The Creation Question

Last week, a guest speaker came to our little Fratelli church in Torre Pellice. He is from Torino and maintains a prison ministry. Following a time of genuinely intimate worship, Guido (not his real name) stood and moved the pulpit to the side of the projector screen. And for a solid hour and ten minutes, railed the church for leaving behind the seven-day creation as central to faith and salvation.

During this time, various groups, schools, nations, and individuals were implicated, each culpable for saying, writing, or doing something that somehow contradicted the belief in a God-created world. Europe,the U.S., universities, seminaries (including my alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Seminary), scientist (no surprises there he could find a “non-Creationist”), and even Obama (who I can’t remember ever weighing in on the subject.)

Remember that all this is in Italian, including the Powerpoint slides. And, like many Italian evangelical speakers, Guido spoke rapidly at first and improved his speed as the hour waned. Like most preachers, he brought a lot to the table to distribute.

All this sets up the fact that I have taken up the challenge to read cover-to-cover through the Bible again. I’ve done this before, but it’s been a while. And today starts with Genesis 1-2.

Though I can’t imagine “the searching world” giving much time over coffee discussing Obama’s opinion of creation, or whether or not a seven-day creation is a necessary “pre-faith” condition to salvation. I can imagine someone asking questions.

I can guess that, if the guy who works on my Plymouth diesel van stumbled into a discussion on Genesis 1-2, he might ask, “How can this be? How can I believe a story such as this in a day of science and reason?”

My honest comment is: “Wow, I certainly can relate to your dilemma and your questions!” (And maybe, “Did you check the hose for a leak on the other side, too?”)

There is really an incredible cache of information that just doesn’t get shared in those first two chapters. Admittedly, what gets shared raises a lot of questions

My honest answer: Is it harder to imagine God creating the world from nothing or nothing creating the world from nothing. I lean strongly in God’s direction.

And does the absence of details mean the rest is false, or that the perspective of the account is written for people of another generation, or that the order of creation (light and dark before sun and moon, man before woman, etc.) may not suit everyone’s preferences, cause a little consternation?

Well, yes it does… cause consternation, that is. But a relationship to God is much more solid a foundation for life, marriage, friendships, ethics, and faith… than a relationship with nothingness.

God says faith “knows” the universe was made by Him (it’s in the Bible.) It doesn’t require someone who seeks Him to have all the nuances of the Creation story figured out. It doesn’t insist that one trusts in what Christ accomplished for sin-payment by his passionate sacrifice at his execution plus the correct position on the seven-day creation — and then you will be saved.

Perhaps a part of faith is believing that God the Holy Spirit can use His Book and His guidance to bring seekers to Him, create a people of faith who love Christ Jesus supremely and serve and carry the burdens of one another unreservedly… and help each believer unravel the story of how we got here.

Please believe me when I say that the Creation account is supremely important to our faith and our understanding of a God who loves us. But for the guy who fixes my Plymouth diesel each month, the big topic is: How did God show this love for me, and how can he get in on it!

On the journey — Rick