Genesis is a huge, epic book. From creation myth to genealogy, from promises to journeys, from epic towers and epic floods to famines and fornication, there is just so much going on in this book.
I view the bible, and subsequently Genesis, as inspired by God, but not inerrant in the classic sense. I believe that the Bible we have today is the bible we are meant to have, and that it is good for teaching, preaching, reproof, and generally revealing who God is. It is not, however, precise, in the modern scientific meaning of the word. It was written to reveal God, not to report with 100% accuracy every little fact about the history of the world or of the nation of Israel.
With this view in mind, I can read Genesis and believe that what it speaks about is 100% rooted in theological fact – what it says about God is what the writers thought about God. But I can also say ‘eh, worldwide flood… maybe not’.
Non-Christians would say, based on this, that I am inconsistent. Christians would say that I am wishy-washy and have no ground to stand on. I disagree. I simply believe that the Bible is not our sole revelation from God. Instead, I believe that we have three.
First is the Scriptures. They point to God, and reveal christ.
Second is Creation. Science is simply the study of Creation, and creation shows the glory and wonder of God. If Creation is a revelation of God, then Creation can be used to interpret Scripture, and Scripture can be used to interpret Creation.
Third is the Community of believers, past and present. God is present within the Community, and allows the community to interpret both Scriptures and Creation. In return, both Scriptures and Creation interpret and help form the Community. If these three are not kept in balance we begin to lose sight of who God truly is, and begin to make gods in our own images.
So, back to Genesis. I believe this books contains important truths about who God is, and what he is ‘on about’, if this makes sense. Soon (hopefully tomorrow) I’ll post my first real look at the content of Genesis, starting right at the very beginning. See you then.