Since the United Methodist appointment year started July 1 (at least here in Indiana), I made a new year’s goal to take up an old pastor’s habit, reading the Bible through every year.
If my count is correct, at four chapters a day, I will end with plenty of time left over.
One thing I want to do while reading is record some of my thoughts, observations, and questions, especially ones that touch on Wesleyan themes. To keep this reasonable, I’m going to use that old preacher’s gem: 3 points and a poem (or a quote). So, without delay, catching up for the first three days
Point 1: The Doctrine of Original Sin is rooted in this section, but it also seems there are some pretty questions raised about the doctrine even here. Noah is described as righteous and blameless, which would seem to contradict Romans 3:23 “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Is Noah just an extraordinary exception?
Point 2: God is quite an interesting character in these chapters. Creator of the universe. Down in the mud with his hands forming the first human. Blowing breath into Adam’s nostrils. Wandering in the Garden. Flooding the Earth. Wrecking the tower of Babel. Coming down hard on Pharaoh for not seeing through Abram’s lie. What an interesting God this is.
Point 3: The pattern starts here. The first two things God tells us, we ignore. Don’t eat this fruit. We eat it. To Cain he says, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain lures Abel out into a field and brains him. Pretty much the rest of the Bible follows this pattern, yes? No wonder God went down to Babel with a wrecking ball.
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.