While reading a book I was struck by a GK Chesterton quote1. This may not be a good sign for the first book, but it spurred me to read CK Chesterton’s Everlasting Man (phenomenal… and weird).
The quote – connecting dusk in the Garden of Eden with dawn on Easter – also pushed me to the OT and a commentary. Gen 3:8 says, “the cool of the day”, which I have assumed means dusk, but I wanted to confirm. Davies writes in Broadman, “Yahweh God takes his usual evening (Lit. in the breeze of the day) turn in the garden and reveals his presence by the rustle of his step (not his voice as KJV and ERV, cf. 2Sam 5:24; 1Kngs 19:12).”
How does the rustle of God’s steps even sound? Are leaves crunched underfoot? Or do timbers crack and crash under God’s giant presence? Or is it rushing wind more than footfalls? … I believe God is on the move and I want to know the sound of his coming and going.
I mentioned Chesterton’s book is weird because amidst brilliant writing he is arguing against evolution (specifically HG Well’s Outline of History). It was another era (1920s) and evolution was being lumped into an argument against Christ. But today those arguments are worn tread (on both sides) and for many believers evolution is compatible with Christianity. So it is weird to read splendid arguments over what doesn’t matter today.
The commentary I went to was the original Broadman Commentary on Genesis. Written decades after Chesterton, 1969, Davies caused an uproar by pondering alternatives to a literal interpretation. The commentary was quickly pulled from shelves and another author commissioned to rewrite. So, a few years ago, I was excited to get my hands on a rebel copy. Only to be let down by the lack of scandal. Davies wouldn’t produce any controversy today.
Looking back on stale arguments makes me ponder the point of today’s arguments.
As a dad leaving for anywhere is a chore. As I rush to get Ezekiel’s shoes, the girls argue over who is in their bathroom and search for a missing sandal. Soon my calm requests build to threatening to leave without everyone… of course, when they are finally heading to the car I realize Ezekiel no longer has on shoes.
As a child of God, I want to know when God is on the move. But can I hear the rustle of God’s steps amidst the bickering? In 50 years will the argument even matter? Or was it just resounding gongs causing me to miss the sound… when my only desire, is to be in step with the footfalls of Christ, moving to bring salvation to all the world.
1 — “On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised the world had died that night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.” — Chesterton, Everlasting Man, 135 (The book does spell realized with an “s”.)