Saturday, September 22, 2018

Novel on Creation now self-published

About a year and a half ago, I started writing a series of self-published novels called Gabriel's Diaries. The first one was about the incarnation. The second was about Jesus' earthly ministry to his resurrection. I'll do a second edition with notes by Advent for the first and by Lent for the second.

I've now finished the third. This one is geeky and extremely speculative. The idea was to see if it was possible to combine faith in the inspiration of the Bible, an affirmation of Christian orthodoxy, and modern science when it comes to cosmology, genetics, and evolution. I am not claiming that these latter ideas are true. I am exploring possibilities because some people's faith may be at stake.

Because these are sensitive topics, this one has a 7 page preface. Here's an excerpt:

"I am not staking any claims in this novella. It is an exploration of possibilities, not a statement of actualities. All the evidence of science could easily be accounted for by way of the 'apparent age theory.' This is the idea that God created the universe with apparent age. Indeed, as I told a class even last week, God could have created us six minutes ago with our memories intact. The question is whether such a theory is necessary or fits with the character of God. What purpose might God have had in creating the DNA sequences of all animals to look like they come from common origins? Would God really have set up fossil evidence just to test the faith of people in the last couple centuries, assuming that it reads the way most scientists say it does?

"For most of us, these issues are not central to our faith. I am a New Testament expert, not a scientist. I do not deal with scientific evidence in my daily life. I grew up taking Genesis 1 as literal 24 hour days and had no problem with the idea. I am still open to this possibility.

"I also fear that a lot of people have lost their faith over this issue. Others I fear are hindered from coming to faith because of these questions. Someone does graduate study in biology or genetics or some other scientific discipline, and they become convinced that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and the earth 4.5 billion years old. They become convinced that evolution is true. If they were taught that literal 24 hour days are a non-negotiable, they may lose their faith, not because they want to but because they just cannot fit the two together.

"Perhaps it will all blow over. What if the scientific evidence suddenly turned and older views of creation became obvious to all? In the meantime, it is worthwhile for Christian theologians, philosophers, and biblical experts to explore the possibilities. Scientists can be wrong for sure. But as an expert on the Bible, I can tell you that biblical interpreters are wrong just as often. They have to be—there are just too many conflicting interpretations out there!

"So my purpose here is to explore. May the Lord rescue any reader from any thought that might lead our trust in God astray. That is, after all, what it is all about, our faith. God is not primarily interested in our intellects, although God is truth. God is of course interested in our actions, because they have an impact on others. But it is the heart that is the center of the moral universe of humans. May the Lord protect our hearts as we try to navigate the troubled waters of our finite, fallen heads!"

So here is now Gabriel's Diary: The Creation, volume three of my Gabriel series.



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