Appendix “A” in Vern Poythress’ book “Interpreting Eden,” counters Bruce Waltke’s contention that the first verse of God’s word is a summary of the creation account which follows. The “initiation view” has much more to commend itself since, grammatically, it is the most natural way to take the text. I believe its important to remember who the recipients were of this revelatory communication. All the early readers of this text were shepherds and farmers, not students of dead languages creatively working out possible solutions to align with certain constructs. Therefore, the most straight-forward approach grammatically should yield the correct results.
Here is an interview with Logos featuring Poythress’ book “Interpreting Eden:”
How Should We Interpret Genesis 1–3? An Interview with Vern Poythress from the Logos Academic Blog
By “Modern Science” I mean the Post-Enlightenment idea that man is the standard for explaining himself and his environment. It is as if reality is perceived only through the things that resister from his own sensors. If God cannot be seen or touched then He must not be there according to fallen man. We moderns are easily dazzled by discovery of knowledge and the making of gizmos but often fail to realize that the laws of science which enabled that knowledge and gizmo presuppose an absolute Lawgiver. Those gizmos will not work without His laws either. Here is a post about something that Cornelius Van Til wrote which touches upon and expands this point. Van Til was probably the most incisive theologian of the Twentieth Century.
“It was useful to seek to apply the method of reasoning discussed in the previous chapters to the various schools of philosophy about us. However, since we have constantly sought to bring out that all forms of antitheistic thinking can be reduced to one, and since the issue is fundamentally that of the acceptance or […]
via Anti-theism Presupposes Theism — Presuppositionalism 101
This material I cut from my previous post as it involved another theme to the point I was making. However, studying the prophets is both explicitly and implicitly urged in order to better understand God’s person and program.
Biblical exhortations are important because they are from God. They are also important since in the whole of scripture exhortations are what called the people back to God. Often, what the text of the prophets do not include is the response of groups and especially individuals turning to God after the proclamation. Undoubtedly, many did respond to the prophet’s preaching or when reading his text. Undoubtedly, Daniel and his three friends were influenced by Jeremiah’s preaching since his ministry occurred prior and during Daniel’s exile of 605 B.C.E. (see Jer. 25.3). Daniel would later refer to Jeremiah’s prophecy of the “70 years” (either taken from Jeremiah’s letter or book) as a certainty and pray accordingly (see Dan. 9.2-3). One God-ordained reason for dissemination of preaching in Hebrew society is the biblical observance of attending the central sanctuary for the three yearly festivals by (at least) all males over the age of twelve.
Whenever The New Testament quotes an O.T. passage, the readers and hearers are alerted to the context in which the new information refers. This new message is rooted and grounded in instruction or revelation given previously to others. Seeking to make sense or understand how God’s word applies to modern hearers involves both knowing the O.T. and the New Covenant and how both contents inform each other.
The promise in 2 Pet. 1.19 is stated mildly but is extremely important: We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (NIV). Reading the prophets is important because they illumine this dark world. The ‘dawning of day’ is internal to a believer as is the ‘rising of the morning star.’ The “day” seems to be the believer’s hope, their confident eternal assurance in God’s program. The “Morning Star” undoubtedly is Christ and our growing faith in Him becoming the heart’s focus. Similar calls in the N.T. include: “fixing your eyes upon Jesus” (Heb.12.2) and “cling to the Lord” (Acts 11.23). The more we see God’s working in the O.T. Prophets and their history, the more confident we will be in our deliverance from evil now and in the future.