Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bible Musings: Creation

Yes, I'm going for the big subjects again, but I’m going to make my position on this clear at the outset: I don’t give a fetid dingo’s kidney how or when the world was created.

However, I have on numerous occasions since meeting Jesus, been taken to task over the apparent conflict between Genesis 1 and what we now understand of geology, evolution, astrophysics and whatnot. Like being a Christian is somehow the same as having been there. Well, I’m not a theologian or an astrophysicist, so don’t put too much trust in my beliefs and opinions on the matter, but here they are for what they’re worth.

1. The Bible is true.
This is fundamental, it has to be. This is not, however, the same as saying it is literally true from start to finish. This is most true of Genesis 1, which I believe does tell the essential truth about the formation of the Earth, and God’s and man’s respective places within that, but not necessarily the literal truth about it.
It is also not the same as saying that science is untrue; it could be that God just planted all the fossils underground to trick us, but that would be a bit silly.

2. What science says.
As I understand it, the scientific order of events in the creation of the Earth goes something like this:
  1. The earth was formed out of the accretion matter from the solar nebular.
  2. Water was brought to the proto-planet by comets and asteroids, eventually forming clouds and oceans.
  3. Early life forms appear: microbes, algae, and plant-like creatures like sponges and coral. 
  4. More complex life forms evolve – starting with trilobites and other marine animals, and then the evolution of fish into amphibians and land dwelling animals. 
  5. Evolution of animal life culminating (arguably) in mankind.
Genesis would have it that the sun, moon and stars were created after the earth was sufficiently formed to support plant life, and indeed, after the creation of light itself; however it could be argued that the solar system was still chaotic, that volcanic activity and continuing meteorite impacts may have obscured the sky for some time whilst allowing sufficient daylight for life to begin.

3. What the Bible says. 
The Genesis account of creation breaks down like this:
  1. A formless, empty earth; day and night. 
  2. Water – the seas, and clouds. 
  3. Plant life. 
  4. The sun, moon and stars. 
  5. Aquatic life and winged creatures. 
  6. Animals, culminating with man.
Before Moses put pen to papyrus, it is likely that the Genesis accounts were carried orally from generation to generation. That may account for some of what we may now call poetic licence, to allow the ‘big picture’ to be remembered and retold easily. When written down, this still works as a literary device, with three days of forming followed by three parallel days of filling.
But that aside, I think Genesis 1 follows, in a much simplified way, what modern science now tells us about how the earth developed. Not bad, given that it was probably first written down in the 15th century BC.

4. What the Bible doesn’t say. 
The Bible does not say the world was created in less than a week.
The word ‘day’ as used in Genesis 1 may mean simply ‘a period of time’, and as the Bible tells us: ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day’. These events could easily have taken 6,000 years, or 6 billion if you prefer.
I think the context makes it clear that rather than being literal, this is God using a creation account to encourage his people to take a day for rest and worship after six days labour.
Certainly, there is no logic for it meaning six 24-hour days, if there was no sun by which to measure the first three days. (Literalism can be its own worst enemy sometimes!)
It also doesn’t say that this happened, or finished happening, 6000 years ago. You can get to that figure by using the various genealogies found in the Bible, but given that those in Genesis are made up of ten or seven names, and it is known that genealogies were often abbreviated by omitting unimportant family members to achieve a desired length (often a multiple of 7, the number of completeness), the accuracy of such calculations is debatable.

So that's my thoughts on the origin of the universe. As I said, I find it weird that I never had an opinion on the subject as a non-believer (although its existence was no less real or relevant to me) but suddenly I’m expected to have a full and detailed knowledge of the matter.

But as I said at the outset, it doesn't really matter. There are probably as many theories on the creation as their are Christians, and that's the great thing about the Christian faith: it's bigger than these things that we can't quite agree on. The Bible is not about the creation of the world, it's about the salvation of the world, and to miss that because of geology or astrophysics - or Biblical literalism gone mad - would be to miss a gift far beyond your imagination.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine's Day

With apologies to my single friends, I like Valentine’s Day. Maybe it does help having a fiancé who wants to take me out for a romantic meal, and on our first Valentines together sent me flowers at work (this year he brought them to me at home in person – arguably less romantic, definitely less embarrassing!).

But this year I came across an entirely different phenomenon: The Conversation About V-Day Sex. Now it does take a certain kind of bluntness, or the anonymity of the internet, to start that conversation, yet I did find myself having it a couple of times yesterday. And you know what? That’s fine. It is, after all, the last time I’ll be able to have The Conversation, so why not go for it.

So how come, 5 weeks before getting married, I didn’t get any on Valentine’s Day? Well, if you just googled your way in here looking for Valentine’s Day sex, it’s probably 2013 by now. But what the heck, if you still want to know why I didn’t get any last year, despite having a gorgeous fiancé, feel free to ask. I’m not shy about having that conversation.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Musical Monday: Our God

No rock chicks this week; one of Animal's favourite worship songs instead. He really gets to work out his frustrations on the drum kit during this one!

Despite it being a favourite for both of us (me mainly for seeing a lush drummer losing himself in his solo... <3) I vetoed it from the wedding playlist. No groom of mine is gonna be air drumming at the altar!

Friday, 10 February 2012

How the hell did that happen?

It's been sort of looming in the future for months now, something I've been simultaneously longing for and dreading, but then, all of a sudden, it hits me:

I'm getting married next month!!!!!!!!


Monday, 6 February 2012

Musical Monday: Bring Me To Life

I don't have a girlcrush on Amy Lee. Not at all. Nope. Not me.

Well alright, a little one. ;)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Filth on Friday: Inside Lara Roxx

Hot on the heels of the recent news about condom porn, here's a story about why it's a good thing.

In April 2004, a male porn star in L.A. tested positive for HIV, which lead to positive testing of three women who had performed unprotected scenes with him. Lara Roxx, a young, naïve Montreal girl, had only worked in the industry for two months but was the first woman diagnosed.

This year Lara Roxx will be the subject of a documentary, Inside Lara Roxx, following five years of ups and downs as she tried to reinvent her life post-porn. Roxx returned to L.A. and Vegas to reconnect with the industry, attempted to establish a foundation for the protection of sex workers, and fell into crack addiction followed by rehab.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


I haven't been feeling myself for the last few days, so I'm not rambling on loads this week. But since no-one's reading, it hardly matters. Here's a picture.