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  1. 1. Creation<br />Crisis<br />Calling<br />Conversation<br />Christ<br />Church<br />Consummation <br />
  2. 2. Were you raised to think that there is a conflict between Genesis and science? <br />
  3. 3. 1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.<br />
  4. 4. 6 And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. <br />
  5. 5. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. <br />
  6. 6. 14 And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, <br />
  7. 7. 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20 And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.’ 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good.<br />
  8. 8. 22God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 24 And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. <br />
  9. 9. 26 Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ 27 So God created humankind in his image,   in the image of God he created them;   male and female he created them. <br />
  10. 10. 28God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ 29God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.<br />
  11. 11. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. <br />
  12. 12. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. <br />
  13. 13. What kind of literature is the creation account in Genesis?<br />Different genres create different expectations from the reader.<br />Mistakes about the genre lead to mistakes in interpretation. <br />Discerning genre comes from careful attention to the text. Beware of preconceptions.<br />Slippery words: truth, fact, fiction, myth<br />Examples: parables<br />The Bible has lots of different kinds of literature. <br />
  14. 14. Genesis 1 is a liturgical poem.<br />Liturgical: “And God saw that it was good.”<br />Poetic: symmetry and parallelism <br /> 1: light and dark  4: sun, moon and stars2: sky and sea   5: birds and fish3: sea and land  6: animals and humans<br />7: divine celebration<br />
  15. 15. Genesis 1 is a liturgical poem.<br />Liturgical: “And God saw that it was good.”<br />Poetic: symmetry and parallelism <br /> 1: light and dark  4: sun, moon and stars2: sky and sea   5: birds and fish3: sea and land  6: animals and humans<br />7: divine celebration<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Genesis and other Ancient Near Eastern Literature<br />EnumaElish<br />The god Marduk (the god of wind) rises up against the goddess Tiamat (the goddess of water and chaos), and kills her and cuts up her body and in doing this the world is created. <br />The world is seen as Tiamat’s slain body, and the differences that exist in the world, the lines that separate, are the result of her body being cut into different pieces. <br />Mardukcreated human beings to be slaves.<br />
  18. 18. Myths are not just speculative, they are ideological.<br />Imperial militarism (order is created through violence)<br />Social hierarchy (just as the gods can make slaves of humans, so can the kings who are made in their image)<br />
  19. 19. Genesis challenges this Babylonian ideology in two fundamental ways:<br />God creates order, not through violence, but through a peaceful word.<br />All people are made in the image of God, not just kings.<br />
  20. 20. Theological affirmations<br />The world is the good creation of God. <br />Human beings are charged with caring for it. <br />“dominion” vs. domination (1:28)<br />“serve and protect” (2:15)<br />Human beings are God’s image-bearers.<br />Dignity (Eph 2:10 God’s poema)<br />Responsibility (freedom)<br />God creates a world that can keep creating.<br />“let the earth bring forth… let the seas bring forth”<br />“be fruitful and multiply”<br />
  21. 21. Genesis and Evolution<br />2008 Gallup Poll- 24% of regular churchgoers believe in the theory of evolution (39% of general population).<br />
  22. 22. “Humans have always wondered about the meaning of has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”<br />--Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion<br />
  23. 23. Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998), National Academy of Sciences<br /> “At the root of the apparent conflict between some religions and evolution is a misunderstanding of the critical difference between religious and scientific ways of knowing. Religions and science answer different questions about the world. Whether there is a purpose to the universe or a purpose for human existence are not questions for science.<br />
  24. 24. Religious and scientific ways of knowing have played, and will continue to play, significant roles in human history.” Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”<br />
  25. 25. 3 Darwin’s<br />Deathbed convert<br />Strong atheist<br />Struggling believer/agnostic<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. “I see no good reasons why evolution should shock the religious feelings of any…it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that He required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of His laws." <br /> - Charles Darwin, <br /> Origin of the Species, 6th ed.<br />
  28. 28. “Intelligent Design”<br />God doesn’t belong in a scientific account of the world, because science, by definition, is a limited discipline that only deals with natural causes. (But to say that there are no non-natural causes goes beyond what science can say.) <br />“God of the gaps” approach<br />Theology and science are different “levels” of explanation.<br />
  29. 29. Other objections:<br />Corrupts Christian values?<br />descriptive vs. prescriptive<br />Reduces importance of human beings?<br />People said the same thing about heliocentrism when it was first proposed.<br />Genesis 2 says that we came from the dirt!<br />adamand adamah<br />Perhaps we need to be reminded of our interconnectedness with all living things.<br />
  30. 30. Genesis is a model for science/religion integration.<br />The author of Genesis used the best understanding of the world of his day in order to express central truths about God and God’s relationship to the world.<br />We respect the authority of Genesis, not by trying to go back to its understanding of the world, but by expressing the same theological values with the best scientific framework of our day. <br />
  31. 31. Read Genesis 1-11<br />