Monday, June 22, 2009

Is God a biblical literalist?

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone I love and respect. We're both believers in Jesus Christ, but we have differing opinions on creationism. In fact, we completely disagree on the fundamentals of Genesis 1-4.

Here is my perspective in a nutshell:

If you are going to accept and believe the gospels and the New Testament books about Jesus, salvation and the Holy Spirit, then you have to accept and believe the whole Bible, including the Genesis account of creation.

My friend does not. He feels that Adam and Eve were not necessarily the first humans on earth, but rather the first humans to be "cognizant" of God. He points to Cain's wife as his proof. Genesis 4:16-17 tells us:

"So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch."

My friend reads these verses as saying that Cain went to another land and found a wife there, which would mean there were other humans on earth besides Adam's family. (Snap, snap! ha!)

I disagree.

I don't see Cain "getting married" in the land of Nod, which in Hebrew means "wandering." There is nothing that suggests that he found his wife in Nod, but is more likely he was already married when he went to the land.

And who was this wife?

Well, it had to be one of his sisters or possibly a niece. Adam had already lived 130 years by the time Seth was born (5:3) and had other sons and daughters. A lot of kids could be born in 130 years! God told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." (1:28) I imagine that's exactly what they did! Adam's offspring did not have the Levitical instructions about incestuous relations at this time, so marrying a sibling or close relative would have been normal.

Here is the deal in my opinion:

If you are going to believe in the "red parts" of the Bible, as my friend referred to them, then you have to believe in the black parts too! We don't get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are believable and which aren't. Science supposedly proves certain things that simply cannot co-exist with the biblical account of things, creationism included. Will science ever prove God exists? No. Will science ever prove Jesus died and was raised from the dead? No.

There is no way to make God fit into our world and our understanding of our world.

We have to fit into His, because He made it. In six days. And on the seventh day He ceased--rested--because it was done. Life on earth had begun, just as He'd planned it. God obviously wanted us to know all of this--and how it all came to be--which is why we have Genesis in the first place!

I firmly believe God is a biblical literalist and a creationist!

Me too!

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