Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Liberal theologians struggle with Genesis 1

Liberal theologians today continue to struggle with the Creation story of Genesis chapters 1 and 2.  Throughout the last century, as the Evolutionary Theory has become accepted and the Big Bang Theory has been adopted, theologians have struggled with combining these 'scientific' discoveries along with the Bible.

As a believer in the literal interpretation of the Bible and one that believes that the Word of God was verbally inspired by God to man - I believe in a literal interpretation of the Creation account.  God Almighty created everything we can see in six literal days and created it all from absolutely nothing.

Today we have a new approach among evangelical circles.  This approach states that God did not create everything in six literal days - rather He re-arranged it to suit man and Himself.  God took what was already there and just 'cleaned it up'.  Read this following account from Professor John H. Walton from his book The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient  Cosmology and the Origins:

The interpretation of Genesis 1 as an account, using ancient cosmology, of the origins of the functions of things in an ordered universe, is maybe for us a very new way of reading the creation story. In this account, God is described as active within creation, and in the historic sequence of acts brought order out of chaos. Appealing to ancient creation accounts in different cultures, Walton shows how these too had a focus on functional rather than material origins. The Hebrew account is similar to them in this respect, whilst differing in other key respects – one of which would be the enhanced roles given in the Hebrew account for man and woman, and the contrasting roles of the gods, set against the role of the Hebrew deity.

...In this contention, the word beginning in Genesis 1:1 raises the question: beginning of what? Rather than being a statement of the beginning of the material universe, Walton argues that it means beginning of this seven day period, whenever that may have been in relation to a prior material origin of things. It is a literary rather than literal introduction to the account.

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