THE 2 CREATIONS
A great majority of creationists base the creation on the first few chapters of Genesis. However, there appears to be conflict between what is deemed as two accounts of creation. But before we go any further, I have an exercise in understanding directions. Please read carefully and do not try at home.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix eggs with flour and milk.
- Place in oven and cook for one hour.
- Prepare frosting mixture.
- Remove cake from oven. Allow to cool.
- Apply frosting and fruit. Decorate frosting.
- Enjoy your cake.
Make sure to mix eggs into batter before putting in oven, so as to avoid raw eggs. The cake will be better if mixed well with a fork before being cooked. Do not decorate cake without the frosting. Otherwise, the decoration will be ruined. The frosting complements the cake very well. That is why they should not be separated.
The above directions may seem a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to baking instructions. Hopefully you were still able to follow along. If you figured on making two or three separate cakes, take another look. The first part, where the directions are numbered, specifies the order to follow. The next section gives special warnings and goes into detail; also, it explains why things are done in such a way. You could almost say the second part goes into the meaning of having a good cake (Except that I’m no expert on good cakes.) The point I hope to make is that we immediately recognize that the cake in Section 2 is the same cake as in Section 1. There are not two ‘cake accounts’, or nothing instructing us to make two cakes. If we look at the ‘two accounts’ in Genesis 1-2, we also find two sections, the first giving the chronological order of creation and the second giving details and meaning. Genesis 1 persistently uses the terms ‘first’, ‘second’,…’seventh’ So really, there are two takes on the same act of creation. If only systematic theology was as easy as cake! There is another ingredient involved here. The tone of the second section is not only much different, it refers to the Creator by a different title, and this section focuses more on the woman. This is another reason it is considered to be a separate account, perhaps written by a different author. Since it uses the name ‘Lord God’ or translated ‘Jehovah God’, this second account is known as the ‘J Creation.’
I will show how this is not two separate acts of creation. First, I’m going to show why two creators are not a problem for Christians. Looking at Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” God could only be saying this to another creator. Is there any other being available to fill this role? According to John chapter 1, not only was Jesus there, he was actively involved in creation. ”All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Also read Col. 1:15. Another lesson on the Trinity will show that three persons exist in the infinite Godhead, making 2 Creators the same as 1. Consider the following story.
A man drives along the highway when suddenly his wife grabs him forcefully by the arm. Looking into her eyes, he knows the time has come. Pulling over to the nearest safe stop, the man first tells his wife to relax. Second, he calls 911 and asks for emergency help. Third, he gathers a roll of shop towels and a jacket from the backseat. Fourth, he reminds his wife of the special breathing techniques. Fifth, he helps get her into the right position to give birth. When the baby is cleaned and finally in the mother’s arms, the beaming father just stares. After a long, satisfying moment, he speaks to his wife. As a husband, he goes on about how well she did giving birth. He says he’ll forgive her for saying it was all his fault for the birth pangs. He goes on to say what a wonderful mother she’ll be.
There are two men in this story. One is the EMT, the man’s full-time job. From his training, he knows enough about midwifery to help walk his wife through all the right steps. Unlike many a man, he took the birth-giving class and paid attention. The other man is a husband. He loves his wife, admires her strength, and looks forward to a future with a new family. Two men, with two approaches, are actually one man. The real doctor couldn’t make it to the side of the highway in time, so the husband had to take on that role.
So looking again at Genesis1 and the Genesis 2, we have two Creators, or two sides to an infinite Person. At the same time, we have a singular Creator dynamic enough to give two perspectives. The first is concerned with establishing order and intelligence out of chaos. The second is concerned with meeting the creation at its level and in its detail. The second is also very involved with purpose. In my cake recipe, the second part tells why the frosting should go on the cake before the decorating. I could lead you through Jesus’ own words to find purpose, but I hope you will research this on your own. It is very interesting to find all the cause and effect statements Jesus made throughout the gospel.
So who bears the role of ‘J Creator’? Keep in mind that this Creator focuses more on the woman, taking on the name of ‘Lord God.’
*The gospels make many references to Jesus as Lord. The Greek word kurios (supreme master) is used to describe the same Lord who sent the angels and who spoke to the prophets of old. [*holmans] Before the resurrection, Jesus title of Lord may be interpreted as rabbi or even sir. However, after the resurrection everything changed. It begins in Matt. 28:6 where an angel refers to Jesus as ‘the Lord’ when speaking to the two Mary’s. The angel could have said ‘your Lord’, but instead referred to Jesus as the one who held this omnipotent power over death. Jesus spoke of himself as the Lord who will be coming in great judgment, with a heavenly throne and the angels in all their glory. [*bakers bd] Thomas, upon touching the scars of the resurrected Christ, proclaimed, “my Lord and my God!” The New Testament goes on to recognize Jesus as the Lord known in the Old Testament. I Corinthians 12:3 claims that Jesus can only be called Lord by an act empowered by the Holy Ghost. It is simply absurd to think we should need such empowerment just to call Jesus ‘sir.’
The ‘J Creator’ takes a special interest in the woman. Jesus surprised the rabbis and disciples of his time by caring for the women around him. He treated women as people who could learn and contribute. The Samaritan woman at the well is one instance of Jesus going out of his way to reach someone who was of a different ethnicity and different sex. Jesus freely used women in his parables. And yet beyond His treatment of females is Jesus’ focus on the bond found in marriage. The first of His miracles was at a wedding. Often He referred to His relationship with the disciples as a bridegroom and bride-to-be. Still, the most amazing to me is in Jesus’ own words in Mark 10.
Mark 10:3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Here Jesus was responding to a question by the Pharisees. They were focused on Moses law, being the successors of such laws. Jesus, however, takes them back to a higher law in the ‘beginning of creation’ when ‘God made them male and female.’ Then he goes on to quote the saying spoken by the infamous J Creator: ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and cleave to his wife: so then they are… one flesh.’ (Gen 2:34.) Now if Jesus was a successor of Moses law, he might have debated some other side of Moses’ law. But instead He considered himself a predecessor of Moses’ law by holding to a law given at creation. This coincides well with His claim, ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ And yet the significance of Jesus quoting Gen. 2:34 is that He is the first and only prophet who recited the saying.
THE 2 GARDENS
The first garden is the infamous Garden of Eden. Once a beautiful place, now only a memory to humanity.
John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
Another garden is Gethsemane, apparently a special place for Jesus. Luke the physician describes the physical strain, as blood oozes from the man’s pores. In Eden, God had put Adam under a deep sleep before creating the woman. Now, darker times prevent such peaceful slumber. Jesus sternly warns his disciples to stay alert, on guard against the unseen forces.
Mark 14:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
In the Garden of Eden, innocence let down its guard and temptation rushed in. The second Adam, Jesus, was not about to let that happen. Ignoring the serpent’s tongue, Jesus turned to God the Father. “Thy will be done.” Looking toward Jerusalem, toward His trial, there the sacred place of worship called out to the surrounding world. Jerusalem was spoken of by the woman He met at the well. She asked whether it would be a place to worship, to which Jesus answered that the true worshipers worship in spirit and in truth. The New Jerusalem, a future place and time, stood beyond the earthly plot. For the joy that was before Him, He endured the cross. A perfect garden in Heaven awaited the second Adam. The Garden of Gethsemane was another passing moment, another fading garden. Wilting roses encumbered by piercing thorns. The second garden to which Jesus looked was Heaven’s garden, Eden’s replacement. Trees laden with incorruptible fruit, drinking from the crystal streams.
Here’s a supposed problem and a deep question. Why would God create everything once, say it was good, and then have to re-create everything? Does that mean He didn’t do it right the first time? I’ll leave you with one more story.
A wealthy man supposed his son was ready to take ownership of a BMW. The sleek driving machine sparkled atop the lengthy driveway. Every working part had been checked and double-checked for superior performance. The son proudly sat himself in the driver’s seat, starting the engine even as the thrill surged through his heart. As he drove into town, the long road required him to pass an old junkyard. Seeing the old, rusty, lesser cars somehow took his pride up another notch. He would even look in his rear-view mirror, mocking the scattered wrecks in his mind. Each time the son left, the father warned him of the dangers of driving carelessly. One day the son stopped in to meet his friends at the bar. After a few drinks, he prepared to leave for home. Disregarding his friends’ pleas and his father’s advice, the son drove off and ended up meeting a wide oak tree face to face. Miraculously, the son survived with a few scratches. The BMW, on the other hand, took a serious beating beyond repair.
“I’m so glad you’re alive, Son. When the time comes, when you are ready, I will get you a new car. But you are not ready right now.”
“How can I look forward to that? Look at this lousy car that you’ve given me. It’s a total wreck.”
A father would be aghast if his son spoke to him in this ungrateful tone. And yet human nature makes us speak the same way to God. We forget about the perfect place God first gave us. We assume He’s the One who created the wreck. One wrong choice of ignoring God the Father brought Adam and Eve to meet a fallen world. This world stands beyond repair, barely nursed along until the appointed time. God will replace this world that was wrecked with a shiny new one. Our hope looks toward this second garden, this second creation.