Though I posted this before on my old site, I am actually using this again for some coursework on Genesis currently.
D.A. Carson, basing this question on Francis Schaeffer, asks, “What is the least that needs to be believed about Genesis 1-11 in order for it to be coherent and true?” That is the fundamental question of our time.
So, to answer that, this list is not exhaustive, sufficient. Can these claims be falsified?
- God comes first, and is not dependent on anything else.
- God speaks, (and He dares to relate closely and personally to human beings).
- God made everything.
- God is good, and made everything good as a reflection of his nature. (There is not a good principle and an equally bad principle in competition with each other)
- Because everything was made good, human beings are accountable to God.
- There are hints, subtle traces, of God’s complexity (1:27, ‘Let us make man in our image’).
- Humans are made in the image of God.
- Humans do, and are meant to steward well, over creation.
- There is purpose and order in God’s structure. God made male and female.
- This peaceful purpose & ordering is where we want our world to return, from it’s death and decay.
- God rests. People are meant to work & rest as a reflection of God’s own work & rest.
- The greatness of creation testifies to God.
We as Christians can fairly discuss and debate the rest of the details, but the above are foundational and essential to the faith. The concept of theistic evolution and all those matters can be discussed, but these are what essentially all Christians claim together concerning Genesis 1.