i want to try to do a series of posts on a topic that is deeply important to me, God's creation. i'll try to avoid my typical environmentalist drivel, focusing instead on the genesis account of creation, the fall, and all kinds of other crazy stuff in genesis. i'm not trying to write a mini-commentary or anything. i just want to get some of my thoughts/questions on the book down in this forum and invite to respond anyone who wishes.
i guess my inspiration for this is the struggle and condemnation i've experienced in the last few years regarding how this whole magnificent place came into being. i had been steeped in the rhetoric of the more fundamentalist (6-day, young earth, etc.) folks on the issue throughout most of my early years as a follower of Christ, but i guess i can't say that i ever really believed their theories completely. well, that's putting it too kindly. i actually felt like many of the arguments were just made up in attempt to defend "ourselves" from the mean, pagan darwinists. but i tried...i really tried, to buy into that belief system. but, then i started spending time in creation...i mean, really spending time out there, and my feeble belief in the young earth and 6-day creation just sort of melted away, replaced by a deep and lasting peace that no one but the lord could have created this magnificent place, and that he created it however he wanted to create it.
these ideas, however, led to responses like this:
When Christians have agreed with the world that they can accept man’s fallible dating methods to interpret God’s Word, they have agreed with the world that the Bible can’t be trusted. They have essentially sent out the message that man, by himself, independent of revelation, can determine truth and impose this on God’s Word. Once this ‘door’ has been opened regarding Genesis, ultimately it can happen with the rest of the Bible. (from Answers in Genesis)
so, i would read and study and try to find answers to these questions, only to be met with:
It’s also interesting to note that this verse is found in the same passage where Paul warns that ‘knowledge puffeth up.’ Academic pride is found throughout our culture. Therefore, many Christian leaders would rather believe the world’s fallible academics, than the simple clear words of the Bible. (from Answers in Genesis)
now, if i were to focus my genesis inquiry only on creation stuff, i would run out of material after about 3 chapters. the real nature of my search is: "what is the nature and purpose of genesis?" i am completely open to the idea that every word in the book must be taken literally (a term that needs some unpacking), but i think that even the most superficial survey of the book renders that idea laughable in places, disheartening in others, and just plain perplexing in many others.
i guess what i'm trying to say is that it seems to me that genesis is a collection of oral tradition (history, folklore, etc.) from a certain time (several thousand years ago) and a certain place (mesopotamia) with the purpose of revealing to us the central character of the universe, his dominion over the universe, and his relationship(s) with his creation...primarily mankind. the (s)election of the hebrews is here as well, which i hope to understand better as i go along.
so, i've already likely made myself a candidate for excommunication from hundreds of faith traditions, but i guess i just don't care anymore. if i can't be honest, sincere, authentic...well, then i can't "be". and if i can't be, then what's the point of anything really?
i learn when my current notions on a given topic are challenged and then either strengthened or replaced. if you are reading this and have thoughts/reactions/corrections to any of my ramblings, it would be invaluable to me if you would share them.