The amplifıcation of leveling into a disregard for all empirical observations creates a Manichean worldview. Part of this worldview is the Creation Museum’s problematic vision of human reason and sacred texts. Human reason, according to the museum, cannot function accurately or effectively when divorced from God’s Word as manifested in the Bible. Yet, which version of the Bible and what interpretation of the various biblical verses is appropriate? The Creation Museum offers no explicit answer, but its theological edifıce rests on the assumption that God’s Word—a collection of texts written in multiple languages and continually translated, retranslated, and revised in English as well as other modern tongues—is transparent and perhaps even self-interpreting. Human reason plays no role in interpreting or understanding the Bible. Any relationship between human reason and God’s Word is unidirectional. Human reason accepts the self-evident and transparent implications of the Bible and uses those ideas to understand the world. This assumption is the point where those concerned about or opposed to the worldview of the Creation Museum can make their stand. Given the diversity of biblical interpretations within Protestant Christianity, as well as Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, the assumption of transparency is not tenable.1I have been rattling around in my head for some time the notion that modern young earth creationism is not just off the rails but gnostic in thought. They cannot be reached by the science because of what Lynch mentions in the passage. Can they be reached theologically? Dunno. But this whole hermeneutic plays itself out in weird ways in my daily life.
Beispiel: I have been going to a series of sessions called GriefShare, which is a program that helps people deal with the loss of a loved one and, by and large, it has been helpful but something keeps nagging at me. There is a repeated assertion that we really grieve in ways that we were never supposed to grieve because physical death was something we were never supposed to experience. Physical death was not part of the plan. This particular hermeneutic keeps reappearing.
Okay, lets back that one out a bit. Just for the sake of argument, let's say for a moment that Adam and Eve didn't sin and so, as this theological hermeneutic goes, didn't experience "death." Say Adam and Eve decide to just have two children, and their children have two children (by some, as yet undiscovered spouses). Assuming a generational time of twenty years, within a thousand years, you have well over fifteen billion people on the world because nobody is dying. it becomes much worse if you place Adam and Eve back some ten thousand years. One of two things is then true: 1). At some point, God would have had to say: "Quit having children right now!" or 2). God never intended for Adam and Eve to ever have children, in which case, none of us were ever in the plan from the beginning and God's word is something we were never supposed to have. When Adam and Eve sinned, God "improvised."
Does this make sense?? Is this, in any way, theologically sound?? This is the fruit of modern fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, a theological construct whereby most of those that practice it don't think it all the way through. Can they be reached theologically? Dunno.
Somehow I think I should try...
1Lynch, J. (2013). "Prepare to Believe": The Creation Museum as Embodied Conversion Narrative. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 16(1), 1-27.