The fact is that for most of the last 2,000 years, the overwhelming majority of Christianity has understood Genesis non-literally. From the late 1st, early 2nd Century on, most of the Early Church Father's (with a few notable exceptions) interpreted Genesis ALLEGORICALLY.
What I am driving at is that this is an ANCIENT way to view Genesis, not a modern "Liberal" view.
My belief is that Genesis describes in a SYMBOLIC form, the process of Creation.
I believe, as you do, in an OLD Earth, and an old universe. I believe that God created the universe 13.8 Billion years ago. What science calls "the Big Bang" was in fact the moment that God said "Let there be...." And the universe exploded into being.
The "days of Creation" are symbolic of the fact that God created the world over a period of time...Not all at once. Perhaps over billions of years.
bob>We agree and we both seem to accept the Jewish creation concept of 6 ages.
And the fact that God created man "from the dust of the earth" would be consistent with the idea that God created our physical form from lower forms of life through the process of Evolution.
bob> 6th day man, was formed via a "process", but evolution should present millions of forms of evidence, we don't find any.
At some point, however, God perfected our physical form over millions of years, finally evolving into a highly intelligent primate.
bob>I take the days in order, mankind on the 6th day, God rested on the 7th, THEN God "formed" Adam on the "8th day" God may have formed Adam to lead the 6th day man, that's how God works. He will raise up one man to lead the other for him. Adam, Abraham, Moses, Daivid and so on, that's how God works.
Then God breathed into us a SOUL, making us truly HUMAN.
bob>6th day mankind may not have had a soul, but Adam was given one.
Before God graced us with a soul, the creature was merely an intelligent ANIMAL. But afterward, he was HUMAN. God made him spiritually alive to God, capable of having a mutual relationship with him, and morally aware, conscious of good and evil and capable of doing either, and thus morally RESPONSIBLE for his actions.
The story in Genesis about the naked couple in a garden being tempted by a talking snake to eat the fruit from a tree embued with cosmic qualities is a SYMBOLIC story which recounts our moral choices and their consequences. The trees, the talking snake, the fruit...All obvious literary symbols.
bob>One tree is Chrsit, the other satan, right?
Yes, I believe that God created everything. AND I believe in the Big Bang and Evolution...As God's chosen process by which he created the universe.
There is NO contradiction between believing God created the universe AND believing in Evolution. Darwinian Evolution does not REQUIRE a person to reject belief in God as the Creator. Nor does belief in God require us to reject science.
bob>Good science supports the bible.
Only if we interpret Genesis LITERALLY is there a conflict. And, like I said, for most of the last 2,000 years, including today, MOST of Christianity interprets Genesis NON-LITERALLY. Even today, 75-80% of Christianity is NOT literalists or fundamentalists. Less than 20% of Christians worldwide are Fundamentalists and Biblical Literalists.
bob>When pagan gentiles came into the Christian fold, they brought certain pagan things with them, 6th days of creation and so on.
A person can be a faithful Christian AND believe in Evolution... Believing, of course, that it is GOD who is ultimately behind all of the science.
bob>accepting a certain creation theory won't save anyone, only Christ can do that, so we don't need to hammer other Christians who hold on to the 6th day theory.
I am one of those.
bob>God created physics at the same time He created the universe. He's smart!