6 November 2006

Where Were We Again?

Filed under: Genesis 1 — ktismatics @ 10:26 am

Genesis 1 isn’t the story of God creating the material world. Instead, Genesis 1 is the memoir of a student’s conversation with his teacher about the nature of the world. The teacher describes light and darkness, earth and seas and heavens, plants and creatures. Let this be called ‘light,’ proposes the teacher. The student looks, hears, understands, repeats the lesson: ‘light,’ affirms the student. As we read the ancient narrative we witness the student emerging from raw nature into a meaningful universe, from raw animality into full humanity.

This is a literal reading of Genesis 1 that preserves inerrancy without recourse to mythopoetic allegory. This interpretation of the text isn’t just compatible with the findings natural science – it describes the creation of natural science itself. And yet this literal, inerrant, scientifically viable reading seems doomed to oblivion among post-evangelicals. Why? That’s the question we’re in the process of answering.

Five creations, maybe six, are described in Genesis. In previous posts we’ve considered three of these creations: science, hermeneutics, and history. I’ve taken a few days off to reflect on other things, but now we’ll charge ahead to the Dramatic Conclusion. Next, the fourth creation: culture. Later today I’ll summarize how Genesis 1 describes the creation of culture. Tomorrow I’ll speculate as to why the “creation of culture” reading of Genesis 1 is doomed.


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