In my work and other life activities I am constantly reminded of the importance of clear, effective communication.
In women’s ministries one important aspect of communication is for each woman to be prepared to give a clear personal faith testimony. As we read in 1 Peter 3, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
If you are like me, you have sometimes been frustrated by the inability to share your faith effectively when the person you are talking with challenges your reasons with questions, like, “If the Bible is true, then where did Cain get his wife, eh?”, or one of the other seeming contradictions and conundrums the naysayers love to hit you with.
There are many schools of thought and a number of explanations put forth by Bible scholars and theologians. Some share the attitude that the Bible is a good guide for life, but should be taken with a grain of salt. Others clearly and painstakingly explain the historical, cultural and language circumstances that contribute to or explain the apparent errors.
I am a non-theologian who simply believes that the Bible is God’s word for his people.
Just as the genealogies of Genesis and Matthew are telling the lineage of Israel and Christ, the account of Adam and Eve is the beginning of that line. I have no problem at all in believing that after God created the first man and woman he went on to populate the region, and the world, with other men and women, just as he created not one pair of animals, but many, either through propagation of the species or miraculous acts. God invented the concept of time, so whether he took enough time for the first man and woman to produce a good number of offspring, allowing them to reach adulthood and intermarry, or used other divine means to populate the area, it is immaterial to me. God is God.
The Bible doesn’t mention the North American continent, either, along with thousands of other things and events in this world at the time it was written, but I don’t think that makes the Bible untrue. The Bible is God’s word to his people, not an almanac, comprehensive history or encyclopedia. I refuse to get side-tracked or bogged down in the minutia or magnitude of what the Bible does not say. There is enough to keep me occupied in applying to my life the things it does say. I don’t really need to know where Cain found his wife, the lesson is in his relationship with his brother.
Whether you choose to accept the inerrancy of the Bible, or take another stand on its controversial passages, it is important that you know what you believe and can express your reasons when asked.
For organizations or individuals, clear communication is vital for successful relationships.
Successful relationships sit on a foundation of honest communication.
To communicate honestly, you have to know where you stand.
And just in case someone should ask, I think you ought to know where you stand on the subject of Cain’s wife.