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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday School: Genesis 1:1-2:3

Today in Dr. McGrath's Sunday school class we started a series on the creation stories. Before trying to ask how the natural sciences might cause us to reflect in new and different ways about God and our place in the universe, it is usually helpful for Christians to look first at the creation stories, and consider what they do and do not tell us. Today our focus was on the story of creation in 7 days found in Genesis 1:1-2:3. Many of the subjects we touched on are ones Dr. McGrath regularly covers in his course on the Bible, such as the similarities and differences between Genesis 1 and the Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish being a key to understanding the text.

A key point Dr. McGrath made is that no one (even if they call themselves literalists) takes the dome literally. To single out evolutionary biology as though it were more at odds with Christian faith than other realms of scientific explanation is likewise unjustified. Also mentioned was the fact that the text of Genesis 1 depicts God commanding the earth to bring forth life, rather than creating in some more direct manner.

The question of authorship came up briefly. Next time we'll discuss whether there is more than one creation story in these early chapters of Genesis.

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