Sunday Quote

Sunday Quote!- Scripture Reports Things that Didn’t Happen?

4vha-zondervanEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Scripture Reports Things that Didn’t Happen?

I finished reading Four Views on The Historical Adam recently, and it gave me a lot of food for thought. The only view which categorically denied the existence of an historical Adam was written by Denis Lamoureux. Regarding the reports of the natural world found in the Bible, he wrote:

God’s very words… in the [Bible] do not align with the physical reality in the Book of [Nature]. To state the problem more incisively, Holy Scripture makes statements about how God created the heavens that in fact never happened. (54, cited below)

I think it is pretty clear this is a highly contentious claim. Interested readers should read the book to get the full context, but basically Lamoureux was saying that some aspects of the physical world found recorded in Scripture do not line up with reality. What did he do with this statement? Immediately after this text, Lamoureux wrote:

So, to ask the question once more, “Did God lie in the Bible?” Again, my answer is “No! The Lord accommodated in the Bible.” (54)

In other words, his answer was that God accommodated to the scientific beliefs of the people in their time in order to convey spiritual truths.

It seems to me that this way out is questionable, and each of the other authors commented on it. Three quick issues I have are that the reading of the various texts Lamoureux cites do not support his claim; that the notion that God intentionally brought about recording of falsehoods in God’s Word requires a stronger answer than accommodation; and that although accommodation is a valid category, the linking of theological truths to specific claims about natural history makes the reading of accommodation in regards to Adam problematic.

What are your thoughts? Do you think there is accommodation in the Bible? Is accommodation a strong enough answer for the claim that God may have allowed false statements recorded in God’s Word? Are there other alternatives you prefer?


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Denis Lamoureux, “No Historical Adam: Evolutionary Creation View” in Four Views on The Historical Adam eds. Matthew Barrett and Ardel Caneday (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).


About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Quote!- Scripture Reports Things that Didn’t Happen?

  1. I’m working through the same book currently, and while I think there is certainly some accommodation in the Bible, I do not think this is an area where it occurs. Some places it might be are places where God accommodates to our symbols or cultural norms(think for instance of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was a symbol he accommodated. And the whole of the Law was accommodated to the ANE culture. (See “Paul Copan’s” Is God a Moral Monster.)

    I do not think he accommodated in the sense of Adam though. I was initially sympathetic to Lamoureux’s view, but upon further contemplation I tend to disagree with him. (I have yet to finish all the articles in the book though.)

    Posted by Zachary Guinn | June 3, 2014, 2:05 PM
    • I agree with pretty much everything you just said. I’d love to have your thoughts on the book as a whole when you’ve finished. I found it very thought-provoking and it really got me to start working through some issues I hadn’t really considered much before.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | June 4, 2014, 9:55 PM
  2. Perhaps Genesis 1-11 were not intended to teach historical truths at all, but were inspired by God to teach theological truths, which they do very well.

    Posted by Paul Bruggink | June 7, 2014, 3:21 PM

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