On Sunday Scot put up a short post highlighting a shift at Bryan College tightening the “acceptable” ranges of interpretation of the Genesis account. While most of the commenters on the post mourned the change that sentiment is certainly not universal. As one of the commenters put it:
I am thankful that there are some Christians who believe the Word of God as it is written, without infusing men’s evolutionary ideas into the text. For thousands of years, Christians have understood what God meant by creating the world “in six days,” and I applaud Bryan for understanding how very important it is to look at the Biblical text itself, not men’s opinions. It is only when we start calling theories and suppositions “science” that the Christian community becomes confused. Some are even ashamed of the Genesis account.
The Lord God of the scriptures is a powerful Creator and does not need any defense from me; we must realize that His text is not up for our human interpretation. We will find out exactly how He created when we stand before Him one day, and until then– I believe exactly what He says in Genesis 1. I am thankful for Bryan standing on “the evening and the morning were the first day.”
His text is not up for our human interpretation? … Ah, well … but a text, any text, is nothing without interpretation. We interpret as we read the bible – constantly.
And this leads right into the second chapter of Ronald E. Osborn’s new book Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering entitled What is eating Biblical Literalists? Osborn comes from a background (Seventh Day Adventist) where young earth creationism is the dominant view. Flood geology began with the work of George McCready Price, a Seventh Day Adventist. According to the Wikipedia article on Price, his ideas were used heavily by Bryan in the Scopes trial. They also formed the groundwork for The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb. Because of this background Osborn takes a number of chapters to work through this issues of biblical literalism beginning with the issue of authority.