Outline. Why ask the question? Read Genesis 1 & 2 Why do Christians hold different views? Features of Genesis 1 & 2 Overview of Christian Approaches

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2 Outline Why ask the question? Read Genesis 1 & 2 Why do Christians hold different views? Features of Genesis 1 & 2 Overview of Christian Approaches

3 Why ask the question? Foundational to Christian belief Story in six acts: Creation -> Fall -> Israel -> Jesus Christ -> Church -> Return of the King and Recreation New Atheist Propaganda Scientific knowledge is the only source of truth (Scientism) Science contradicts the biblical creation accounts God is an unnecessary hypothesis The Bible is wrong and Christianity is fatally undermined

4 The Truth About Cake

5

6 Read Genesis 1 & 2

7 In the beginning, God! All Christians agree that God created everything God is other distinct from Creation God actively upholds and sustains Creation Christians differ on How God created When God created How long the process of creation took Why the differences of opinion?

8 Differing on the Detail Evangelical Christians believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God, so shouldn t we just read what it says about creation and believe it? Yes! But reading requires interpretation Different views on creation stem from different interpretations.

9 How do we read the Bible? Divine truth expressed in human form God s Word in the words of men Bible wasn t divinely dictated Written by people with individual backgrounds, personal traits, and literary styles. Understanding the historical context, genre, literary style(s) and devices, etc, help us interpret the text and understanding more of its meaning. The Bible is always true. The question is, how is it true?

10 Why is it so complicated? Asked myself that question many times! But good news of Jesus isn t hard to understand Primary purpose of Bible is to lead us into relationship with God through Christ Jesus Message of mankind s sinfulness and God s amazing grace resonates with every generation. Doctrine of Creation is foundational, but Interpretation of Genesis is secondary.

11 How is Genesis true? Is it factual history? Is it accurate science? Is it allegory? Is it myth?

12 Features of Genesis 1 & 2

13 Similarity to other texts Gilgamesh epic includes an account of a world-wide flood, similar to Genesis Atrahasis epic history of the world from creation of man (to do agricultural work for gods) to the new order created after the flood Sumerian flood story similar to Genesis 1-11 Sumerian King list resembles Genesis 5-11

14 Theological Reinterpretation Ancient Near East beliefs Belief in multiple gods In Atrahasis, god s live in fear of the flood Sun and moon were important gods Mankind created as an afterthought to break up strike of minor gods Mankind s fertility is a problem Genesis One supreme God God is in control of the flood Sun and moon are created objects Mankind is the climax of the creation story God says be fruitful and multiply

15 Literary Framework Creation Kingdoms Day 1: Light Day 2: Sky and Sea Day 3: Land and plants Creature Kings The Creator King Day 7: Sabbath Day 4: Sun, moon and stars Day 5: Birds and Fish Day 6: Animals & man; plants for food

16 Christian Approaches: Theistic Evolution / BioLogos Evolution occurred as biologists describe it, but under the direction of God. The bible doesn't try to teach science The literary framework of Genesis 1, along with repeating formulae, grouping of words and phrases and other literary techniques, combine to stress the system and order that God has built into creation. Genesis 1 is not intended to be understood as chronologically or scientifically accurate

17 Christian Approaches: Intelligent Design Certain biological functions can t have evolved because they would require several evolutionary jumps before conferring any reproductive advantage. Therefore a process of pure evolution would have filtered them out. In other words, some things are too complex to have evolved; they have the hallmarks of design.

18 Christian Approaches: Old Earth Creationism Six days referred to in Genesis 1 are not six twenty-four hour days, but six periods of time. The Hebrew word (yom) translated days can also be used to describe a long period of time. Some OECs hold that the sequence of days is scientifically accurate, others that the creation events are in topical order. Some OECs broadly accept macro evolution, some only micro evolution

19 Christian Approaches: Young Earth Creationism Genesis 1 & 2 should be taken literally. The literary style and structure, and similarities to other Ancient Near Eastern creation myths simply add richness to a historical account. The earth is ~ 6000 years old Evidence that leads scientists to conclude the world is 4.7 billion years old has been misinterpreted. Creation Science aims to show flaws in the theory of evolution and provide alternative explanations for the scientific data.

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