I have looked at your Power Point Presentation entitled: “Genesis and the Christian World View”. What exactly do you mean by Genesis 1 being a “true myth”? Would you please elaborate on the relationship between Genesis chapters 1-3 and the view that the earth is several billions of years old? Did the things described in Genesis 1-3 literally happen?


This is what I mean. Let me define a myth. A myth is a condensed story which imparts to the people knowledge and understanding about the supernatural forces which influence their lives. By this definition, Genesis chapter one through three is a “myth.” If fits all these criteria. It is a condensed story. It imparts to God’s people knowledge and understanding about the supernatural forces which influence their lives. What makes the Genesis creation story unique among all the world’s creation myths is that it is a true story. It is not full of fanciful “gods” and unbelievable stories. It is a simple story which just so happens to agree with reality as we know it. Like scientists, it tells us that the universe was created out of nothing. It tells us that the universe was created as “light.” It tells us that first the earth was covered by water, but that later land emerged from the water.  It tells us that there was day an night (day one), but that later (when the atmosphere was transformed by life on the earth), the heavenly objects became visible.  It tell us that life first appeared in the water, then on the land, that different life was created over time and that, last of all, people appeared.

I believe that, yes, this did literally happen, although I am extremely skeptical that the “days” are literally 24 hours. I believe that the “days” are periods over which God worked. Genesis chapter one is not a scientific treatise, but a theological one. I am sure that God could have created the universe, the earth and all forms of life in six literal days, but I do not believe that is the point of the Genesis writer and I do not believe that this is consistent with the evidence we have. Yet, its simple outline agrees with what we know from science. As for Adam and Eve, we are told that they were made into the image of God by a miraculous work of God. I believe that this is literally true. Whether they were created ex-nihilo (out of nothing) or whether God-likeness was imparted to an intelligent primate I am not sure, but I believe we were made in the image of God by a supernatural work of God. John Oakes

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