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We are in a conversation and discussion about John Walton’s (professor at Wheaton) new book, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. We have been waiting for this day, or at least some of our readers have been. What does Walton say about Young Earth Creationists (YEC), those who think the Bible teaches that the world is about 6-7 thousand years old and science is just plain wrong (and unbelieving)?
Proposition 12: Other theories of Genesis 1 either go too far or not far enough.
In brief, Walton discusses YEC, Old Earth Creationism, the Framework hypothesis and other theories.
As for YEC: “It goes too far in its understanding of what we need to do to defend the biblical text … in its belief that the Bible must be read scientifically … and in its attempts to provide an adequate alternative science” (109). Its assumption is that Genesis 1 is about material origins and they are unaware of alternative readings of Genesis 1. When some who grow up with YEC encounter science, they conclude they must reject the Bible.
Old Earth Creationism: Hugh Ross and associates. Days are long periods and he seeks a concordist approach. For Walton, the issue is if Genesis 1 is about material origins. Compatiblity of science and Genesis 1 does not mean Genesis 1 needs to be read scientifically. This approach proves our ingenuity rather than what the text says.
Framework hypothesis: Days 1-3 correlate with Days 4-6. The theology of Genesis 1 then is the focus. Walton thinks this approach does not go far enough, and such an approach was I (SMcK).
Walton then looks briefly at the “gap” theory and the “ruin-reconstruction” theory and once again finds the same problem: the desire to make science fit with the Bible. The problem is that it assumes material origins to have to resort to this interpretive scheme.