Table of Contents
Vol.9: Noah's Flood: Local or
THIS FINAL volume
of Doorway Papers is made up of a miscellany of studies dealing
with various aspects of biblical faith and Christian experience.
The first two papers, "The
Extent of the Flood" and "Flood Traditions of the World,"
are self-explanatory. In the first, it is argued that a strict
adherence to the literal wording of chapters 6 to 8 of
Genesis leaves us with little alternative than to view the Flood
as universal insofar as mankind was concerned since the human
race was reduced to eight souls only, but local insofar as man
was at that time still confined to a comparatively small geographical
area. The second paper is a broad survey of Flood traditions
from all over the world with a consideration of their significance
in the light of the current position maintained by those who
hold to a global catastrophe.
The third paper, "The Problem
of Evil," is subtitled, "Some Little-considered Physical
Aspects." It is not a theological discourse, nor even strictly
speaking a biblical study. It is a review of some of the physical
evils with which man has to struggle as he makes his journey
through this blessed vale of tears both as an individual and
as part of human society. Earthquakes, deserts, storms, thorns
and thistles, cold and heat, and a host of other such trials
and tribulations that in an ideal world would surely be absent
entirely -- those are the gist of this paper. I believe that
there are some answers for those who ask "Why?" about
such things, and that in the truest biblical sense, "God
is justified" (Luke 7:29) in permitting them in view of
man's fallen nature and the consequences which result from
this sad fact of life.
These evils are, in one way or another, expressions of His common
pg.2 of 3
Part IV, "What's in a Name?"
is a paper we considered leaving out. It was rewritten so many
times that we despaired of producing a smooth and effective essay.
But in the end we decided to leave it in and let it stand because
of its potential value and inherent interest. It has to do with
the vital relationship between the name of the individual
and that individual's very being and character. Most cultures
besides ours attach far greater importance to a person's name
or names, equating them with that person's soul. In certain significant
respects, the Word of God does the same. To change a name is
to change a nature: to know a name is to achieve a measure of
control over the one named. It is sometimes well for us in our
culture to be aware of this attitude when dealing with people
of other cultures, especially "in the name of the Lord".
The fifth paper, "The Meaning
of Sweat as Part of the Curse" (Genesis 3:19), stems from
my own work as Head of the applied physiology laboratories of
the Department of National Defence in Ottawa for many years.
Here I was concerned chiefly with research into the effects of
heat stress upon man -- and in particular, the phenomenon of
sweating. It is remarkable that there are three specific kinds
of sweating in man and that in a very special way all of them
are witnessed and distinguishable and measurable in the brow
region. Even here, Scripture shows itself to be abreast of modern
discovery, when Genesis 3:19 is taken quite literally.
Part VI, "The Place of Art
in Worship," is one of my favourite papers. It deals with
an issue that I, with a Church of England background, feel is
a neglected subject among many of my closest evangelical friends.
The issue is whether a structured liturgical form of service
is more, or less, conducive to worship than an entirely spontaneous
form of service. It raises some points of importance which are
sometimes overlooked by those who feel that a highly structured
form of service, including written prayers, destroys the true
spirit of Christian worship.
"One Man's Answers to Prayer,"
the seventh paper, is a personal testimony to the faithfulness
of God. It is a witness to the fact that God is concerned with
the smallest details of our lives and delights to hear and answer
us in very specific ways. It also shows that the truly miraculous
element in answered prayer is as often in the timing of
the answer as it is in the means by which the prayer is answered.
The final paper, "Christian
Scholarship: A Protest and a Plea," was issued separately
from the rest of the Doorway Papers and distributed freely to
all who requested a copy. It is an expression of my own conviction
that while every serious writer has certain responsibilities
to fulfill in order to qualify as scholarly, there is
one unique responsibility for the Christian writer which has
all too frequently been entirely overlooked. Perhaps it is time
to pay greater attention to this factor or, alternatively, to
admit frankly that Christian scholarship is no different from
any other kind of scholarship except insofar as it must take
into account things supernatural as well as natural. Personally
I believe we are in danger of neglecting an essential component
and this neglect is doing great disservice in the defense of
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