Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ten theological theses about Genesis

What are the first three chapters of Genesis about? To me most debates on what is not clear and in the process lose sight of what is actually quite clear. Here I offer my tentative list of ten important theological ideas that are communicated.
  1. Nature is not God. God is the ruler of everything.
  2. Creation has a purpose: the creature is to live in convenantal relation with its creator.
  3. We are made in God's image.
  4. The creature has value.
  5. The creation has value.
  6. Man is not God. Humanity is accountable to God.
  7. We are male and female: different and complementary.
  8. Humanity is to keep the Sabbath - this means joy, freedom, and rest.
  9. Sin and Evil exist and have consequences (estrangement from God and one another).
  10. God judges sin. Sin leads to spiritual death.
Note that these big theological ideas are really quite independent of what position one takes about the meaning of "day", the timescales involved, the relationship to a scientific description of the beginning of the universe and the origin of life, the "historicity" of Adam and Eve,...

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