Jack Collins presented the Carver-Barnes lectures this spring for the Bush Center for Faith and Culture. He entitled his last lecture as “Poetry, History, Science, and Truth.” Building on C. S. Lewis’ distinction of the three primary forms of language with which we communicate–ordinary, scientific, and poetical–Collins examined the best approach to interpreting the creation account. In so doing he gave a rationale for interpreting the seven days of creation analogically. The Analogical Day approach views the seven days as God’s workdays, “their length is neither specified nor important, and not everything in the account needs to be taken as historically sequential.” His lecture focuses primarily on the principles of proper interpretation rather than defending the Analogical Day interpretation per se, but in establishing these principles he laid the ground work for the analogical approach.
I thought Collins’ lecture was excellent. However, I must confess that I already had strong sympathies for the Analogical Day interpretation before I heard him, so undoubtably I was a little biased. I particularly liked his response to critics’ use of a “despicable qualifier” in their opposition to his approach. He noted that opponents suggest that the Analogical Day view interprets the Genesis account as being “merely” figurative. Inserting the qualifier “merely” indicates that the view doesn’t handle the creation account as if it were historically true. To the contrary, Collins affirms the inspiration, inerrancy, and historicity of Genesis. Here’s the link to the audio of his talk. Sorry, there’s no video, and his PowerPoint was helpful. Be sure to listen all the way to the Q and A. That’s when he explains the analogical approach the most thoroughly.