Topics of Inquiry
Reading Genesis in an Age of ScienceThe first year of the Creation Project begins with the beginning—Genesis and the origin of the world. How are the opening chapters of Genesis and other origin texts throughout the Christian Scriptures related to the claims of modern scientific advance?
In this first year, we hope to: (a) promote careful interpretation of the biblical creation accounts that is informed by the history of exegesis (as that history can assist us in understanding and removing barriers to progress as well as in recovering insights that may have been lost) and apprised of important exegetical and hermeneutical issues by scholars who hold to a historic evangelical view of the nature and authority of Christian Scripture, especially at points where interpretations may appear to contradict the claims of modern science; and (b) to make progress toward theological consensus regarding biblical teaching about human origins that demonstrates humility regarding exegetical claims and openness to new discoveries in the natural sciences.
A Sample of Questions
In Year One, we will bring evangelical scholars together to address these types of questions:
- How should Christian readers understand the genre of the Genesis creation account, and why does the issue of genre matter? Generally, how do issues of genre impact our understanding of biblical creation texts?
- Why—and how—should study of relevant ancient Near Eastern texts and contexts impact our understanding of the Genesis account?
- What does careful exegesis of the Genesis account lead the Christian (who accepts this account as divine revelation) to conclude about cosmic and human origins?
- How does the Genesis creation narrative fit into a broader canonical reading of the Bible as Christian Scripture?
- What is the relation between “theological interpretation of Scripture” and/or “biblical theology” to the critical study of such texts?
- What do we learn from other relevant texts in the Old Testament (e.g., the “creation” psalms), the teachings of Jesus, or the theology of the Apostle Paul?
- How might historical sources help us to better understand contemporary barriers in theological progress or advance the current conversation by mining previously neglected positions and lines of inquiry?
- What theological conclusions are demanded by these texts? What is entailed or implied by proper interpretation of such texts? What may be suggested by or consistent with them?
Year Two (2017): Affirming the Doctrine of Creation in an Age of Science
Year Three (2018): Reclaiming Theological Anthropology in an Age of Science