Friday, August 3, 2012

Phil Jones on Burnet's Sacred Theology of the Earth


Over at Genesis and Geology, Phil Jones has written an interesting piece on Thomas Burnet's Telluris Theoria Sacra, or Sacred Theory of the Earth. It was a speculative cosmogony, in which Burnet suggested a that the Earth was hollow and filled with water until Noah's flood. He calculated the amount of water on Earth's surface and recognized that there is not enough to account for a worldwide Flood. Burnet was influenced by Descartes who had written on the Earth' creation in Principia philosophiae (1644).


Thomas Burnet (1635-1715)

At Just Genesis I have written about the problems that arise when we read Genesis as an account of world events, rather than events involving the Afro-Asiatic populations from whom we receive these accounts. I am not as critical of Biblical literalism as I am of those who ignore the original cultural context of the material. This is one reason I oppose Young Earth Creationism.

Jones takes up another point. He writes:

"But Mortenson’s [read Young Earth Creationists here] arguments also seem to imply that once upon a time Christians studied nature through the lens of an uncompromising scriptural worldview, with the Bible in one hand and their scientific instruments in the other. One point I am trying to make is that such a golden age of heroic Biblicism never existed.”

Read the whole article here.


Related reading: Between Biblical Literalism and Biblical Illiteracy; Was Earth Repopulated After Noah's Flood?; How Big Was Noah's Flood?

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