Take Away Value: A Celebration of the Multifaceted Nature of Scripture
By Cory Tucholski
It’s a problem in dealing with skeptics as often as I’ve done in the past that we get hung up in discussions about the historicity of this or that story in the Bible. Common hang-ups occur with Adam and Eve-did they really talk to a snake? Or the global flood of Noah’s day-that would cause serious issues and create unanswerable problems and difficulties such as issues with salt water and freshwater fish and predator/prey ratios.
Christians don’t help the matter, either.
There are those of us who believe in an Old Earth, siding with science in concluding that the earth is really millions of years old. There are others who defend a Young Earth, concluding that the Bible tells us so and therefore we ought to believe it even when the evidence for an Old Earth is far more conclusive. There are people who think that Adam and Eve were actual, historical people. There are those who think otherwise. There are camps who believe in a Flood that covers the entire earth, and there are others who believe that the Flood only covered a large geographic area.
And then there is the liberal camp. They do not think that any of it happened. Not a syllable of the Bible is a real, historical event. They think that all of the stories were morality tales no different from Aesop’s Fables or the Arabian Nights, with just as much historicity.
If we cannot get our stories straight, how can we expect the skeptic to? One group is right, and everyone else is wrong. To believe otherwise is the death of objective, knowable truth.
I believe in an Old Earth. I believe in a local Flood. I believe in a historical Adam and Eve, who talked to a snake and ate a literal fruit from a literal tree. Many good Christians would side against me on all of those issues. Which one of us is right? I don’t know.
I think that there is a step we should come to before we try to decide who is right. Let us illustrate.
There is what I call Picking the Story to Death, which is what skeptics often do; and there is the Take Away Value, which is what I think that we need to get from the story before we ever consider its implications from a historical, archeological, or paleontological perspective…
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