In July 1925, substitute teacher John Scopes was found guilty of teaching the theory of evolution in a public school in Dayton, Tennessee, contravening the state law that permitted only the teaching of the “biblical” account. This suggests, amongst other things, that there is one, definitive biblical account of creation. But, of course, there is not. There are arguably five distinct creation stories in the Bible. Each of these stories seeks to point out different aspects of the creator, of the divine, and each describes a different process . This study takes a similar approach to that of the ancient biblical writers, who were less interested in the mechanics of creation than in saying something about God.
The publication of this study guide is timely given the current conversations and warnings around the health of creation and climate change. Although it is not a book about climate change but rather an exploration of five biblical creation stories, this study can help progressive Christians engage these questions. Understanding the biblical creation stories can help us see creation as a delicate balance, and our role in it as stewards.
As people of faith, it is incumbent on us to understand our relationship with every facet of the divine, which is clearly present in the world and everything around us. The question behind this book is this: What did our ancient ancestors want us to understand about the creation of the universe, the divine presence in that creation, and how we might live our lives in response to that?
This book comes at a time when those who believe in the Creator are struggling with how to respond to the crises that the world is facing. This study helps participants connect with the stories that awaken our understanding of “in the beginning.” Donald Schmidt offers an easy-to-use study of creation. It is timely and engaging at every level. – Rev. Graham Brownmiller, United Church of Canada, Burnaby.
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About the Author
Donald Schmidt has been living in creation for a long time and exploring the Bible for most of those years. He first went to seminary in Montreal, and then pursued further studies at Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality, receiving a DMin in 2006. He is deeply concerned about the ways in which we treat Earth and all of her inhabitants and believes that we need to re-explore the biblical stories to have a deeper understanding of our relationship with creation and the creator.