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Genesis: Freedom to Think, Learn, and Research

Updated: Jun 22

Genesis—the book where it all began. Whether you're into literal interpretations or enjoy a good metaphor, this book is full of wisdom and truth about our origins, our nature, and the nature of God.


I believe that every book in the Bible holds unfailing truth, whether it comes to us through poetry or historical narratives. But let's be real: sometimes understanding these truths requires a bit of logic, reason, and good old-fashioned research. Trust me, I’m all for learning from Christians who are much smarter than I am (and there are plenty of them!).


Many of us get a bit jittery about research, especially if it challenges the beliefs we grew up with or what the authority figures in our life have said. It's like we are afraid to peek behind the curtain because the wizard might not be what we expected. But here’s the thing: fear shouldn’t stop us from the freedom we have to seek God and His truth.


Challenging the Status Quo

Take Genesis, for example. According to the Cultural Research Centre, 56% of pastors don’t hold a literal biblical view about God, creation, and history! That’s a lot of pastors!

Only 19% of pastors are absolutely certain about a literal seven-day creation and a young earth. The remaining 81% are open to the idea that the world was created over a long period or through theistic evolution. Lifeway Research found that 58% of pastors don’t agree with the creationist idea that the earth is only around 6,000 years old based on a literal reading of Genesis. Furthermore, 60% of pastors say, “Some portions of the Bible are symbolic, but all it teaches is authoritative.”


Authorship and Interpretation

The authorship of Genesis is another area of debate. Traditional belief, often upheld by well-meaning preachers, attributes the Torah to Moses. However, most modern Christian and Jewish scholars do not advocate for Mosaic authorship. An example of a more contemporary perspective is the JEDP hypothesis, suggesting that Genesis comprises four sources, each with a distinct viewpoint, discovered through literary analysis. Although this theory is hotly contested by organizations like Creation Ministries and GotQuestions, even these conservative groups agree that Genesis was likely passed down orally to Moses before being documented.

Despite these scholarly debates, Genesis remains a book full of profound truths. It’s not just about who wrote it or whether it's literal; it’s about the message it conveys!


Embracing Questions and Doubts

Unfortunately, 58% of pastors who doubt a literal seven-day creation worry that admitting their doubts publicly could cost them their ministry. Therefore, they hold back from sharing what they have studied, researched, and explored. It is sad that congregations are missing out on hearing their ministers grapple with the text. I believe asking questions is healthy!

We should be free to explore and find the truth like the great thinkers and theologians who have gone before us. C.S. Lewis, for example, didn’t believe in a literal Adam and Eve, and Timothy Keller interprets Genesis 1 symbolically (while he takes Genesis 2 literally). These are respected theologians who show us that faith and reason can coexist.


Conclusion: The Freedom to Think and Learn

In conclusion, the freedom to think, learn, and research is vital. It allows us to grow in our faith and understanding, uncovering deeper truths within the sacred texts. So, let’s not be afraid to peek behind the curtain. Who knows what amazing insights we might discover and what truth we might be able to embrace.

P.S... You don't have to believe what I do or think how I think. I want you to seek God and His truth... and of this I am certain. Jesus was literally God, He literally died, He literally rose again.


Scripture and Prayer

Scripture:"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)

Prayer:Heavenly Father, we thank You for the wisdom and truth found in Your Word. Guide us as we seek to understand and grow in our faith. Help us to embrace the freedom to explore and question, knowing that You are the source of all truth. Give us the courage to seek You with open hearts and minds, and may we always find our answers in Your love and grace. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Sources:

  • Barna Group

  • Lifeway Research

  • BioLogos

  • Creation Ministries International

  • GotQuestions.org

  • "My Jewish Learning"

  • C.S Lewis, The Problem or Pain

  • Wikipedia

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