Saturday, January 4, 2020

Genesis 1: nothing here folks, move along.

I heard a preacher say "a historical approach to Genesis 1 is not good sermon material. What can you say about it, if the history happened precisely as it is written? You might as well just read out the text".

Hard to think of anything that could be more mistaken.

Genesis 1 and 2 tell us many things about God, his creation and our relationship with each other.

For instance, that God creates in terms of the time he has made for us shows him active in the space-time that constrains us. He is not a god remote from the reality we know, he is not an imaginary god, our world is not imaginary or an is a place where our ethical decisions are grounded in God's being, and our wilful intention is amendable to rational reflection.

And that's just the start of the theological riches in Genesis 1 and 2 as history.

It tells us that the  'first move of reality' is the God who is love and is in eternal relationship; his making us in his image joins us to the 'relation-in-love' mode of existence; we are thus not existentially adrift, but existentially secure in the love of God.

Of course, if its not history, then it allows none of this; if the creation 'just is' then it does not participate in the relation of creator and creature as the place that is made for that mutual fellowship and grounds all our being....

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