(Touchy Tuesdays — we’re going through controversial, difficult passages in the Bible once a week to get deeper in the Word for all you Bible lovers.)
There’s nothing cooler to modern thinkers than the idea of being metaphorically created. In one grand, cosmic lougie, God hawked up the spiritual ambiguity that would eventually become you, amidst swirling gases and primordial goop — before Evolution gradually turned it into something beautiful. Aside from its implications on an active or distant God, here’s the problem with evolutionary creation being a viable theory for Christians:
And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. (Genesis 1.4)
This is too strangely specific to be figurative. Why the exact reference to time of day? Only for reinforcement that it actually happened. God eliminates all doubt by this phrase, the thorn in the flesh of anyone who can’t naturally select the abstract parts without avoiding the concrete ones in creation — that evening and morning happened, not billions of years with a slightly removed, swirling Deity.
But for those who think this is a fictional narrative, polemic, myth, or allegory — a tale representing unlimited time periods with days that are merely plot points in the story rather than actual time — check this out:
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2.2-3)
The seventh day can’t be a limitless time period necessary for evolution to occur, which means the others can’t either. Because the same day God rested, which evolutionary creationists require represents an unlimited time period, is the seventh day he made holy and called the Sabbath Day. The Day that’s so important it was celebrated until Jesus came as your rest in Christ. God didn’t make the same day not a day and a day. Evening and morning.
It dissipates the swirling illusiveness of evolutionary creation. And the distant Deity it swept in on.
21st Century society loves to misalign this verse about the helper God made for Adam. Some spin the word to mean “helpmate” with a connotation that there’s no difference between the two in the creation context; they’re both “mates.” But the word actually means “help meet” in Hebrew; it’s the same one as the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. It’s all about helping meet a task — in this case the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” “rule over the earth and subdue it,” and otherwise be pretty sweet human beings. Eve is essential to Adam; he needs her. The only mate in the account is the kind that naturally arises from being naked in a garden with a beautiful person who’s been given to love you.
And this raises an interesting point. Presentation was involved. God “brought (Eve) to the man.” There was symbolism and purpose in these humble beginnings. “The Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man,” “he brought her to the man,” and the man said,
This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. (Genesis 2.23)
This is why 1 Corinthians 11.7-12 says,
[Man] is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority (as a headcovering) over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
God put the responsibility to lead with man — to originate, name, and lead in this fascinating journey of ruling and subduing the earth together. This is a beautiful purpose they will take on; she is one of the two essential parts. And “man is not independent of woman…so also man is born of woman.” Her intelligence, gifts, and abilities are absolutely essential in every way. She completes the pair, like the Holy Spirit does us now (and actually the word used for helper is the same word used for the Holy Spirit).
We have to start where God does, because “everything comes from God.” (1 Corinthians 11.12)
Shift the words and purposes and we screw up everything, as our culture has done. Start with the purpose behind God’s design, and we find it becomes very fruitful indeed.