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About the Book

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII



 Vol.9: Noah's Flood: Local or Global?


     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

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this sad fact of life. These evils are, in one way or another, expressions of His common grace.
     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.

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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 the Faith.

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