Note from CM: In preparation for tomorrow’s installment of Genesis: Where It All Begins, I thought I’d bring back Michael Spencer’s perspective on Genesis 1, a general perspective that matches my own.
• • •
From To Be or Not to Be?
Everybody thinks I should be a young earth creationist. I’m not. Why?
by Michael Spencer (undated)
The young earth creationists believe that Genesis 1 is “literally” a description of creation. I do not. It is this simple disagreement that is the cornerstone of my objection.
I believe that Genesis 1 is a pre-scientific description of Creation intended to accent how Yahweh’s relationship with the world stands in stark contrast to the gods of other cultures, most likely those of Babylon. Textual and linguistic evidence convinces me that this chapter was written to be used in a liturgical (worship) setting, with poetic rhythms and responses understood as part of the text. It tells who made the universe in a poetic and pre-scientific way. It is beautiful, inspired and true as God’s Word.
Does it match up with scientific evidence? Who cares?
Here I differ with Hugh Ross and the CRI writers. I do not believe science, history or archaeology of any kind establishes the truthfulness of the scripture in any way. Scripture is true by virtue of God speaking it. If God spoke poetry, or parable, or fiction or a pre-scientific description of creation, it is true without any verification by any human measurement whatsoever. The freedom of God in inspiration is not restricted to texts that can be interpreted “literally” by historical or scientific judges of other ages and cultures beyond the time the scriptures were written.
In my view, both the scientific establishment’s claims to debunk Genesis and the creationists claims to have established Genesis by way of relating the text to science are worthless. Utterly and completely worthless and I will freely admit to being bored the more I hear about it. I react to this much the same I react to people who run in with the Bible and the newspaper showing me how 666 is really the bar code on my credit card…
Does the Bible need to be authorized by scientists or current events to be true? What view of inspiration is it that puts the Bible on trial before the current scientific and historical models? Has anyone noticed what this obsession with literality does to the Bible itself?
The compliment that is paid to the Bible by those who say it is “literally” and scientifically true comes at the expense of an authentic and accurate understanding of the text.