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The Creation Story

The Creation Story

Postby Tooley » 25 Jun 2009, 04:01

Howdy! I just picked up "C.S. Lewis - The Complete Signature Classics" and I'm finished with Mere Christianity. Wow. That's all I can say. It was one awesome book! Anyway, near the end I had a sudden thought come to mind. I had recently visited Disney's Epcot and went on "Ellen's Energy Adventure" (you been there? rode it? well awesome then...) where Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye go back in time to find out how energy was created within the world and how it is used today. Now, I'm a strong Christian, still was even after asking myself this question, but how does the Christian creation story stand up next to science's? Believe me, I'm not one to believe that mass just "poofed" into existence without the help of some higher being, but since science has proved (or said to have proved) that animals (or at least "creatures") have been here for millions of years, then why isn't it in the Bible? Am I to believe that the earth is six thousand years old like so many people say? Who is winning this debate? Should I take Genesis figuratively? What was Clive's stance on all of these questions? I know, several questions, but you get one and you'll always have another. I'm not questioning the truthfulness of the Bible, let me get that straight, I simply want to understand it better. Well, I hope I didn't forget anything. Thanks for the help! :smile:
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby friendofbill » 26 Jun 2009, 12:02

On this question what you will get is each responder's personal opinion.

My personal opinion is that the stories in Genesis up to the story of Abraham cannot be taken literally, and should not, since to do so clouds and hides the meaning of the story.

Afetr all -- if Jesus Himself almost invariably encapsulated His moral and ethical teachings in parables, why should it be a surprise if the Holy Spirit did the same from the start?

And why would He choose to do so? Because He knew then and knows now that taking these stories literally diverts attention form the meaning of the story, and entangles us in endless (stupid) debates over where Cain got his wife, how Noah collected kangaroos, whether dinosaurts were on the ark, etc.

IMO, the details of the origin of the universe, of evolution and of relativity and/or quantum mechanics have been established as fact. To me, this is simply delightful: it tells us a whole lot about the methodology of the Creator. And it shows us that He is far bigger than the parochial -made-in-man's-image God Whom we have attempted to worship for so long.

On this matter I highly recommend the excellent book The Rock That Is Higher by Madeleine L'Engle, best known as the author of the five-volume "Murry family" series starting with A Wrinkle In Time.

Namaste
Art
Last edited by friendofbill on 26 Jun 2009, 15:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby JRosemary » 26 Jun 2009, 13:15

Tooley wrote:"...how does the Christian creation story stand up next to science's?"


Christian creation story, huh? I think you guys kinda borrowed it. :wink:

As for any Genesis/science controversy, I think Herman Wouk put it best. This quote--yeah, I know I've quoted it before, but it bears repeating--is from his book This Is My God, which is an excellent introduction to Orthodox Judaism (specifically Modern Orthodox Judaism--but also, in many respects, to Judaism in general):

The fundamentalist theologians maintained that either Moses had been using literal arithmetic in the imagery he used or else everything he wrote had to be dismissed as the words of a Stone Age ignoramus. The scientists gladly accepted this formulation of the issue. They won, but the dire consequences did not follow, because the theologians had posed a false choice. Men still prize Genesis. Modern thinkers now take it for granted--as the rabbis long ago suggested--that Genesis is a mystic vision of the origin of things, put in the purest and strongest words, intelligible to the child, inspiring to adult genius, clear enough to survive in primitive eras, and deep enough to challenge sophisticated cultures.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby wondawomen » 26 Jun 2009, 18:12

I dusted this book off to suggest it to Art;" The Science of God" by Gerald L. Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder is a distinguished physicist and a biblical scholar. But I must warn you, the more you learn, the less you know.
We love, because He first loved us.1John4:19 NASB
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby historyb » 27 Jun 2009, 06:32

I'll go with what God said over science. God inspired those words and I am not one to think ancient man wasn't smart enough so God used a story, what God has in His book is what He did. Modern man likes to think he knows everything, yet he doesn't know what he thinks he knows.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby hammurabi2000 » 27 Jun 2009, 09:31

I would strongly recommend you read the WORD Bible commentary by Gordon Wenham on Genesis Chapters 1-15.

You should find it fairly straight forward thereafter.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby Bluegoat » 27 Jun 2009, 13:14

Science is not meant to prove anything - it simply has good ideas that are likely close to the truth, or bad ones that aren't. If you want proofs, do math.

Much of the early Genisis story is likely theological, rather than a historical narrative. Ot rather, it is theological - some think it may be a historical narrative also. Historically, it has been interpreted both ways; it is only more recently though that this has become a major test of so-called faith for some people.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby friendofbill » 27 Jun 2009, 14:48

Thanks for the suggestion, wondawoman. I'll check it out this week.

I would also recommend The Language of God by Francis Colilns, the head of the Human Genome Project.
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby postodave » 28 Jun 2009, 20:14

Lewis says somewhere that when we ask for literal truth out of the early chapters of Genesis we are asking for a kind of truth the ancients never even imagined. He thought it was myth but with historical allusions. It's pretty clear that the location of Genesis was somewhere in Mesopotamia, probably somewhere in modern Iraq; that sits oddly with the idea of a global flood. The question is if you accept the idea of a historical fall were Adam and Eve farmers from that part of the world who lived between 5 and 10 thousand years ago or are they simply depicted in that location for narrative purposes when the thing described took place much earlier in human history and over in Africa.
So I drew my sword and got ready
But the lamb ran away with the crown
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Re: The Creation Story

Postby Tuke » 28 Jun 2009, 22:06

Science is precise for measuring things which are seen. It is worthless for measuring things unseen, which is the case with the origin of matter.
www.answersingenesis.org has been helpful for me. Dr. Ken Ham is the founder of the Creation Museum.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
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