This post should not be construed as an attempt to cast doubts on William Lane Craig’s (WLC) commitment to evangelical orthodoxy or to minimize his immense contribution to the intellectual defence of Christian faith. It only seeks to demonstrate how the tension between WLC’s apologetic impulse and theological formulation of doctrine may cause confusion for his readers, based on an analysis of his recent article published in First Things, “The Historical Adam.”
On the one hand, WLC’s categorization of the Genesis 1-11 as “mytho-history” raises questions about the existence of the historical Adam:
1) Regarding the book of Genesis
– “The primaeval history of Genesis 1–11, including the stories of Adam and Eve, functions as Israel’s foundational myth, laying the basis of Israel’s worldview…Rather, the claim is that the primaeval narratives belong to the genre of myth principally on the basis of their sharing common mythic themes and their effort to anchor present realities in the deep past.”
“In terms of genre, Genesis 1–11 has key characteristics of myth…On the basis of comparative studies of Sumerian literature, the eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen proposed that we recognize a unique genre of literature, which he dubbed “mytho-history…If Genesis 1–11 functions as mytho-history, then these chapters need not be read literally. The accounts of the origin and Fall of man are clearly metaphorical or figurative in nature, featuring as they do an anthropomorphic deity incompatible with the transcendent God of the creation account…Then there is the infamous snake in the Garden.” /1/
“Since the Pentateuchal author [is the use of the singular evidence of WLC’s evangelical commitment?] has an interest in history, he intends for his narrative to be at some level historical, to concern people who actually lived and events that really occurred. But those persons and events have been clothed in the metaphorical and figurative language of myth. If the stories are not meant to be read literally, what central truths do they convey?
After listing ten central truths conveyed by the Pentateuchal author on the nature of God, man and sin, WLC concludes, “Such truths do not depend upon reading the primaeval narratives literalistically.” Continue reading “William Craig on the Historical Adam. Apologetics Impulse vs Doctrinal Formulation”
Will you Walk into my Parlour? Said the Spider to the Fly PAS is exploiting its new-found powers in the Federal government to table a new bill on control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions. A major element of PAS new legal initiative is the RU355 which was temporarily shelved in 2017 after … Continue reading “Shariah Law has no Consequences on Non-Muslims? HUMBUG”
Will you Walk into my Parlour? Said the Spider to the Fly
PAS is exploiting its new-found powers in the Federal government to table a new bill on control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions. A major element of PAS new legal initiative is the RU355 which was temporarily shelved in 2017 after it met strong opposition from critics who argued that the bill would make Hudud which is a state-enacted law under the the Federal Constitution become Federal criminal law. As Federal law, Hudud will be applied to all citizens regardless of their religious affiliation. To be sure, Muslim politicians and justices have assured non-Muslims that they have nothing to fear, only to say in their next breath that Hudud must be applicable to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Anyone who accepts their facile assurances should remember the classic children poem, “The Spider and the Fly” by Mary Howitt (1829).
Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”
[only 2 out of 7 stanzas reproduced here]
[The materials below were first posted on 10 Feb 2017]
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UMNO will be lending a helping hand to PAS to push a Bill through Parliament which would amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355. The amendments would extend power to the Islamic courts to enforce heavier punishment for Islamic offences. PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang and UMNO leaders assure non-Muslims that the proposed amendments will not affect non-Muslims. Re: Hadi to Make More Amendments to Shariah Bill] [FMT 23 Nov 2016] Continue reading “Shariah Law has no Consequences on Non-Muslims? HUMBUG”
Bad News Don’t Get Outdated: PAS Latest Attempt to Impose Shariah Law on non-Muslims with RUU355 Originally published on 4 March 2017 While the proposed amendments does not mention the word “hudud” nevertheless, the far-reaching provisions would permit the introduction of hudud law and hudud-prescribed punishments in Malaysia Excepts from CFM Fact Sheet on Hudud … Continue reading “CFM Hudud Fact Sheet on Amendment to Act 355”
Bad News Don’t Get Outdated: PAS Latest Attempt to Impose Shariah Law on non-Muslims with RUU355
Originally published on 4 March 2017
While the proposed amendments does not mention the word “hudud” nevertheless, the far-reaching provisions would permit the introduction of hudud law and hudud-prescribed punishments in Malaysia
Excepts from CFM Fact Sheet on Hudud Amendmenet Act 355:
7. The current proposed amendments deal only with the increase in the existing punishments. It is proposed that the current maximum sentences of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years, a fine not exceeding RM 5,000, or not more than 6 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof, be increased to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 years, a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or not more than 100 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof.
8. “It is clear that while the proposed amendments to Act 355 again do not mention the word “hudud”, the fact is that the increase in the maximum punishments will allow for hudud-compliant punishments to be meted out. Continue reading “CFM Hudud Fact Sheet on Amendment to Act 355”
Introduction: One of the presuppositions held by many contemporary critical scholars of the Old Testament is that it is inappropriate to introduce the idea of revealed truths into their academic discipline. Instead, the Old Testament should be studied like any literary text set within the backdrop of Ancient Near Eastern Texts (ANET). Since the Old Testament inescapably shares the cultural and religious mindset of its milieu, it should be analyzed with reference to the dominant thought forms of the Ancient Near East in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of the text. It is natural that these scholars regard the (spiritual) insights found in the Old Testament to be the fruit of the religious genius of the Jewish people developed through their painful experience of history rather than to be truths of divine revelation.
However, Yehezkel Kaufmann (1889-1963), challenged the reigning paradigm of critical scholarship and argued that the ideas found in the ANET are not comparable to the distinctive ideas that flow from the monotheistic religion of ancient Israel. In this regard, a pertinent question to ask believers who have adopted the fashionable methods of critical scholarship today is whether faith for them is founded on the Old Testament, with the distinctive ideas of the Old Testament as its determining factors or whether faith is built on a sophisticated eclectic system which combines refine ideas of the Ancient Near East milieu. [c.f. Norman Snaith, p. 187] Continue reading “Monotheism in Ancient Israel”