On the Days of Genesis
Carl: Good to see you again, Lucy. I’ve been thinking about who to thank for my Sabbatical.
Lucy: That’s great, Carl. I can’t wait to hear your answer.
Carl: Well, actually, I’ve only begun to narrow it down. The one thing I‘m sure of is that it’s not your God of the Bible. While I’m aware that Genesis claims that God rested on the 7th day … the Sabbath … scientists have clearly shown that the universe, including all of the life on Earth, weren't created in six days. Until you turn that stumbling block into a stepping stone, there is no way I can thank your God for creating the Sabbath, let alone the entire universe. In fact, if I take the Genesis account of creation literally, I can’t even believe that your God even exists.
Lucy: Just as scientists must interpret data correctly, we have to make sure that we’re interpreting scripture correctly. Now, in order to have literal 24 hour periods for each and every creation day you’ll need a sun and a rotating planet. You'll also have to stay in the same time zone, but I digress.
Carl: You almost threw me off with the time zone bit, but I suppose that it's always evening and always morning somewhere on Earth and it would be rather odd to picture God staying in the same time zone in the process of creating everything. Go ahead.
Lucy: OK. Now, if you take the creation account in Genesis 1 literally, you’ll discover that the sun was created on the 4th day. It follows that the days of Genesis are literally anything but literal solar days. How can you have solar days over the first three days without a sun?
Carl: Lucy, you’ve got some more ‘splainin’ to do! What are the days all about?
Lucy: Theologians don't agree on all of the details, however, I like to think of the days of Genesis as a straightforward way to summarize and be thankful for all of the wonderful things the one true God ... not the many gods of polytheism ... brought into existence through His power, intelligence, creativity, and love.
Lucy: We’ll get to that. Although in the meantime, you might ponder John 3:16.
Carl: And "in the meantime" I suppose you want me to thank God for creating the Cosmos and for giving me a Sabbatical.
Lucy: It would be a good start to a wonderful journey.
Carl: But how can I be sure that I’m thanking the right God? With all your talk about love, I see a lot of hatred, suffering and evil in this world. If God called everything that He created good and then proclaimed the creation of humans very good, you’ve got a lot more ‘splainin’ to do.
Lucy: Let’s talk about that on our 4th day. Until then, enjoy your two days of rest: one to be thankful for all that God created and one to be thankful that Jesus defeated death for you and promised a New Heaven and New Earth without all of the temporary evil and suffering you see.
Carl: 4th day? OK, you may have removed a stumbling block for me but I'll need a few more stepping stones before I can thank your God for my Sabbath. Looking forward to seeing you again.