The 70’s cheese fest, Happy Days, featured the Malaki brothers. I think they played football or something. (Revision: Further research leads to the conclusion it was a demolition derby, as the graphic below demonstrates) Because everybody feared the dreaded “Malaki Crunch.”
We are all moderates in some things and to some people. And so we all live in fear of a sort of Malaki crunch. The extremes can start to look like brothers. And they sometimes want to squish us between the intensity of their own views.
An arena I frequently find myself trying to avoid a crunch between the extremes is on the question of just what the creation account in the book of Genesis means.
Lets call one of the brothers Larry Literalist Malaki. He wants to crunch me up because he is bothered that I am not taking the same portion of the bible literally as he is. Larry will claim he takes the whole bible literally. But he only does on certain hot-button issues, in certain stories.
And let’s call the other brother Sam the Secular Humanist Malaki. Sam might make a paternizing attempt at valuing the poetry of the bible. He doesn’t see anything like truth in it, though.
So here I am. In the middle. Hoping to out maneveur them both. There are some things I know. One is that sometimes we trivialize the truth by making it literally true only once. If we started hunting around for the original, individual worm eaten by the actual and literal early bird, we will have done more than missed the point. We will have cheapened the value of the statement, “The Early Bird Catches the Worm.”
Here in the middle, I believe that God unraveled the universe according to scientific laws. I believe the account that scientists give us about the order and reason these things happen is roughly correct. I believe they are not far from what the bible tells us.
There are a large number of reasons to think that the universe was custom designed to give rise to life. This is one understanding of what scientists call the anthropic principle.
I believe God knew that life would arise. I believe God watched the evolutionary principles he put in place. I think it’s a fool’s errand to wonder if he intervened in this process. God’s intervention is like our intervention. It might not even make any sense to apply this question, “Did God intervene?” After all, He is the ground and center of existence.
I believe that in some goofy apes, slowly losing their hair, he saw the lovely children he had been waiting for. His image resided in these creatures in some profound and special way. The big bang itself had erupted so that this would happen.
These protohumans might have lived in a way that is nearly incomprehensible to us. Niether civilized nor animalistic. For a time, they did live in this edenic way.
Was there only two? A man and a women? Maybe. Maybe not. I am not sure that it matters.
What is certain is that these almost humans, they weren’t living between civilized and wild. They were living in something else, entirely. Where we are defined by head knowledge and doubt, they were ruled by heart knowledge and faith.
This living had to be by choice, or it would be meaningless. There needed to be some sort of escape hatch, some veto power over God’s dominion. Without this, Adam and Eve would have been hardly different than the animals they had sprung up from.
And they took it. They rejected God. They walked into the world as it is now, they left the world that was meant to be.
And I have done this and you have done this too.
The meaning of our lives is to return to the culmination of what God was leading them to. We are meant to return to the Garden of Eden. This is not a step backwards, a starting over. Adam and Eve were headed in some direction before this diversion. And we are guided ahead, to that same destination that they were headed for.