I went over to Marlene's today to teach her how to make pesto. We ended up having pesto on fettuccini with crimini mushroom and teeny tiny potatoes. The potatoes were so cute! I found them at Trader Joe's. They were about the size of olives, and they tasted like Yukon Golds, but I'm not really sure what variety they were. All I knew is that when I saw them, I HAD to buy them!
So we were eating, and we started talking about Old Testament stuff. That subject comes up a lot because of how mind altering the subject is, especially when so many of us come from conservative backgrounds. Marlene was explaining how difficult it is to accept the theory that the creation story didn't actually happen in exactly seven days and how it was integral to her faith. I don't see a literal interpretation of the creation story as integral to my theology, but I used to see the literal interpretation of many of the stories of the Pentateuch as central to my faith, so I understand where she's coming from.
Her argument is that if we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, why would God have stories written that aren't literally true. I told her that I agreed that the Bible was the inspired word of God, but that we don't know what God's motive was in having those stories written. My personal belief is that the stories help to explain who God is, which is more important than how long it took God to create the world. In my opinion, God is too big to be contained in the voice of just one author; he's too big to be contained in the voices of all authors, actually. In order for us to really get to know him, to really get any kind of sense at all of who he is, he needed his book to be complicated, and confusing and seemingly contradictory because that was the only way to get the idea across to us little humans that we cannot put God into a box.
The conversation went all over the place and we touched on things like salvation, eschatology and grace, but those are some pretty hefty topics so we'll save those for later. ;-)