If the account of Jesus' resurrection is to be understood as a literary device, then , not just the torn curtain! detail must mean something or the author would not have included it. Furthermore, those symbolic meanings must be consistent with the themes of the rest of the New Testament.
Theodor Benfey was born in 1925 in Berlin but left for England at age 10 because of his Jewish ancestry. Trained in chemistry during World War II, he moved to the U.S. in 1946 and taught at three Quaker colleges, Haverford, Earlham, and Guilford. He became editor of Chemistry for the American Chemical Society and later was editor for the Chemical Heritage Foundation, was the translator of several science-related books, and developed a spiral periodic table. He married the artist and educator Rachel Thomas, with whom he had four children.
Young-earth creationists commonly explain where Cain got his wife by asserting that she was a daughter of Seth, even going to great lengths in pointing out that there was plenty of time for this scenario to happen. This explanation presumes a two-generation gap between Genesis 4:16 and verse 17 (one for Seth to be born and grow up, plus one for Seth's daughter to be born and grow up and marry uncle Cain). People who object to jumpy narratives with big gaps between verses should not propose them. These claims damage their insistence that the first chapters in Genesis are strictly sequential. Furthermore, no matter how you think Cain got his wife, the narrative in Genesis 4 clearly jumps back many years to Adam between verses 24 and 25. A "jumpy narrative" is not a valid scriptural objection to the Days of Proclamation theory.
5. Perhaps the Genesis account is more literal than you think. We have already established that it's okay for the Bible to be non-literal, but applying that principal too broadly to Genesis still makes me uncomfortable. When I began this project I thought I was limited to an allegorical (but still true) version of Genesis 1-2. Then I discovered the works of Hugh Ross and Glenn Morton. Ross and Morton are Christians who believe in an old earth, and they demonstrate that an old earth is consistent with the Bible. Ross also gives a careful exegesis of Genesis that supports the local flood. He does not accept evolution. Morton has an unconventional but scripturally sound proposal for the creation of mankind. It's the only creation theory that's ever brought tears to my eyes. No matter what you may think of Morton's theory, it's nice to come across a scientific proposal that demonstrates some of the great themes of the Bible:
The Days of Proclamation view makes for kind of a jumpy narrative in Genesis 1. "Let there be..." occurs during the first historical week, but the following phrase "And it was so" occurs many millions of years later. This sounds a bit odd in human terms. However, I think that God, who is outside of time and not limited to a single moving point in history, is not bothered by these things as we humans are. The earth is still forming; mountains erode, volcanos erupt, and the continents shift their positions. The stars are still forming. God is still creating the heavens and the earth.
There is a body of Christian thought that agrees with me, and it is sometimes termed "Old Earth, Local Flood." One can find this thinking on the World Wide Web. There are many committed Christians who believe that creation took longer than 6 24-hour days, or that the whole-world flood reported was the entire known world at that time (Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean or the Black Sea basins).
There are many committed Christians who believe that Genesis and evolution are compatible. It angers me when Christian speakers mock "Theistic Evolution" on non-scriptural and non-scientific grounds. I believe that mockery is sin; because it creates contempt in the hearts of Christians instead of love for those whom Christ came to save, and it produces sharp resistance in the hearts of non-believers if they ever hear about it. It bothers me that self-described "fundamentalist" Christians seem to have no knowledge that there are Christians out there who accept evolution. (For what it's worth, Pope John Paul II has stated that evolution is a theory that is worth serious consideration.). It bothers me to hear someone assume that all "evolutionists" must be atheists.
Some young-earth creationists assert that the earth is 10,000 years old, and others assert that the earth is 6,000 years old. That's a big difference: 4,000 years, or 67%. Bishop Ussher's chronology, derived from the Bible, clearly states that the earth is 6,000 years old. Extending the age to 10,000 years conveniently places the date of Creation and the Flood beyond the oldest trees, and beyond the pyramids and dynasties of ancient Egypt. I have heard the following accusation from young-earth creationists: You are interpreting the Bible in the light of science; you should be interpreting science in the light of the Bible. (I have not heard a Bible verse to back up that charge.) 10,000 years is not what Bishop Ussher said. What is the reason for changing his number? Creationists who claim 10,000 years, unless they do so for purely Biblical reasons, should hear that same accusation ringing in their ears at least once.
1. Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches" to His disciples (John 15:5). I believe that Jesus literally said those words, but I don't believe that His words there are to be taken literally. Nobody claims that Jesus physically became a plant.
2. In Luke 10:30 Jesus does not quite say that the parable of the Good Samaritan never actually happened, but Christians are comfortable with assuming that it is a parable and not a historical event. The command of this parable is absolutely true for us, just as it was for the people in Jesus' time! Much of Revelation is non-literal, but this does not make it any less true.
3. When Jesus was born and presented at the temple, Mary received an unsettling prophecy from Simeon that is recorded in Luke 2:35: "A sword shall pierce your soul, for this child shall be rejected by many in Israel, and this to their undoing." It is commonly accepted that this was not a literal sword, but the anguish that Mary would feel upon seeing her first-born son crucified.
And this time, even as I eventually made it back to the meditation hall, there was no relief. I couldn’t call my husband or a friend and talk it over. I couldn’t check my email or refresh my Instagram or text someone who might share the pain. I couldn’t ask one of my fellows if they had experienced something similar. I waited for the mood to lift, but it deepened. Hours went by in silence as my heart beat anxiously and my mind reeled.