I’m often amazed at what we teach in our churches on the topics of creation and eschatology. We become so dogmatic in our approach that we, in effect, blind those over whom we have influence and limit their ability to think and understand or even interact with the world around them.
But far worse is the realization that a dogmatic approach to these topics diminishes ones understanding of the intent of the creation story in the first place. The creation story drives to a specific purpose in its communication – and arguing against science is not it. Neither is it about defending Biblical ‘science’ – far from it. The core message of the creation story is that the sovereign God of the universe created us so that we could know Him and that He could know us. Kind of His kind.
The Purpose of Creation
Every action that occurs after Genesis can be summed up with the understanding that the object of God’s affection consistently betrays and rejects Him and, in response, He perpetually finds a way to restore them to Himself. In essence that is the message of John 3:16 – for God so loved us that He provided a way (His Son) that we could be restored.
We waste precious time and energy fomenting arguments around things that amount to ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin’ where creationism is concerned. We miss the opportunity to establish a solid foundation on the heart of the message and, tragically, we miss what is probably really happening in that moment and squander it in meaningless debate.
On Mars hill Paul engaged in debate with the intelligentsia of his time and shortly afterward, in 1 Corinthians 2, he penned these words: “…When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Paul ceased attempting to convince people on issues and, instead, focused on impacting their lives in meaning ways. Be like Paul (who, incidentally, worked hard to be like Jesus).