Was the earth created in six days, or what?
Imagine sitting down to the most delicious four course meal, each course leaving such a dazzling array of sensory delight that you can hardly imagine how the next course could top it. And yet, each course builds on the previous, until at last you’ve finished the best meal of your life. You call for the chef and do your best to pay her a compliment, understanding that no words can match the exquisite gift her masterpiece was for your palate. The humble chef demurs, and at your prompting, describes the process of crafting each dish.
At no point in listening to her story could I ever hope to duplicate the meal, or describe the chef’s words well enough to draft a recipe. The best I could hope for is to say, it was good. I was overwhelmed when she looked into my eyes and said, “I was so pleased to make all this for you.”
In the same way, this tempest-in-a-teapot that is young-earth-creationism versus pure-chance-evolution completely misses the point. Here is the Creator, whose one desire is to see you thrive, attempting to explain how “I made all this – for YOU.” Are we going to pick up on any details of how? Is that even the point of the story?
I don’t have much faith in debate resolving the differences here (although this one lays out the boundary lines pretty well). This is a question of relationship, and to me, the irony is that the whole creation story of Genesis 1 is primarily a description of relationship. Creator God delights in us, his image-bearers. The story answers questions of “Who?” and “Why?” without much emphasis on “How?” And yet our debate over this story, this description of relationship, takes us into behavior so unbecoming.
If you know me well enough to start up a conversation on this topic, then let’s go. I started on one end of this topic and moved towards the other, but only as the result of sustained conversation in a committed friendship, tempered by faith and forgiveness. I would love to extend the same grace to others as was extended to me. The focus is, Your Creator loves you and wants you to thrive. The Creation story is just the beginning.