January 14, 2014

Is Genesis 1 An Argument Against Evolution? "If Genesis 1 isn't literal, the Gospel isn't literal either!" "If the earth isn't 6000 years, then we can't trust the Bible on anything!" These statements are a kind of rally cry for some Christians. Yet, it has also been the source, sadly, of much consternation for sincere, devout followers of Jesus who cannot accept a young earth or a literal six days. Convinced that they must either "take it or leave it", they walk away. Countless others, one might guess, have never even ventured to ask about Jesus, the cross, resurrection and redemption because they've been told they need to accept everything or nothing. In the wake of the recent "creation debate", I wonder if Christians have achieved much besides driving yet another artificial wedge between "faith" and "science", as if the two have not happily co-existed-- indeed fed each other!-- in past centuries. I have no interest in re-hashing or critiquing the debate, not only because I am not the person to do so, but also because I didn't watch it! My interest is a more modest question: How are we to read Genesis 1? Let's begin... ------------------------- The Cosmologies of the Ancient World The cosmology in Genesis does not stand alone but within the landscape of many ancient creation stories, each providing different answers to similar questions. No one was asking, "Did god create the heavens and the earth?" The question was, "Which god, and why?" It is in comparing the Genesis account against these other stories that one may discover the significance of the Genesis cosmology. And perhaps along the way, you'll also see why I don' think Genesis backs you into a corner having to make the false choice between creation/young earth and evolution/old earth. The Sumerians had no specific creation story text, though descriptions...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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