some assumptions on creation and text
May 8, 2009
Creation and evolution. How these two ever got to become two opposing extremes within the church is a study which historians of the present and future really need to help us with. But now we have it. TGIF had one of it’s biggest meetings I’ve seen this morning, listening to Dr Hennie Mouton, creationist, enigineer, elder in the Dutch Reformed Church (last time I heard), and regular contributer to our church newspaper (in the form of letters of critique). The only other time I’ve seen such a large crowd was for the Christian/Atheist conversation between my two friends Roger and Kevin. The number of people attending says something of the hot topics in our society (western, white, post-apartheid, educated etc).
The questions afterwords mostly seemed to come from those who agree, either fully or to an extend, with a little bit of critique. So, this is some of my assumptions on creation and reading texts. Now, I’m not a scientists, so I’ll skip the science, there are others much more capable on those topics. I’ll stick to the theology and the text.
- The authors of the Bible was very smart people. Don’t patronize them. They were at least as smart as you, maybe smarter.
- The Bible was written within time for it’s own time. It contains the science, theology, history and philosophy of it’s day. In short, it’s not a simple spiritual text, but addressed the whole worldview of it’s day, and challenges it with the story of the creator God to become part of the worldview.
- The Bible has the potential of being important for our day. Challenging us in our time on some extremely needed issues.
- It was not intended as a science book, or a history book. Both these genres appeared over the last couple of hundred years.
- The Bible is in tension with itself, showing development and growth in the reflection on God (theology) over ages.
- The “simple spiritual being, whom we call God” (Belgic Confession), that the people of the Old Testament called Jahweh, created.
There is a very important distinction between literalism and fundamentalism. Important for this discussion. See video below.