Some Christians like to argue a lot over their interpretations of various passages of scripture. I don’t like to get into the these arguments, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care or have an opinion about the topic at hand. Eschatology is probably the worst, followed by (at least in the last 20 years) by what is the proper handling of Genesis.
I don’t like positions that try to shoe-horn the biblical narrative into a very modern scientific framework. That would include most variations of theistic evolution. On the other hand, I find cases of literalist one-upmanship to be equally obnoxious. Fighting to see how astonishingly concrete we can interpret each verse is, in my opinion, a terrible guiding principal, despite the fact that it nearly always finds itself contra liberalism, which is usually commendable.
So what the heck do I believe? Well, I had to stop and think about it. It’s change a fair amount over the years. I’ve left my fundamentalist YEC roots, but not too far behind. I don’t believe the discoveries of science are opposed to anything God tells us. They simply reveal the mechanics of God’s design. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of bad science out there. Bleh. Nobody should use that stuff. Not even my worst enemy. I’ve also been exposed to several much more metaphorical and poetic ways of reading scripture and discovered some of them to make a lot more sense without diminishing any of the truth and power of the special revelation. I feel like I’ve picked up a lot of ideas about reality from Tolkien as well, despite that he never deals with this sort of thing directly. Oh, and Occam’s Razor. I know it get’s a bad rap in some circles, but I dig it. Why come up with a really complicated explanation when a simple one works and is still orthodox?
Explaining where all of these ideas come from would probably take to long. I’m not quite sure myself. For my own record keeping though, here is my current version of creationism. This will probably be a bit different if you were to ask me in a few years.
1. Very old universe (Doesn’t need to be young. Old is more interesting anyway (Possibility of other worlds around billions of stars, etc.). Not so self-centered, easiest explanation to it’s massive size and the problems with speed of light and observable distance.)
2. Old earth. (Again, doesn’t need to be young. Easiest explanation to old geology.)
3. Young animals. (Special creation relatively recently, though still an age before man.)
4. Virtually no macro-evolution of species. (Darwinism is a joke. Virtually no archeological or contemporary biological evidence for anything of the sort.)
5. Very young man. (6000 years. Adam and Eve. Special creation. Man is not a retooled earlier species.)
6. Civilizations formed almost immediately (Cain building the first City. Record of 6000-year old Mesopotamian cities, followed quickly by civilization in India and North Africa. No long period of cave-men, etc.)
7. Noah’s flood was regional. (Doesn’t need to be global to accomplish everything important.)
So there it is. I should have just skipped the intro. I need to see if I can do this with the problem of evil too. Hmm, trickier.
I’ll end with a very relevant quote from my recent reading:
Let us now examine the narrative in Genesis more carefully as we attempt to dismiss the fixed idea that it is a myth, and as we remind ourselves that no age has been more skillful than our own in producing myths of the understanding, an age that produces myths and at the same time wants to eradicate all myths.
-Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety, EK p.142