TEXAS FAITH 46: How do you interpret the Genesis creation story?

Dallas Morning News,

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

Gov. Rick Perry made plenty of news last week, including offering the observation that creationism is taught alongside evolution in Texas schools.

He later was corrected about that point. The state’s science standards do not require a tandem approach.

But certainly there have been battles to teach the creation story in Texas schools, as well as elsewhere. And, naturally, there has been plenty of pushback against linking them, including from some religious leaders.

The back-and-forth could go on for a long time. Albert Mohler, head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says the evolution debate goes to the heart of Christianity. And Gallup reported back in 2005 that 40 percent of poll respondents thought competing views of the origins of humankind matter a great deal.

With that as the background, here is this week’s question:

How do you interpret the Genesis creation story?

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

I am not sure what I make of the Genesis creation story. To me, much of it is quite vague and too open to many interpretations. This contrasts with the fact that the Bhagavatam and other Vedic literature discuss creation in great detail in volumes of literature.

Why is understanding creation important? It is not enough to understand that God is great. Rather endeavors should be made to understand how great God is.