Monday, July 27, 2009

Creation, Adam and Eve, and my 8 year old

Tonight, the girls and I just had Bible stories, not "songs, prayers, and Bible stories." We started late, and frankly, my back is killing me (from someone pulling out in front of our car last Friday, in case you had not heard).

The Bible story that we read was about Genesis 3, which looks at the "fall" of humanity. I could not get through this, however, without Gina, my eight year old, asking all kinds of questions about this story and creation.

She asked questions like, how did dinosaurs and people and the ice age all fit together? And, did the serpent really talk?

Even, Emily our five year old, wondered about the talking serpent. Gina reminded us all of Balaam and the talking donkey, and that it was possible. But she said maybe that was just a way of saying it . . .

I tried to explain that the creation account was not an exact chronology. While true, it was poetic in its explanation and did not give exact timelines. And lo and behold, Gina said, if a day to God is like a thousand years, maybe the days in Genesis are like that.

Wow. That girl is too sharp! She thinks like a theologian and a biblical scholar. Since this discussion was not over her head, as I thought it would be, I went on and pointed out that the creation "days" were not to be taken literally because the sun and the moon were not created until "day" four--and 24 hour days only exist from the rotation of the earth around the sun (Gina completed my sentence about the rotation of the earth around the sun being what made 24 hours). In a literal reading, the sun was not even created until "day" four, so no regular days prior to this were even possible.

Besides being amazed at how sharp my girls are, here is the thought that came to mind. If an eight year old can see the problems with an overly literal reading of Genesis, so can adults--particularly non-Christians.

So let's not try to convert people to a literal 7 days of creation, the age of the earth, or anything other than Christ. He is the one whom we ought to seek to convert people to!

What questions have your kids had about the creation account?


EndUnknown said...

so, James, you don't believe in a literal Genesis account? how about a literal Adam and Eve as the only 2 Homo Sapiens?

James said...

The Genesis account is accurate in every way. However, God's ways are beyond our ways ... so we have no idea of what a day was other than "evening and morning." As James pointed out, what we know as a day is based on the relationship among the earth, sun and moon. (And even that isn't 100% precise since we have to add a day to the calendar every 4 years.)

Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis) chooses to make belief in four literal 24-hour days a matter of faith (salvation.) I believe this is stepping into a realm that man shouldn't tread. I was not at the creation, so I cannot know how long God's day was at that time. Neither was Mr. Ham. References to days later in the Bible can be understood as 24-hour days once celestial elements were put in place.

Mr. Ham points out that geologic records indicating "millions and millions of years" aren't necessary to achieve what science views in the fossil record. I would tend to agree. However, there's a problem with holding to the literal 24-hour day scenario. If God created the earth to look much older than it is, then that would make God a deceiver. And scripture plainly points out that He does not deceive nor is He deceived.

Bottom line for me: God created the heavens and the earth. How He did it, and during what span of time as I understand time, matters not.