More on Genesis 1 (Part 1)

This past Sunday, I preached on Genesis 1. There's a slight problem with trying to preach whole Biblical chapters, though. One runs into absorption issues: "The mind can only absorb as much as the other end can endure." In that vein, there's much that got left behind in the sermon prep process. Here are the points, mostly underdeveloped, that I didn't bring up.

First of all, I didn't give most of the background on Genesis, delve into authorship and all of those details. I would love to discuss those details, but it takes a while. Generally speaking, Genesis is understood as having been written down by Moses. He possibly worked from existing sources and edited them, and it's possible a later editor dealt with his work, but in all we understand the Holy Spirit to have guided and protected that process.

Second, I didn't crash into all the proofs and debates regarding Creation, Evolution, and the spectrum of opinions between views. I hold to a young-earth creationist view. That means that I think the days are literal, the genealogies that follow are literal, and that there are other explanations for the apparent age of the universe.

Other people hold markedly different views. Many of them find Scriptural support for their views, and it's really an interesting debate and discussion. As it is a shade more complicated than "I, the preacher, say so" I felt it was better to leave that discussion out. It is possible to be a committed follower of Christ and hold to a different view of Genesis 1-2. I think you have to explain a lot with the New Testament references to Adam and Eve and to a six-day creation, but I have to find a better explanation for various scientific questions than plugging my ears and screaming "I can't hear you!"

I. The creatio ex nihilo of the universe: God made it from nothing: ok, this one did get a decent mention in the sermon, but I left out the italicized Latin term for the doctrine. Basically, it's the idea that God created from nothing. In no other situation does something come from nothing: it's scientifically demonstrated to be that way. However you slice the discussion, either God made it all out of nothing or He had building blocks. Scripture starts with God and then there's stuff.

V. Man, male and female, created in the image of God: gender identity is part of who we are. Probably more appropriately: gender differences are a part of creation. There are differences between men and women (shocker!) and those differences do not allow one part of humanity to degrade the other part. Both extremes are wrong. Moreover, I think there's a lot hinted at here related to not knowing the fullness of God without a comprehensive gender-picture. I know that God revealed Himself throughout Scripture with masculine terminology. I know that we use "He" and "Father" but I think to make our picture of God entirely male-centered misses the point. Men and women are created in the image of God and I don't think we see the whole image without both.

Appropriate Baptist caveat: one does not ever interpret one portion of Scripture to say another part  is wrong. All Scripture is correct, so there is no conflict in this and other portions speaking of gender-developed roles. That's another discussion, though. The main point is this: a man is not more valuable or more intelligent than a woman, nor vice versa.

(More tomorrow)


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