for this book was 20 long It s as if the author got out his thesaurus and would try to find the most abstract synonym he could find Typically popular in the 1800 s I ve beaten this topic into the ground I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it The strengths 1 Gives a great explanation of Genesis One and how the original author and audience would have understood it 2 Admits that Genesis 2 4 are myths It puts the flood story and the Tower of Babelin the legend category in that there is a historical basis for those stories but they didn t happens the way the Bible says it happened He gives a great explanation of Cain and Abel represents the de I ve beaten this topic into the ground I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it The strengths 1 Gives a great explanation of Genesis One and how the original author and audience would have understood it 2 Admits that Genesis 2 4 are myths It puts the flood story and the Tower of Babelin the legend category in that there is a historical basis for those stories but they didn t happens the way the Bible says it happened He gives a great explanation of Cain and Abel represents the death of Shepard life Abel and the rise of city life Cain 3 He explains how the universe can appear to be random but still have a designer.The weaknesses 1 He doesn t cover the New Testament authors reference to the creation account, in particular Paul s reference to Adam in Romans 5 and the concept of original sin.2 He assumes that you have already read some critical scholarship and know how the O.T was put together For example he references the Priestly Source and the Yahwehist Source You have to have at least some understanding of the Documentary Hypothesis and that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 3 were written at different times by different authors.Great read

The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science
  • Paperback
  • 216 pages
  • The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science
  • M. Conrad Hyers
  • English
  • 19 May 2017
  • 0804201250