You may think less of me after this post.
Then again, maybe not.
I guess it just depends on where you land on this debate.
Let’s lay the groundwork first.
Last Friday I got an email from Daniel Wilson of Desire Spiritual Growth blog.
He asked a simple question. But very penetrating.
The kind of question that, in a sense, “calls you out.” That makes you pause and–well, think.
I knew exactly what he was referring to.
And I had a great reason for doing what I did. Indeed, my motives were good…
Just in the dark, ergo, Daniel’s question. What was THIS question? Here’s Daniel’s email:
There’s a question I’ve seen you avoid twice on your blog. I can understand why, but I am still very curious.
Do you believe in a literal, 6-day creation by God of the various kinds of living things?
Let’s run through my thought process on how I answered it. I think you’ll benefit.
How Important Is Creation to Me?
To begin, let’s deal with why I avoided this topic twice on my blog.
Really, it’s pretty simple: I’ve never had a firm opinion on this topic. I’ve never made a firm stand.
Why? I actually haven’t put enough gray matter to it.
Sure, I did listen to MacArthur explain his reasons for 6-day creation and agree but walked away with a tad bit of uncertainty.
But why? If the Bible IS the inspired word of God–which I believe–then indeed those days mentioned in Genesis were in fact each 24-hours long as stated.
Hence, I affirm a 6-day creation.
Here’s Where I Started to Sweat
Part of me finds that answer insufficient though. I feel very uncomfortable claiming to be a 6-day creationist.
Why? Science’s domination on this topic. Assert yourself as a 6-day creationist and you’ll get scoffed. Ridiculed. Dismissed.
Scientific opposition 101.
What is that opposition really, though? Evolution and it’s suggestion that macro-evolution [non-observable event] is extrapolated from micro-evolution [observable event] plus time ad infinitum.
Personally, I don’t want to look like a fool because I’m hooked on the approval of man. But do I really have a case?
If I truly believe God to be omnipotent, then I could easily believe he created the world in six days.
Heck, I could believe he created the world in six hours. Standing on one arm. Singing opera. [Note: I don’t believe God has a body. Just saying.]
But that’s not the way it’s described. The writer of Genesis stated six days. So I affirm a six-day creation. In opposition to science.
To those who will complain that such a view is credulous and unsophisticated, here’s MacArthur:
It is certainly superior to the irrational notion that an ordered and incomprehensibly complex universe sprung by accident from nothingness and emerged by chance into the marvel that it is.
Where I Don’t See Eye-to-Eye with MacArthur
There is one point I might disagree with MacArthur: I don’t think defending a six-day creation matters. Let me qualify that statement.
I don’t think it’s worth emotional or intellectual equity defending a six-day creation…especially with a non-believer…when we’ve got bigger fish to fry, namely new birth.
It’d be like me bickering with my wife over the placement of patio furniture on a deck attached to a house that we were losing to foreclosure.
Thus my tendency to avoid the issue and change the topic.
What’s paramount in the creation account is The Fall. The creation narrative is the setting. The Fall and subsequent redemption, the plot.
Don’t get me wrong. We need Genesis 1:1-3 in it’s entirety. Here’s MacArthur again on how important it is:
If Genesis 1-3 doesn’t tell us the truth, why should we believe anything else in the Bible? Without a right understanding of our origin, we have no way to understand anything about our spiritual existence. We cannot know our purpose, and we cannot be certain of our destiny. After all, if God is not the Creator, then maybe He’s not the Redeemer either. If we cannot believe the opening chapters of Scripture, how can we be certain of anything the Bible says?
It’s the WHY in my mind that trumps the HOW.
One Final Thought
Funny thing is, a six-day creation event is small beans when compared to some bigger beliefs we Christians share.
Take the Incarnation, for instance. God invaded his universe as a human. What?
Those, my friend, are tough nuts to swallow.
We are fortunate to live in a region of the world where apologetic materials are abundant. Answers to objections are everywhere.
Not so with those in restricted or persecuted countries. But this shouldn’t bother us. Or them.
While I respect science and what it says, in the end I need to go with God–and so do they–and his purposes revealed in the Scripture.
Listen: This is sometimes very hard for someone who unapologetically embraces the title intellectual snob–but persecution and hardship are the name of the game. Opposition is real.
And sometimes all we have is the Holy Ghost and a Bible. Fortunately, we have more.
Final, Final Thought
Here’s what I learned from Daniel’s email: We worship a creative God who demands singularity in our affections and dismisses all competitors…
And neglecting allegiance to him is simple blasphemy–even if that means rejection from our peers.
Therefore, I’d rather be at odds with the establishment than the God who created and sustains the people in that very establishment.
Christianity is a thinking man’s religion. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”
This means we need to exercise all spheres of our beings–body and soul–if we want to honor God. This means beefing up in areas we are weak in. [For me, that would be the creation account. What about you?]
This also means answering challenging questions–questions that may challenge our very allegiance…questions that come from both outside our camp–and sometimes from inside.
It’s not always easy. But it’s necessary. Especially if we want to develop a mature Christian mind–a mandate no Christian can avoid.
So tell me: You still love me? Give me your thoughts. Brutal and all.