John Walton’s done it again, a new “lost world” book. This one has a new advantage: he wrote it with Tremper Longman, a fellow Old Testament scholar. The method of John Walton is to break it all down into theses so I will give Tremper’s and John’s theses today.
You can read the theses below and make sense of the whole book and the larger argument. Details and support for each thesis can be found in each of the short 17 chapters.
Did the flood happen?
Is it a myth?
Can a myth convey theology? (Monday we had a post where 1 Clement used the “phoenix” myth.)
Is it theology?
How to read the flood narrative of Genesis?
This is the place to start; I would recommend church groups read this book together and listen to the whole argument. Why? For the sake of those who are convinced the flood was not global. Give the view a hearing. Let people know Christians have differences here.
Proposition 1. Genesis Is an Ancient Document
Proposition 2. Genesis 1-11 Makes Claims About Real Events in a Real Past
Proposition 3. Genesis 1-11 Uses Rhetorical Devices
Proposition 5. Genesis Appropriately Presents a Hyperbolic Account of the Flood
Proposition 6. Genesis Depicts the Flood as a Global Event .
Proposition 7. Ancient Mesopotamia Also Has Stories of a Worldwide Flood
Proposition 8. The Biblical Flood Account Shares Similarities and Differences with Ancient Near Eastern Flood Accounts
Proposition 9. A Local Cataclysmic Flood Is Intentionally Described as a Global Flood for Rhetorical Purposes and Theological Reasons
Proposition 10. The Flood Account Is Part of a Sequence of Sin and Judgment Serving as Backstory for the Covenant
Proposition 11. The Theological History Is Focused on the Issue of Divine Presence, the Establishment of Order, and How Order Is Undermined
Proposition 12. The “Sons of God” Episode Is Not Only a Prelude to the Flood; It Is the Narrative Sequel to Cain and Abel
Proposition 13. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) Is an Appropriate Conclusion to the Primeval Narrative
Proposition 14. The Flood Story Has a Real Event Behind It
Proposition 15. Geology Does Not Support a Worldwide Flood (Stephen O. Moshier)
Proposition 16. Flood Stories from Around the World Do Not Prove a Worldwide Flood.
Proposition 17. Science Can Purify Our Religion; Religion Can Purify Science from Idolatry and False Absolutes