Using Perspective as a theological tool
Purpose: To connect the chasm between the faith based world of the church, and the knowledge based world of Seminary.
Many of those who visit Fig Tree are not going to be upset today. Most of what I am going to say might be enlightening, but won't be scandalous. Some will be upset. Please realize, it is difficult to discuss the bible, and we should be gentle with those who will be taking those giant leaps. For those of you taking those big leaps, I'm with you. Everything I am going to share I believe, and I am still a Christian. Also, I am writing to all of you, not just the "you" that will embrace what I am saying.
Now that's out there and we can move on. I want to talk about Genesis 1-2 for the next few weeks. Today I want to talk about perspective.
In the beginning scrolls, ink, anything used to write didn't exist. As we evolved as a people, we evolved how we told stories. Now, I don't know how many Christians contemplate when the Creation story was written down. If we are talking about a literal story, it wasn't written down the moment it happened. No one back then had the ability to write. There is Jewish tradition that says God told the story to Moses and he wrote it down. While I don't personally believe this (because of issues we will get into next week) let's run with this idea.
If God told Moses the Creation story that must mean the story as we read it is the perfect representation of what really happened. Research over, no reason to go any further... or is there? Now, I just want y'all to think rationally about communication between a less advanced person, and a higher being. Actually let me simplify it further: How does a parent communicate with a child? It's not that a parent is lying to their kid. It's that a parent has to tell the story in a way the kid would understand. Now you honestly tell me: If Moses asked, "God, how did you create all this that I see?", wouldn't God dumb it down for us to understand? I'd bet the answer would still be dumbed down, even if it was an astrophysicist asking the question. Could you imagine God talking to someone who didn't even understand the Earth was round. How do you explain the beginning of everything to a person who doesn't even know there are other lands beyond their seas?
This is how we can embrace the God inspired myth. Okay, deep breath. I know I just used the word myth, but there are times when our own family history becomes a sort of mythology. That's how I want you to look at the Creation Narrative. God gave us stories to help us understand the beginning. As a more scientific people, it has become more difficult to digest, but the core of those stories still remain true. God created the heavens and earth. It was good. Now rest. It gets even deeper next week.