The early chapters of Genesis are some of the most controversial in the whole of Scripture. It’s not just the strange anti-science of creationists that bring this text into disrepute. Although it is worth pausing briefly to point out that a Creationist reading of the early chapters of Genesis is not just unscientific – it is barely literate. The story of creation is told twice in Genesis first from Genesis 1.1-2.3 and then again 2.4-3.24. You will recognise both stories, but you may not have recognised that they are different. In the first are the six days each ending with “and it was good.” the second has Adam and Eve.
In the first story God created humans (male and female together) after all the other animals; in the second, God made one man (“Adam”) and then created all of the animals in order to find a companion for Adam. God brought all of the animals to Adam, but none were good enough, so God made a woman from one of Adam’s ribs to serve his companion.
Any serious reading of the early chapters of Genesis show that the ancient people who created the text did not take the stories literally – they saw these two contradictory stories, and decided that both were worth preserving. They saw that these were parables of deep and profound and life-changing wisdom, not science or history.
I have had a complicated relationship with the Ascension. I am talking about Ascension Day rather than the Church of the Ascension – perhaps that’s another sermon there… As our regulars will have heard before, I was brought up a Northern Irish Baptist. Northern Irish Baptists make the sandal-wearing guitar-strumming Baptists of England look veryContinue reading “The ‘Truth’ of the Ascension”
John 3:1-17Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no oneContinue reading “Nicodemus must be Born Again after dark”
A Sermon at the Church of the Ascension by Margaret Offerman There are several pivotal moments in our sacred story when his people reached a new perception of the nature of their God. An obvious one occurred when Moses ascended Mount Sinai and received the ten commandments. From this point, the Israelites worshipped one GodContinue reading “The Lord’s Prayer – A sermon by Margaret Offerman”
This year we have been observing the Season of Creation. We have talked about the world, we have considered humanity, made in God’s image, and today I want to give a thought to science. Too often when someone talks about the ‘theology of creation’ the conversation instantly moves to the supposed debate between sciene andContinue reading “The Science & Theology of Creation”
There was story going round about three men who wanted to get into the Olympics but they hadn’t been able to get tickets. They came up with a plan to pose as athletes: the first man picked up a manhole-cover, tucked it under his arm and walks to the gate. “Corsini, Poland” he said, “Discus”,Continue reading “Paralympics in the season of Creation”
On Ascension Day we had Bob Callahan from Inclusive Church come to preach. He said lots of lovely things about the Church of the Ascension. He also talked about the Chapel of the Ascension in Walsingham where in the plasterwork of the ceiling there is a cloud sculpted, and disappearing into the cloud are twoContinue reading “The Truth of the Ascension”