So in our deacon formation classes, we have a bit of an argument, and I thought it would be fun to air our dirty laundry all over the internet.
Okay, so it’s not all that, but we do get rather excited over this topic.
Is the creation account in Genesis historically accurate, or is it a mythological story designed to tell us more about our spiritual creation without attempting to explain actual events?
Now at first glance, you can see that this can ruffle some feathers. The implications to this question however reach even further, because how you answer this question puts a very different slant on the rest of scripture. Suddenly Job was never born, and Jonah never gets swallowed by a fish. This can even reach into the New Testament and make one question Jesus’ miracles.
This question is not a small one, and folks get really tied up about it.
I’m not going to tell you what I believe, nor am I going to expound the benefits and detriments to either position. I do however have a very serious point to make, and I don’t want you to miss it.
Neither view is the official teaching of the Church.
Yes, I’m serious, and both sides want to claim it is. But the truth is the Church has never defined the scriptures in this way.
In fact this question has been talked about by saints and sinners alike since the first century, without conclusion. Great men and women throughout history have held both views, so don’t go throwing quotes at me either.
I will add this too. The Church will not ever define this. Why?
Because scripture grows. It gets larger with every passing generation. It gets deeper, more full, and brighter. To close the Word down and try to shrink it to fit out times and thoughts is to try to stuff God Himself into a bottle. The Church will never do it.
So believe either with a free and open heart. Whatever you do, don’t criticize the other point of view as heretical or naive, as they are not. You can can be full of faith and love our Lord while at the same time believing in a seven day creation, or the majesty of God working through the mythology of man. It honestly makes little difference.
If it did matter, you can bet the Church would have defined it very clearly indeed.