The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age

In: Religion Topics

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The Bible among the Myths Book
Summary

Introduction The author, John N. Oswalt, attended Asbury Theological Seminary for his undergraduate studies. He attended Brandeis University in the Mediterranean Studies Department for his graduate degree. Mr. Oswalt has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity, and Wesley Biblical Seminary. According to Oswalt, serious questions about the evolutionary paradigm inherent in the philosophy of Idealism were the result of the economic depression in the late 40’s. Since there was little separation from Idealism and the standard higher critical views of Old Testament that had prevailed for the past fifty years, there was cause for some rethinking about the Old Testament and the associated religion. This rethinking was led by William F. Albright, G. Ernest Wright, and others of the Harvard Divinity School. Sixty years later, it is widely accepted that Israelite religion is just one more West Semitic religion and that its characteristic features can be fully explained on through evolutionary change. Oswalt writes that no new discoveries led to this dramatic change in thinking. Because of the work of Karl Barth in 1950, the scholarly world was ready the idea of revelation in ways not found in the last couple of generations. Revelation assumes that this world is not self-explanatory and that some communication from beyond the world is necessary to explain it. Oswalt states that this idea is distasteful to humans in that humans are not in control of their own destiny. Although the biblical and Near Eastern data had not changed at all, the possible ways of explaining that data did change. Here, another feature of the Old Testament enters the discussion: the obvious similarities that exist between the literature and culture of Israel and the literatures and cultures of Israel’s neighbors.…...

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