My sister and I were talking about the formation of the world today. About all the unknowns. When was the ice age? Was there a canopy that covered the world? How old is the earth? Were there a lot of local floods, or one big flood?
And then we got to talking about the science we learned as kids. The earth was created in 7 days, we were told. Then a flood came and ruined the canopy, and flooded the entire world. This was how the Grand Canyon was formed in just a few weeks. With the canopy gone, the dinosaurs slowly died away, but I grew up believing some dinosaurs still survive in the jungles today.
And then I thought about the unknowns, the unknowns that come from our own Bible. There is no way that Noah could have known if his flood was local or global, but according to so many conservative Christians, it matters a good deal whether the flood was global or local. huh?
Why are Christians so desperate to fit the world into a 7 day creation, global flood, 6000-10,000 year old earth theory where we all originated from one man and one woman and dinosaurs roamed beside man? I am not making a statement about who has the truth about the earth’s origination, but merely asking why is there a desperation in conservative Christianity to prove that the creation account was literal?
If the creation account is a metaphor, why would it matter?
Lets take it a step further, if someone proved that the Bible had an error, why does it matter?
Ultimately, many Christians are desperate to cling to a literal interpretation where if the Bible says Adam ate an apple, then Adam ate an apple. The problem is, no one is a pure literalist as demonstrated by this diagram that Libby Anne posted.
I re-posted Libby’s post on my facebook, and I think most of my friends missed the point. They merely saw this as an atheist picking fun at Christianity. But yet, its true for Christians. Most people don’t believe a lamb died on a cross, or that Satan is literally a dragon. But make 1 day mean 1000 years in Genesis, and I was told our faith falls apart.
The difference between an Catholic thinker and evangelical thinker is the Catholic thinker is okay with some mystery and some symbols. The evangelical builds their faith upon literalism.
This once again reminds me of Buddhism. Buddhism is not built on knowledge but on mystery. What makes you religious is not what you know, but your involvement and participation in the festivals and rites.
I am not for following a faith blindly, but we are bound to the physical world. If our soul is on but a journey, there is no way for us to see and know it all with merely six senses.
Do you see a desperation in evangelical Christianity to be literal and prove the inerrant the Word of God? For those of you who have experience in Catholicism or orthodoxy or other religions, how does mystery verses knowledge play out in your religion?