Dogma-a belief essential to the gospel
Doctrine-important without being essential
Opinion-everybody has one
Genesis 1: Creation
Why was this included in scripture? What is the point? What did it mean for the priginal intended reader? Interesting. As christians, a essential part of our “dogma” is the belief that God created the world as it is noted in Genesis. Although this is a changing piece, for the better part of 4-6,000 years, the creation story, all 7 days of it has been a linchpin of Judeo-Christian thought. And though i may be an unenlightend loser, I happen to believe it happened as it said.
But, why was it included in scripture? I read an interesting theory in the book Themes in Old Testament Theology. First, it begins with the word “myth.” Our western thought process does not like that word. As modern Christians, we hear the word myth and think Cinderella, Beowulf, or some such falsehood. According to the 1973 Webster’s Dictionary, the first definition of myth is “a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold a part of the world view of a people.” A myth, then, goes beyond facts into the realm of inner meaning. Back in the day when Moses wrote Genesis, there were many such creation myths. Each own society and subculture had their own one. You can read most of them here. Basically, the book says that the Judeo/Christian creation myth serves to “foil” the other myths roliing around at the time. Surely, there were people who had heard these various stories, so god inspired Moses to write down what happened. This would prevent the Jews from adapting another cultures myth, they would have their own. I know that this makes alot of uncomfortable to use the word “myth.” How else has god used man in this way? As we look to the early church, (post-Christ church anyway), we see that God used many synods and gatherings to formulate the Dogma of the Triune God, for instance. As the word “trinity” is found nowhere in scripture, there were questions among these Christians as to how Jesus could be both man and God. And where did the Holy Spirit fit in to all this? The answer to the Trinity cannot easily be explained using the water/ice/steam analogy, as water cannot be in all three formulations at once. So what am I saying? That I agree with the Dyrness; the creatin myth was included in scripture to foil the other creation myths.
What is God saying to me through these words? God is in control. He has total power and authority. Despite the many millions of stars, He loves us. He loves me.
How should my life change because of these truths? I should be in awe of creation, of what He called “good.” I can realize that through His goodness, He planned for everything. He knew how far the earth had to be from the sun to sustain life. He knew how thick the atmosphere had to be to keep out ultrviolet light that would damage His creation. I can know that I am not an accident, the result of billions of years of genetic foul-ups and mistakes; that save a few key evolutionary malfunctions, I’d be a moldspore.
But I guess I’m just stupid. I should just believe that I “happened.” That there is nothing else. That my life is completely meaningless and purposeless.