Creation Issues

Creation Issues

Let me tell you straight off the bat that I am a 6 day creationist. By that I mean that God created the world in six , literal 24 hour periods as written in Genesis 1. I believe that the book of Genesis is historical fact and not elevated Hebraic prose. Contrary to perceived opinions I don’t hate science, have a poster of Ken Ham up in my bedroom (my wife won’t let me), write hate mail to everybody who doesn’t hold my view, believe that non 6-dayers are ‘not saved’ and have left my brain in a box under the stairs. Also, I bet I get more negative response for this than for my posting on homosexuality recently. Interesting times in ‘evangelical’ world.

The book of Genesis is quoted and alluded over 100 times in the Bible. I hold my thought out, biblical position for a number of reasons not all of which I state here but enough to be going on with.

1. Jesus quoted literally from the book both historically and for doctrinal reasons. In Mt. 22 when questioned about taxes he refers back to Genesis 1:26-27. This part of the book was a favourite for Jesus and was used again when a question about marriage and adultery came up.

1. In every instance the biblical authors related to and quoted Genesis literally. In terms of the six days, God seemed to remember accomplishing his work within that time frame when he gave the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20. In Acts, the creation account was referred to time and again in the Apostle’s teaching and preaching (Acts 2:14-41; 7:2-14; 14:15-17; 17:24-31).

2. The Apostle Paul, particularly, built his foundation for sin on a literal Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45. Romans 5:12-21 – Adam literally, not figuratively brought death to the human race as their federal representative. So, was he just some dumb muppet from 2000 years ago? Would Paul have changed his mind in the light of so-called scientific evidence today? I am not convinced in the slightest.

3. The hermeneutical problems give me a headache. If the account in Genesis 1 is not meant to be taken literally by us, despite the fact the biblical authors did, then what parts do we dismiss as poetic symbolism and what parts do we keep literally to protect the foundation of the gospel? It seems to be a struggle for many who take a non literal approach to keep any sort of consistency here.

Take this quote from Tim Keller in the USA as an example of what I mean. He published this some time ago on TGC website, which appears, then, to be some form of tacit approval of his position. Click here to read the full article.

‘The key for interpretation is the Bible itself. I don’t think the author of Genesis 1 wants us to take the “days” literally, but it is clear that Paul definitely does want readers to take Adam and Eve literally. When you refuse to take a biblical author literally when he clearly wants you to do so, you have moved away from the traditional understanding of biblical authority’.

I am not sure how it is ‘clear’ that we are not to take the “days” literally but we can take Paul’s understanding of Adam & Eve literally, without ending up with some sort of ‘confused hermeneutic’. It may be me, and I have no wish to disrespect Tim Keller, and I have a great love of TGC, but this approach leaves me more than a little unsettled. Am I the only one who is reading this and being left ‘unclear’ as to what exactly he is trying to say?

Now I have been around long enough to realise that this debate is very divisive both here and in the USA and I have no wish to go over old ground and pull out the same, tired out arguments again. I have come to a settled realisation that my view is in the minority these days (or at least in feels like it) and I don’t think I have ever worked with anybody in ministry who held to my personal view of creation. But, if we’re talking about ‘gospel unity’ and uniting around Christ then there needs to be adequate room for all parties at the table on this one. Lot’s of TGC boys have (in my mind) a weak position on this issue and there seems to be many who don’t view it as a gospel issue. That’s not what the Bible and Paul appear to think.