Tuesday, March 25, 2008

REMEMBER THE MAGINOT LINE!

Between World Wars One and Two the French decided they'd had enough of German military depredations. So--at great expense--they built and manned a hugely fortified wall all along the French/German border. As George Patton was wont to say, "Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity."

Faced with this massive, unbreachable wall, the Germans decided to ignore it completely. Instead, they attacked France by way of Belgium, where there was no Maginot Line, proving Patton's dictum.

The Maginot Line was wastefully expensive in money, labor, time and manpower. And it did not do what it was constructed to do; i.e. keep Germany out.

Christians have constructed a Maginot Line of their own. It is laboriously maintained and anyone who questions it is by definition a heretic. Our line of defense is SIX DAY/SEVEN THOUSAND YEAR CREATION.

I'm a heretic; I question it. The Book of Genesis does NOT demand six literal days of creation. The Hebrews used DAY quite loosely. DAY of the Lord, anyone? On the DAY God created the heavens and the earth; Genesis 2:4.

Don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm not denying belief in the creation account. I'm denying our attempt to make it into a modern scientific statement. That is not what Moses was doing. He was proclaiming that YHWH is the ONE God who created everything, thereby socking all the other Ancient Near Eastern creation accounts in the nose.

Check it out: the earth was UNFORMED and UNFILLED. YHWH FORMED it in the first three days and FILLED it in the second three days. It's not a modern account in modern language and concepts. It actually speaks to EVERY age and level of science.

Too many Christians are so terrified of Evolution that they feel giving ANY ground to it is a slippery slope. I think there is a belief that six day creation/seven thousand years ago makes it impossible for evolution to take place. Like it's a safety net or something. Like it's going to keep science from marching on.

The fear is if we grant the actual four billion years of the earth's existence (and some fifteen billion for the Universe) than evolution MIGHT have enough time to happen, so we can't have that.

Science has followed the evidence through "Belgium;" They simply ignore Six Day Creationists as loons.

Christians need to recognize that the age of the universe is pretty well established. It's determined by the distance light has had to travel from the most distant objects in the universe to reach the earth. And no, I wouldn't put too much stock in the apparent age argument, either. Where does God do that? God does everything in the fullness of time. It's like His motto. Just the distance in time between the promise of Messiah in Genesis 3 to his coming as Jesus, to his still long-awaited return ought to tell you about God's comfortable relationship with looooong lengths of time.

Six day/seven thousand year old creation is a useless, hollow, "Maginot" line that only makes us look stupid. Fine, I know I have not convinced 99.9% of any Evangelical Christians who could bear to read my opinion to this point. But Six Day creation misses the point completely.

The point is NOT did evolution happen or not? The point IS: Did God create the Heavens and Earth or not? Isn't THAT the message we have for the world?

The HOW is not nearly as important as the WHO.

6 comments:

Eric said...

Right on! Thanks for the clarity.

However, once again I'm going to talk about some numbers. I'm sure you're tired of it by now but I want to clarify a couple of things.

First, literally adding up the Genesis genealogies gives a creation date a little before 4000 BCE, which is about 6,000 years ago, not 7,000. Most young earth people extend this out to about 10,000 years because 6,000 causes too many problems -- for example, the flood would have occurred around 2,500 BCE, during recorded Egyptian and Babylonian history.

Second, to be precise, the age of the earth is 4.5 billion years, not 4 billion. The sun is about 5 billion years old. The age of the universe is about 13.7 billion years, not 15 billion. Astronomers have now imaged objects that are 13 billion light-years away (and thus we see them as they were 13 billion years ago), perhaps even 13.3 billion. These objects basically conform to what modern theory predicts for them.

Stephanie P. said...

Word. Sorry, I'm not good with the numbers like Eric....

Eric said...

Oops! I got too picky and screwed up. The sun is 4.6 billion years old, not 5. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun#Life_cycle.

Don the Baptist said...

One minute I'm told to round UP, the next they want precision. Nuts.

Jenn P said...

100% agree with you!!!!

Eric said...

The numbers have become a lot more precise in the last few decades.

I haven't mentioned yet that I love your analogy with the Maginot Line. I also remember a sermon or two where you've talked about how storming the gates of hell is not a defensive position. We (I include myself) are so prone to defense and defensiveness about our faith. Jesus, on the other hand, seemed to be at peace with himself and with who God is. While that offended and upset (or worse) a great number of people, it also attracted many to him.