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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bruce Waltke: 2

Here are a few of my notes from Dr. Waltke's course. He is teaching this course from his new book called An Old Testament Theology: A Thematic and Canonical Approach. (Grand Rapids. Michigan) This book is still at press, so I could have ordered a photocopy but I have made do with the 6 inch thick reference copy kept at the reserve table in the library.

These are a few of my general impressions from Dr. Waltke's course so far, in very condensed form. He has a high view of inspiration, a narrow view of the canon, he holds to theistic evolution and a complementarian position on gender. He interacts with all the top scholars in a wide field of biblical studies and approaches the scripture from a faith perspective.

He defines his approach to the Bible as narrative early on in his text. He writes,

    Narrative is a representational form of art. Narrative criticism observes, analyses and sytematically clarifies how narratives represent their object, how they tell their stories in order to communicate meaning. [Narrative] is a representation, a mimesis of reality.

    Berlin compares narrative to painting. The narrative represents real life in the same way a painting represents an object. The "meaning" of the painting is derived by how the painter represents the real object. The "meaning" of the narrative is determined by how the narrator tell the story.
Waltke profiles narrative against history on the one hand, and prose fiction on the other. He is in stark opposition to modern literary criticism when it regards scripture as prose fiction, but agrees with Alter that good historical writing is interpretive.

His last class was derailed by someone asking a question about predestination. C'est la vie.


At Sun Jul 08, 06:20:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Thanks, Suzanne, for informing us in this way.

What I've always liked about Waltke is that, for an evangelical of his stripe, he is pretty ballsy (excuse the metaphor; I just returned from Italy, where everyone talks that way).

His embrace of theistic evolution and his clear distinction between narrative and history prove that he is able to buck his own context if the evidence convinces him to do so.

John Hobbins

At Mon Jul 09, 01:20:00 AM, Blogger Glennsp said...

There is no evidence for theistic evolution

At Mon Jul 09, 06:16:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

There is plenty of evidence for evolution. Glenn, are you suggesting a preference for the atheistic over the theistic explanation of this evidence?

At Tue Jul 10, 03:49:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

Peter, there is no, repeat, no evidence for molecules to man evolution - theistic or otherwise.
The bible clearly states 6 days, the Hebrew used clearly indicates literal 24 hour days.
No intermediary forms have ever been found.
There is much diversity within a kind (for instance small or large dogs remain dogs)
Fish loosing their eyes in cave systems without light involves a loss of genetic information.
I refer you again to the AIG website (remember that list of world class scientists I provided on your blog)

At Tue Jul 10, 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

The bible clearly states 6 days, the Hebrew used clearly indicates literal 24 hour days.

Waltke is a well respected Hebraist. He argues that the structure of the creation story is 3 days plus 3 days plus one day. In the first three days one set of features is listed and in the second set of three days a second set of features. That is how you can explain that the fruit trees bore fruit on day three and the sun was created on day four.

At Wed Jul 11, 05:26:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Glenn, I suggest you spend a few hours, or in fact a few minutes will probably suffice, in a scientific library looking at the racks of journals full of evidence usually understood as showing the gradual development of living creatures from primitive organisms. (I accept that the stage from molecules to organisms is more obscure.) There are of course a variety of ways to interpret this evidence, and your friends are welcome to try to explain how it all happened in six days. But this is evidence which cannot be ignored, despite the attempts of six day creationists to ignore it.

At Wed Jul 11, 01:32:00 PM, Blogger Brian F. said...

I'd definatley like to read an OT Theology by Dr Waltke. Though I do think he may be a much better exegete than a theologian. His commentaries are pretty much second to none in exegeting the Hebrew.

At Sat Sep 29, 08:24:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

The book is here!


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