Body and Environment

Some perplexing questions arise in connection with the relationship of our bodies to our environment. When properly evaluated, and this means when scientifically interpreted, the Book of Genesis sheds helpful light on the subject. In this book two contrasting accounts of creation are presented. To give equal value to both involves us in double-mindedness. But to accord reality to the account in the first chapter and in the first few verses of the second chapter and then to look upon the second account as a helpful allegory depicting the disastrous result of accepting any other sense of creation brings both accounts into focus. This in no way questions the authority of the Bible; it questions the reliability of a literal interpretation of both records.

The first account declares that man was created by God. The relationship of this man to his environment was one of dominion (see Gen. 1:27, 28). The account states farther on that "there was not a man to till the ground," that is, there was not a man subordinate to his environment or inferior to it.

And so in the second account the Lord God, distinguished from God mentioned in the first account, formed such a man of earthly elements, In some mysterious way life was supposed to have been infused into this material form "and man became a living soul" Gen. 2:7).

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January 28, 1961

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