I am trying to make a completely coherent sense of John Walton’s thinking on Genesis 1.
I assume that Walton believes in a materially real Jesus who materially miraculously rose from the dead in an actual, materially glorified body. Perhaps I am mistaken in assuming that Walton believes that the Biblical Jesus was materially all the things that the Bible seems plainly to say that He was. In any case, that belief is radically at odds with modern secular thinking. It is not just an idea, it actually occurred.
But Walton seems to me to reduce most of the thinking of the Ancient Hebrews to that of the common thinking of the ANE world. And, surely, Walton grants that it is logically possible to too deeply reduce the thinking of Believers’ of any age to that of their surrounding culture.
But if Walton is correct in so reducing the thinking of the ancient Hebrews, then what, if anything, does he think that the Hebrews believed that was radically unlike ANE thinking? As best I can tell, Walton’s non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1 makes the account into a set of mere abstractions that the Hebrews were to believe, specifically those of God’s ‘functional’ purposes for the already-existing-and-functioning material world. But, if Walton’s notions of the material origins of that world and of its functions are correct, then I think that these mere abstractions have nothing theologically particular to do with that world, and instead are just fictions added to the materially correct-according-to-Walton conceptions of that world and its origins.
To my way of thinking, this reduces God to having come into existence only at the point in material history at which Walton thinks that God first communicated to this one select people. But why does Walton think that God did not, at that point, also communicate these abstractions to all other Peoples? Does Walton think that those other Peoples had not evolved enough to properly appreciate these Divine abstractions?