Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Let there be light?

Mags and I were discussing the account of creation given in the book of Genesis the other night, as I’m sure many busy married couples do of a Monday evening. If, like me, you have a scientific and/or technical inclination then the account in Genesis may present you with some knotty problems in trying to get your mind around the apparent contradictions between current scientific understanding of the origins of the world and the Biblical account. In such situations I generally enter ‘bloke’ mode and ignore the problem and hope it goes away, which in this case appears unlikely unless Prof. Richard Dawkins and his ilk suddenly discover huge flaws in almost every branch of science or someone discovers that Moses had actually written another less well known book explaining all the annoying little details such as dinosaurs, celestial mechanics, talking snakes and who exactly Cain was afraid of, after killing Abel, as there was only him and his Mum and Dad on the planet. One explanation I’ve heard is that ‘the Bible is not a scientific document’, Moses couldn’t possibly understand the ‘big-bang’, solar systems, chaos theory, natural selection etc so God explained it all in a story-book way he was capable of grasping. The details may not be literally true, the proponents of this idea say, but the principles of a creator God and a rebellious mankind breaking relationship with Him are the spiritual truths we should focus on.

Now I used to quite like this idea. But not anymore. If there was no literal Adam then how can there be a place for a second Adam, Jesus, to utterly undo and reverse the damage he did? Some of the fundamental truths of the Christian faith (see Romans 5) get seriously watered down. There is no’ pre-fall’ state for us to be restored too! Nor am I convinced that a belief in the literal mechanics of the creation in Genesis 1 & 2 is the way forward either, God gave us our brains for a reason. So now having painted myself into a corner where do I go? I’m not sure, to be honest. I don’t really want to read loads of books that are hell-bent on defending the so-called ‘Creationist’ doctrine nor those proposing the opposite; I think all that could just be a big red-herring designed to get us ‘straining out gnats’ (Matt 23:24) and missing the point of the Gospel. I think I’ll take a dose of what my Catholic friends call ‘mystery’ and decide that the Bible isn’t aimed at my mind, it’s aimed at my spirit, so perhaps getting my mind round these problems is a moot point (1 Cor 2:14) and leave it at that for now.

However one little thought to leave you with. The nit-pickers often point out that God starts the whole amazing shebang with “Let there be light” but doesn’t get around to creating the Sun until three days later and how stupid and inconsistent is that? Well while thinking about this I had a little ‘revi’. God is spirit, not flesh. He’s about to create the universe, not just the planet earth in an extant physical universe, but actually the whole space/time continuum is about to be birthed. The laws of physics as yet don’t exist; they need to be created too. So what’s the first thing God makes? A method of revealing himself to his new physical creation – light! The light God works by for the three days before he gets around to making the star we call ‘the sun’ is his own Glory and that of his son Jesus! Revelation 21:23-25 -- “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.”

May the ‘light of your face shine upon us, O Lord’, we want to see your glory Jesus and become what we behold. Let there be light and lots of it!

1 comment:

  1. I like the mystery and not straining gnats.... but I am prepared to be a fundamentalist if it will win an argument :)