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Old 07-09-2002, 08:49 AM   #16
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I've used the Obi-Wan approach to the early Old Testament for a while now: I believe Genesis, for example, is true, from a certain point of view.

Allow me to elaborate. If you stare at a single object, everything else in your field of view seems fuzzy; your peripheral vision is blurred. Those objects aren't actually fuzzy, but we can't ascertain any details of those objects while staring at the first object.

In the Bible, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ (God becoming a man who was born just over two thousand years ago) is THE central focus. We are to take as literal truth His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

If we look too far away from that central event, the Bible moves from literal truth to metaphorical truth. Going forward, we run into the Revelation, the prophetic (and almost clearly metaphorical) vision of the future. Going all the way backward, we find Genesis, and the assertion that the universe was created in six days. I believe that both should be taken as metaphor - truth, but not fact.

I could well be wrong - God could have made the world exactly as described in Genesis. If that's so, it doesn't affect my faith. My faith does not hinge a specific interpretation of Genesis.

But at the same time, I still believe the story of creation has some worthwhile truths about God and His creation: He DID create the universe, one way or another. We are a very special (possibly unique) creation of God's, created "in His image." And we were once His faithful creations, have since fallen into sin, and will be redeemed.

The biggest question that remains is this: at what point does metaphor become literal truth?

Well, it certainly seems the lives of King David and Jesus are to be taken literally, and it seems the first chapter of Genesis and most of Revelation is to be taken metaphorically. The line is somewhere in between.

I personally think the lines can be drawn from about Genesis 12 to Revelation 3: everything between those two chapters should be taken as literal truth. (The only possible exception is prophecy and parable, which should be interpreted as metaphor, but even that should be accepted as the literal words of the teacher.)

(Again, it's possible that earlier chapters in Genesis and later chapters in Revelation are to be taken literally, too; what I've given is the bare minimum of my personal belief.)

And one last thing of note on this issue:

Do NOT interpret a passage as metaphor on the basis that it contains the miraculous.

As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, if Christ WASN'T raised from the dead, then Christians are the most miserable and pitiable men on the planet.

The Resurrection MUST be taken literally. If THAT can be taken literally, so too can all of Christ's miracles - parlor tricks compared to the Resurrection.

And if Christ did walk on water and raise Lazarus, then it's equally possible that God literally parted the sea in Exodus.


And as a final note, in response to an issue raised in this thread, I believe that God is honestly neither a he nor a she - that He had no body and thus no gender/sex.

That said, the Bible uses words like "Father" and "Son" to describe the relationship between the First Person of the Trinity and the Second Person, and I believe those words are useful in communicating to us certain aspects about that relationship. It's useful to keep in mind those terms only go so far, but that doesn't mean we should stop using them.

It's kinda like when Christ said He is "the way, the truth, and the life." When He said He is "the way," He didn't literally mean a paved road, but the term is still useful.

(It's also easier for a human to have pray in personal terms to a "he" like God or a "she" like Mary. Praying to God as an "it" or "s/he" may make a personal relationship that much more difficult.)

And if God Himself is not really male, if the Second Person of the Trinity isn't really male, Jesus Christ (the Incarnation of the Second Person) IS LITERALLY MALE.

Jesus was literally the child of a specific human (Mary) and hailed from a certain part of the world (Nazareth). He was literally a "he."
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Old 07-09-2002, 08:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Truly
I think a lot of Genesis is metaphorical. I think it's stupid to try to work out exact dates and things based on it, because a lot of it isn't true - Adam and Eve for example. I was reading a thread yesterday where someone explained why the story of Adam and Eve was made up, (but I can't remember it exactly so I won't try to explain or I'll only get it wrong.)
There needn't have been an actual Garden of Eden or a forbidden fruit, but it's crucially important to Christian doctrine that the Fall actually happened in some form.

As you mentioned, the story of a paradise lost is a very popular "myth" ("myth" meaning "sacred story", not necessarily "nonsensical fabrication") in many cultures.
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:13 AM   #18
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Some of you are getting closer..
I will elaborate later.
I think it will make sense.

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:idea:
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:30 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Giant Lemon


This doesn't answer the original question (sorry, Diamond!), but I felt compelled to say that I believe that both God and Jesus are portrayed as/were men because we live in a male dominated society and women are not traditionally seen as authority figures. Personally, I don't believe God has a gender, and I think the only reason Jesus was a man was because a woman wouldn't have been listened to. Just my $0.02.
AMEN!

God is not a man.
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Old 07-09-2002, 10:52 AM   #20
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I agree that the labelling of god in chrisitanity as Father is more for the understanding of the audience than anythign else.

this article was posted in FYM a while back

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...p?story=106705


interesting to say the least
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Old 07-09-2002, 10:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
AMEN!

God is not a man.
But God did become a man.
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Old 07-09-2002, 10:58 AM   #22
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba


But God did become a man.
Granted, but that's different than the entity of God being essentially male, isn't it?

As a woman who happens to be a Christian, this is one thing that really irks me within our religion...this impulse to elevate the male aspects of God's character and totally overlook his feminine attributes. Are we not all created in his image? And if so, then it stands to reason that we women reflect God just as much as any man.

Anyways, in answer to the ORIGINAL question...I don't have a problem with evolution and faith. Personally, I don't feel I've looked into the matter enough to make an intelligent decision, so I refrain from having an opinion on it...YET. lol. But my Christianity is not at all threatened by the idea that God may have used evolution to create the earth and humanity. The God I worship is big enough to use any means to accomplish his ends.
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Old 07-09-2002, 10:58 AM   #23
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well he had to pick one didn't he???
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:12 AM   #24
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I remember reading once that perhaps it could be possible that the gap in between verse one and verse two in genesis could be thousands ...even millions of years!

Also, I once read that Carbon dating is only valid up tp 50,000 years.

Are There Things That Can't Be Carbon-Dated?

Yes. The method doesn't work on things which didn't get their carbon from the air. This leaves out aquatic creatures, since their carbon might (for example) come from dissolved carbonate rock. That causes a dating problem with any animal that eats seafood.
We can't date things that are too old. After about ten half-lives, there's very little C14 left. So, anything more than about 50,000 years old probably can't be dated at all. If you hear of a carbon dating up in the millions of years, you're hearing a confused report.


See everything about C-14 dating here:

Cabon Dating
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:18 AM   #25
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even if it's valid for 50,000 years...that still dispells the 6,000 year old theory by quite a bit.
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:24 AM   #26
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1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.


This sounds to me like God created the basics, the heavens and the earth, and probably didn't create light until later. This could be thousands of years, quite possible, actually.
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


Granted, but that's different than the entity of God being essentially male, isn't it?

As a woman who happens to be a Christian, this is one thing that really irks me within our religion...this impulse to elevate the male aspects of God's character and totally overlook his feminine attributes. Are we not all created in his image? And if so, then it stands to reason that we women reflect God just as much as any man.
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:30 AM   #28
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Originally posted by STING2
There is just a different measurement of time I think.
Thats what i think too!
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:55 AM   #29
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I like how this thread is going
A potpourri of ideas.
I will attempt to shake the farts outta the blankets later when time permits
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Old 07-09-2002, 04:12 PM   #30
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The answers to the whole timeline thing are simple

1. God's "time" is not our time
2. Carbon dating is not accurate (environmental factors play into it too much)
3. God intended for this to be hazy for us
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