Beginning at the Beginning (Part 2) -- By: Frances F. Hiebert
PP 3:3 (Summer 1989) p. 13
Beginning at the Beginning
Frances Hiebert is in advanced studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena Calif. She is a member of the City Terrace MB Church in East Los Angeles. Her article was adapted with permission from a seminar on women’s ministry in the church held March 12 on the Tabor College campus. The seminar was sponsored by the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies.
To fully understand a book, it’s a good idea to start reading at the beginning because you usually get a focus there for what follows. The same is true of the Bible. To really understand what it’s all about, you need to begin with the Beginning. That gives you a perspective on cosmic and human history that puts the rest of Scripture in focus. We then see the Bible “through the Lens of Eden,” as Mildred Enns Toews from Winnipeg, Manitoba says.
But before we take a fresh look at the Beginning, let’s have a little fun. Another thing we overlook in Scripture is the humor. Anthropologists tell us that humor is the most difficult form of communication to translate into a different language. Perhaps that’s why we don’t recognize it when we see it in the Bible.
Let your imagination run loose for a minute. What I’m going to say is not found in Scripture, but I believe the point is biblical.
Have you ever heard Bill Cosby’s dialogue between Noah and God? In that spirit, let’s take a flight of fantasy and imagine a dialogue between a present-day Adam and God. It might sound like this:
ADAM WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Who me, Lord?
It’s the woman thou gavest me.
she talks too much,
she’s completely scatterbrained,
and you can never tell when she’s going to make a left turn.
BUT LOOK AT THIS!
IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN RECENTLY
—AND THE FACTS CANNOT BE DENIED—
THAT MEN TALK MORE THAN WOMEN IN A MIXED GROUP;
ALAS, IT ALSO SEEMS THAT WOMEN ORGANIZE BETTER THAN MEN;
AND FINALLY, ABOUT THE LEFT TURN—
DOESN’T IT MAKE LIFE MORE INTERESTING?
Well, God, at least you made me first!
NO, ADAM. I MADE THE AMOEBA FIRST.
AND THEN THE FISH,
AND THEN BIRDS,
AND THEN THE ANIMALS - IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
Keep that little fantasy in mind, now. Then look with me at the real story in the first chapters of
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