Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm NOT Completely Convinced, but it's Interesting

I'm by no means convinced, as evidenced in the statements I made on my previous entry, that Genesis is a NON-literal description of the creation of the universe. However, I do like what Francis Collins says in the Book Language of God about how accepting Genesis as non-literal does NOT mean that the rest of the Bible is untrue. He uses the term "slippery slope" and I like to combine that with "line in the sand." So, IF he's right and God used evolutionary processes to create life on earth, I'd say to stop the slippery slope of the argument one can draw the line in the sand at the ending Genesis ch 1 as the end of the non-literal story of creation.

Genesis 2, is the details of God making mankind and his first interactions with them. Eden was a real place God setup for mankind to flourish in; the trees mentioned were real things that God setup to keep mankind flourishing and to give him the option to obey. Ch 3, mankind disobeys. All completely literal, story of mankind's first choice to disobey God's one rule. Ch 4, Cain & Abel, again literal story, now the question of "where did Cain get his wife?" comes up. Here's where creation via evolution can give an answer (again, not really saying I believe this, just that it makes sense), Cain married some lower form of humanoid. The, as Collins calls it, "BioLogos" view offers a similar explanation for the 'Nephilim' mentioned in ch 6. They're some other form of humanoid.

From Genesis 2 onward is the more detailed accounting of God's interaction and caring for His very special creation, mankind. One thing I disagree with from Collins is his brushing aside of the central concept that mankind is created in God's image. It is written several times throughout the Bible that mankind is in God's image, perhaps, if BioLogos is true (again I'm not totally convinced), the idea that mankind is created in God's image is that we are the first (and only, at least on earth) creation of God that can think and has a spirit. That's why God made us, to be different, and on a higher level than animals, to think and interact with Him.

IF we draw the line in the sand at Genesis chapter one it still leaves faith and God's special interaction and love for mankind intact. IF we keep going down the slippery slope and say ALL of Genesis is non-literal it makes sin a non-issue, because it's just a story, it didn't really happen. I'm not saying Collins isn't saved or any crazy thing like that. In fact I really like his testimony in the text, it's quite stirring. And, I'm not making the mistake that he mentions that I also DETEST about religions (Christianity included), how *we (*I don't like to call myself religious because of this fact) often ostracize anyone who doesn't believe exactly as we believe. I'm not saying that all roads lead to God/salvation, I'm saying we need to stop the hate and start loving and accepting people as Christ taught.

Francis Collins, the author of Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief