Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I realized that I write a lot of responses to people to which I give a lot of thought, but no one ever sees it except that one person who asked the question by email. I'm going to make sure those get posted. In this case, I'm talking about people who have written me through my Proof of Evolution site.

What's good about the responses is that we get to address the whole issue of Genesis and evolution from various standpoints.

When you're a Christian, and you've had real experiences with Jesus Christ, you can be thrown for a loop when you find out that all the evidence indicates that life on earth evolved. How does that fit into the idea that God created everything? In fact, that Jesus Christ created everything? Jesus certainly seemed to believe that the Genesis stories were literal? If he's the Creator, wouldn't he know?

Nonetheless, all the evidence indicates that life evolved. In my opinion, there is so much evidence that we cannot ignore it. It's time to face the fact that evolution happened.

On the other hand, our experiences with Jesus Christ have been real as well, no matter how much scoffers mock the idea.

How does one deal with both things being true?

That is a subject that is complicated enough to be worth a lot of words. One web page is not going to do the trick.

So here's one effort I made at addressing Genesis one and evolution. There have been and will be many others. Maybe together, we can come to an understanding that is satisfying to the soul and glorifying to the One who created everything ... by letting life evolve.


The question that prompted my response was:

Doesn't Genesis say that Adam was formed from clay rather than evolved?

I have a pretty long explanation of the whole issue of what is literal and what is allegory in Genesis . That should answer your questions more thoroughly.

I have a friend who likes to point out that the Bible doesn't say how Adam was formed from clay.

Personally, though, I think Genesis one is meant to be a brief explanation that God created everything. I think it was the standard creation story passed among the Hebrew people, and Moses included it as he learned it. He was writing a law, and the law needed to include three things:

  1. What the King did for the people
  2. What the King required of the people
  3. The blessings and cursings for obedience or disobedience

The Law of Moses includes all those things. The "King" in Moses' law is God, so what the King did for the people goes all the way back to the creation.

For the things that happened before Moses, I don't believe God gave Moses special revelation about historical details. Historical and scientific details didn't matter. God created everything, and he preserved the people, who were the descendants of Noah after the flood. That was enough for them to know.

To the early churches, inspiration wasn't necessarily exact historical accuracy. Instead, inspiration was God breathing his life and his guidance, infusing his Word into the text. Thus, though the Genesis 1 story was never meant to be an exact description of what happened, it is carefully guided by God to contain his Word, messages that will guide is today in how we live.

We who are spiritual need our hearts open to receive those messages.

For example, the first and most important thing is light. The beginning of creation, and the beginning of the new creation, is for light to come and to distinguish between light and darkness. Then there is a separation of waters. Waters represent people in the Bible, and there is a separation between the heavenly waters and the waters of the earth. Our fellowship is to be with the heavenly people.

But we live on earth. We live in the midst of earthly people, so God separates the waters, and he gives us dry ground on which to live. We have a place to stand, and it is immediately covered with plants, which are to be for our food. For us, that food is the Word of God, which Scripture compares to a seed.

I could go on like this through days 4 through 6, but the point is that Scripture is to guide us, not to create a scientific history of the universe. In fact, as we learn from nature (as Scripture commands us to, Ps. 19:1-4) we can see that Genesis is not a scientifically accurate history of the universe. This will not stumble us if we know the real purpose of the Scripture and if we have a real relationship with God which can sustain us through everything we face.

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Feel free to comment, and I'll even let links be posted, particularly on the subject of evolution from either side. No spam, and no pointless links. The comments are moderated.