By CRAIG HARRIS
Genesis 1: 1-5 (NIV): 1 Inthe beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.
If we try to make the biblical account of creation fit with what we know from science, we'll end up frustrated. Genesis tells of six literal 24-hour-days of creation. During those days, God created the universe and everything in it. But scientists say the universe is about 14 billion years old, and scholars say Adam wasn't created until about six thousand years ago. So we have a problem.
In fact, the text says God created light on the first day, but didn't place the sun in the sky until the fourth day. But we must remember that we're reading this from a 21st-century perspective and from the perspective of people living on the earth. God dwells in heaven which is removed from our solar system, and even from our known universe.
I just finished a book that explains that the ancient Israelites would have been interested only in which God created the world and how he set it up. Genesis tells them that our God created first time, then weather, then food. That was really all they knew to care about at that time.
We must acknowledge that the Bible is not a science book and doesn't try to be. It simply states that God is the creator and that he created in a logical, orderly fashion. His days are not our days and his time is not ours. But he created the world for us to enjoy and take care of, and one day we will fully understand the mysteries of time, creation and God's grace. I want to add, though, that science does not have the answers to the big questions like the arrival of life and mankind. I’ll continue to place my faith in God and believe that he is the creator.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.