Vibrant Dance 2011: Day 2 Recap
Day 1 of the symposium was each of the speakers giving an in-depth introduction to their position. Day 2 was multiple opportunities for them to interact with each other in panel discussions. Each discussion had a main topic, but like any series of such discussions with the same players, the topics flowed back and forth across sessions.
The first panel topic was the strength and tensions of each interpretation. Topics ranged from whether Genesis 1 and 2 were one or two accounts of Creation to views of “myth” and the effects of hellenization on the Scriptures we have today to whether Creation is ex nihilo (from nothing) to the importance of the age of the earth in the accounts. Secondly, each speaker had an uninterrupted chance to talk about the implications of their individual positions on the core Christian doctrines. This actually finished slightly early, as there was a lot of “What he said,” as most were in general agreement on the idea that the important point is that God created, and regardless of how one reads the Creation accounts, there is a largely uniform and uncontested series of theological lessons about God’s character, the nature of nature and humanity, and humanity’s relationships with the Creation and with God. Some speakers therefore used their time to address other or deeper issues.
The third session was similarly titled regarding implications, but dealt with specific issues based on questions submitted earlier by the audience or by the moderator, including the historicity and other issues surrounding Adam and Eve, death before the fall, and if people could hold some of the perspectives held by ‘old-earthers’ on the above topics and still be a young-earth creationist. Finally, questions were raised in summary by the moderator on some of the more interesting implications of diet and immortality of both animals and humans before the fall, on which the Bible is silent. It was also announced that a third Vibrant Dance symposium is planned to discuss the brain and the nature of the mind. No other details were given.
The last panel discussion dealt with the possibility of old and young earthers being able to work together to build the kingdom, given some of the rancor that exists between many members of the various camps. I missed nearly half of the discussion, but the consensus seemed to be that they could and should.
Finally, there was another breakout session, and as it turned out, I again attended Dr. Walton’s session with further discussion and questions about his view that the Creation account is more concerned with giving matter function and creating order out of chaos rather than the creation of the matter in the first place. Questions ranged from how that theme carries through to the new creation described in Revelation to the nature of consistent hermeneutics (Biblical interpretation) to the difference between the message given by a prophet to the indication of its fulfillment by a New Testament writer to the difference between our concept of book and author and the ancient concept of authority and record, and more.
It was a loaded two days, and I’m beat. If these short descriptions sound interesting come back as I give a detailed report on each session over about the next two weeks. I will cover them in order. It was definitely a worthwhile time, and hopefully, if you were unfortunate enough to miss it, you will derive some benefit here.
Day 5 Praise: You are praised, O Lord Enthroned, that the rest you promise is dynamic—not mere slumber and taking our ease.