If I am asked, as a purely intellectual question, why I believe in Christianity, I can only answer, “For the same reason that an intelligent agnostic disbelieves in Christianity.” I believe in it quite rationally upon the evidence But the evidence in my case, as in that of the intelligent agnostic, is not really in this or that alleged demonstration; it is in an enormous accumulation of small but unanimous facts.It is these "small but unanimous facts" that I see in the Bible that makes me lean towards being a complementarian.
Genesis 1:1-2:3 gives a wide angle shot of God creating everything. It is in this account we have God acting in each day of the week saying "it was good", "it was good" until the sixth day when "it was very good" and so he rested on the seventh day.
In Genesis 2:4-24 there is another creation account, but this one is more focused on man. It is in this story you have things like Eve been taken out of Adam from a rib. If you mash these two stories together you have a very long sixth day, as in that day you would have Adam been created first, feel lonely, name all the animals, be put in a deep sleep and then have Eve introduced. I'm not saying that is impossible, I'm just saying maybe we should read each account for their own purpose and not conflate the two. (This series is not about about my position on the literal or not-literal days in Genesis, but you might guess my position here.)
In this post I am only going to look at the first creation account in Genesis 1:1-2:3, my next post in this series will look at the second creation account.
In summary, Genesis 1:1-2:3 is split into different days where God speaks and things get made. What is evident in this creation account, and comparative religious theologians go nuts about, is the absents of evil or bad things in this account. Unlike every other creation account in the ancient world, the universe is made without war, or someone killing something else, or from some sort of good vs evil balance. Everything has its place and it is good. In each day we see at least two opposite things that are made, but these opposites are not against each other, these opposites are good and have their purpose. You could almost say that these opposites complement each other...
Here is my quick summary:
Day 1 (Gen 1:1-5): God separated light from darkness calling them "Day" and "Night".
Day 2 (Gen 1:6-8): God separated the water to form an expanse calling that "Heaven".
Day 3 (Gen 1:9-13): God separated the water to form land calling that "Earth" and the waters "Seas". God calls forth forth vegetation to grow on the earth
Day 4 (Gen 1:14-19): God calls forth lights in the sky. There are two great lights one for the Day and one for the Night.
Day 5 (Gen 1:20-23): God calls forth animals to swim in the water and birds to fly over the Earth.
Day 6 (Gen 1:24-31): God calls forth animals for the Earth. God then makes man in His own image to have dominion over all the animals and the Earth, "male and female he created them".
Day 7 (Gen 2:1-3): God rests as everything has been completed.
Here we see that light and darkness were made together. They are different but related and neither is bad. Their differences are needed to perform different good functions. The sky and water are different but needed and neither is bad. Both are needed. The sea and earth is needed but they are different but related... The land and plants are needed... The sea animals and birds are different but related.... Animals and people are different but related...
So maybe, just maybe at the end of all this we could say that Male and Females are different but related. Neither is bad, in fact both are "very good". Their differences are needed to perform different functions. Now what functions am I talking about? What the text has God saying to both sexes:
"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."Both male and females are needed to get this done. Especially in the first part of multiplying the males will have a different role to the females in this task. They will not be doing the exact same equal task. I won't expand on this part, but if you are unsure, go ask your parents.
Males and females are created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27), but they are not exactly the same. If they were exactly the same then they would both be males, or both females. Instead they are different and yet both are equal and "very good" (Gen 1:31).
So in this creation account we have lots of things in our universe being equal in nature but different in roles. This is not a knock down argument for the complementarian, but I think in the context of this account you see lots of two's that complement each other, and it would be silly to exclude males and females in this.
I think the purpose of this creation account is to show that despite there existing two different but related things, like night and day, water and earth, sun and moon, fish and birds and even males and females, that everything is good and has its purpose in this universe.
The second creation account will bring about the sexes differences more explicitly.
Why I am a Complementarian (pt1) The Issue - Pointing out what this issues is about
Why I am a Complementarian Calvinist Amillennial Christian - The bigger intro to this whole series