A Misunderstanding of Genre…
One of my favourite adages is “A misunderstanding of genre leads to a misunderstanding of the text.” This can be seen in the following strip from Doonesbury:
A few years back I picked up the Society of Biblical Literature’s Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction (edited by Mark Ronance). One of the teaching strategies suggested was to have students explain the seven days of creation while you (the prof) systematically sketch them on the board.
Obviously, the result of such an exercise is a cosmology vastly different from our own—a flat earth surrounded by water, held back by a dome upon which the sun, moon and stars are pinned. It’s only at this point that most of them are willing to entertain that what Genesis is doing is not science. I wonder if the sentiments portrayed in the comic above are part of the reason this acknowledgement is so difficult.