In response to an article I recently read in the June 2011 issue of Ministry Magazine, I wrote the following blog on the topic of a 7 Literal Day Creation. I’m afraid my thoughts may have been misunderstood, so I’m going to try to clarify my intent in writing this blog.
First and foremost, I would like to state that the very purpose of a blog is to offer one’s personal opinion on a topic. This blog is NOT a church position paper. It is MY thoughts on this topic, and nothing more.
I think there is so much to gain and nothing to lose in respectful and intelligent conversation on topics. Since a great deal of my time and energy is in church work, much of what I read and listen to is of a more spiritual nature from a variety of sources and thought processes. We have so much to learn from the opinion and perspective of others, and I think it is unfortunate when a Christian of any persuasion appears to fear the freedom of critical thinking and attempts to stifle conversation on a religious topic. This was my concern with the article I was responding to.
My intention was not to take a stand on the issue of a 7 Literal Day Creation. My intent was only to suggest there is room given biblically for more than one conclusion on the matter. I never even stated my personal opinion outside of making it very clear that I absolutely believe it was God who did the creating.
Please understand – my ONLY point is that these are conversations that are healthy to have, and they should be encouraged rather than stifled. I hope this clears up any misconceptions of any perceived agenda in my blog.
Original blog post:
In the June 2011 issue of Ministry Magazine, Dr. Greg A. King, dean of the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University, laid out his argument for why it is necessary to believe in a literal 7-day creation. I have to admit that I was quite distressed after I finished reading the article.
Though I appreciate the sincerity with which Dr. King shared his beliefs on the subject, I absolutely disagreed with his selective hermeneutics and found it disheartening that Christians would put so much effort into their insistence that every believer fall in line with this presumption. I also fear this type of dogmatic essay will only serve to squelch healthy conversation and, as a result, do damage to relationships within and outside of the Christian church.
I don’t disagree that the Bible uses the time frame of a “day” when relaying the creation account. I also know that there are other places in the Bible where biblical scholars have chosen to adopt a “day-for-a-year” principle.
As far as the importance of sticking to a “literal “interpretation of the Bible, there are areas, such as the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16) or the entire book of Job where the genre uses allegorical illustrations to prove a point. The Bible was written by and initially for people who probably believed the world was flat and that sea monsters filled the oceans. It’s crucial that we consider culture and context as we read scripture. Should we subjectively pick and choose what we believe is literal or figurative?
I’m not saying I don’t believe God created our world (I do). I’m not even opposed to the idea that He did it in seven literal days (He may have). All I’m saying is that, whether it was in seven literal 24-hour periods of time or millions of years doesn’t change the value I place in scripture or the purpose I find in a weekly opportunity to worship and rest on Sabbath, and it absolutely has no effect whatsoever on my salvation.
I strongly believe we need to be open to what scientific discovery has to offer, honestly admit that the bible does not demand a definite time stamp on creation, and stop pointing fingers at those who come to a different conclusion than we do. The fact is, there was only One who was there at the time who actually knows how things went down, and I think it’s time we stopped trying to put our words in His mouth.
Author: Tami Cinquemani
Read original article.