The two Genesis creation stories (Genesis 1-2:3 & Genesis 2:4-25) have had great scrutiny in recent decades, with some believing they are simply mythical stories that portray theological and anthropological truths, whilst others believe that the stories should be taken literally.
Though some see the scientific evolutionary theory approach as more reliable, it too has come under great scrutiny with serious questioning of the objective claims of scientific positivism. I like the view expressed in Job where God asks Job whether he had been there when God had laid the foundations of the earth. The answer: NO!
We cannot, however, simply take an agnostic view of this issue; as what we believe about the beginnings of the world and humanity affect how we live our life and how we treat other people and God. The biblical testimony notes four things about human beings that are important to how we treat others:
- Men and women are the pinnacle of God’s creation, made in the image and likeness of God and as such were “very good” – Genesis 1:26f;
- Men and women are intelligent beings, they have the power of rational thought, a capacity to reason things out and come to logical conclusions – Isaiah 1:18;
- Men and women are Moral beings. They have the capacity to recognise the difference between right and wrong. They are able to make free moral choices. They can say YES to God as well as NO – Deuteronomy 30:19;
- Men and women are Spiritual beings. They have the capacity to know and enjoy fellowship with God – Genesis 3; John 4:24.
Thus men and women were created with the power to think, to choose, and to worship and commune with God. SIN has perverted these capacities, but they are still apparent in the nature of men and women.