SOME CHRISTIANS don’t take the Genesis account of Creation literally.
They say it’s because it sounds like the writer is driving with a poetic license.
The rhythmic flow includes repeated lines that sound like they belong in the chorus of a song:
- “Then God said, ‘Let there be light.’”
- “And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.”
- “Then God said, ‘Let there be a space between the waters.’”
- “And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.”
The writer beats that drum through six wonderfully pulsing verses.
Parallelism like that is a hallmark of Hebrew poetry, just as rhyme, in English, clues us that the writer is more into poetry than history.
Not that we can’t have both. But if we’re reading history from a poet, we’d want to know it.
At least that’s what a good many Christians say.
Yet if Gallup pollsters are right, almost half of America reads the story literally…some 46 percent according to a June poll.
It seems to me at times as though Christains don’t wish to have to think. “Just tell me what I need to know and I’ll be fine”. Maybe it is due to faith being a necessary part of a Christian’s every day life. Personally I try to avoid over thinking, it makes my head hurt.
Stephen M. Miller
Greg, some of the thinking Christians I know have hurting heads, too. For many of them, when they don’t know what to make of a Bible passage or a theory about how to interpret the passage, they turn to Jesus as the living example to follow.
It’s easy enough to see what he wants of us. And if we focus on trying to get that done, we’ve got a full plate to deal with. Not much time to worry about the perplexing stuff. I think it was Mark Twain who said something like this:
“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”