The long discussion of Mr. A and Ms. B may have laid out one way to appropriate the Genesis creation/fall narrative in light of current understandings of earth history, but it has not solved all our problems or answered all our questions. Beetle asks:
Ms. B never circles adequately back to Mr. A’s concern over the slippery slope. Everything she argues here is equally applicable to the whole of new testament being “a myth that God appropriated as part of his divine revelation.”
My motto is: “When you can use an illustrative automotive story you should do so.” And so I ask you to consider your neighbor Al. Good old Al has a dozen cars in his garage. On Sunday afternoon you see him backing down the driveway in a little green convertible. “Sweet car!” you whistle.
Al stops. “It’s a 64′ Lotus Elan,” he explains. “When Mazda introduced the Miata in 1989 they based it on this car. It’s great for Sunday afternoon drives … but you’ve got to bring your tool kit with you in case something breaks. Loads of fun but not reliable at all.” With that he smiles and waves and keeps backing out.
The next morning you see Al backing out of the garage in a Honda Accord. “Where you going Al?” you ask.
“Road trip.” He replies. “I’ve got a ten hour drive today.”
“Wait!” you say. “Maybe you should take the bus. You don’t want to break down do you?”
Al looks at you curiously. “Um, this is an Accord neighbor, not an Elan.” And with that he smiles and waves (a worried smile and a nervous wave) and keeps backing out (quickly).
I think we can all see the absurdity of failing to distinguish an Elan from an Accord. Just because both cars end up in the same garage hardly means they have the same automotive characteristics. So if you want to decide which car to drive on a sunny Sunday afternoon and which to drive on a Monday morning roadtrip, you read up on Elans and Accords. You don’t simply say “Well this car came from Al’s garage so it must only be good for brief Sunday excursions” or “Since this is from Al’s garage is must be limited to long road trips.”
When it comes to interpreting the different texts in the Bible things really are that obvious. Just as the characteristics of an Elan are unrelated to those of an Accord so an interpretation of an epistle (an ancient letter) or a gospel (an ancient biography) is completely unrelated to one’s interpretation of Genesis 1-3.