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“The Lost World of Genesis 1: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate” – John Walton

Date: January 22, 2011

Speaker: Dr. John Walton

Position: Professor of Old Testament Theology, Wheaton College
Topic: “The Lost World of Genesis 1: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate”
Venue: Biology Amphitheater
Attendance: 200 (standing room only!)
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Presentation: Showing parallels between Gen. 1 and Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature (Egyptian, Sumerian), Walton argued that Gen. 1 shows the imposition of order & function from disorder rather than the creation of material things. On days 1-3 God created a functioning existence for humans (time, weather, food); on days 4-6 He made functionaries (sun, planets, stars, fish & fowl, beasts), & day 7 shows the interconnection of cosmos & temple (God rules the cosmos from earth & rests on Sabbath). If moderns view Gen. 1 with a material ontology, ANE peoples saw it with a functional ontology. As God is present in both, neither position supports or denies creation/evolution arguments.

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