Starting at the Beginning (and Ending There)
(September 28, 2008; The Creation and Flood Accounts)In our culture we have historically had a preference for the facts. Truth is theright observation of the facts of nature around us. This is essentially the scientificmethod of observation and hypothesis.
If a + b = c; then b = c – a
. It was this thinkingthat led to breakthroughs in medicine, astronomy, and the social sciences. In these areas people began discarding what they considered to be the superstitions of the dark ages or medieval period. This was a wonderful thing as people could see for instance that illnesswas related to germs and not divine wrath. Theologians, however, were not at such aliberty to discard their origins. You cannot easily discard something like the Bible that isconsidered divine. And so many theologians began to consciously or unconsciouslyadopt the emerging scientific worldview in their reading of scripture. To them the Bible became a collection of facts. This led many to interpret the creation account as givinghistorical facts about the physical origins of the universe.
If Adam is the first human and the world was created in seven days; then the lineage of Adam will tell us how old theworld is
No matter how we understand the relationship between the Bible and sciencethis emphasis was not helpful because it neglected the way in which the creation accountwas used throughout the Bible.
There is not just one creation account in the Bible. During the time when scienceseemed to have control over our understanding of the Bible there were people calledDeists who believed that God started the universe but then let it run on its own. It wassaid that God was a watch-maker who wound up the world and then left it to let it run itscourse. This is not a biblical view of reality. In the Bible the creation account functionsas a living and ongoing reality that was not a one time event but the continuous work of