If Jesus "made himself nothing" (Phil 2:7) in order to become a man, how much of divine knowledge did he surrender? Did he not know how his Father created the world? For singer and songwriter Michael Gungor, Jesus had little understanding about how God created the world. Claiming that we shouldn't take the Bible literally, Jesus, according to Gungor, Jesus may have been wrong about the creation story.
Gungor, lead singer of the Grammy-nominated worship band Gungor whose hits include "Beautiful Things" and "Dry Bones," made his comments in an August podcast of The Liturgists.
"I think you're making a lot of assumptions based in a perspective that was handed to you from our culture, and the way we think in the modern world is very different than how people thought in the pre-modern world," Gungor said during the program.
"To just see a few words that somebody said, that Jesus said about Noah, and you assume that you can get into Jesus' mind and know exactly how he thought about the whole situation, and how He considered history versus myth versus whatever - how do you know?"
"And even if He was wrong, even if He did believe that Noah was a historical person, or Adam was a historical person, and ended up being wrong, I don't understand how that even would deny the divinity of Christ. The whole idea of the divinity of Christ being fully human and fully God, that God lowered Himself to become a human being with a human brain, in a human culture with human language and human needs and human limitations," he explained.
"The point is it wouldn't freak me out if He was wrong about it, in His human side. But I still don't see the issue. If Noah and Adam were mythical ideas, the point of what Jesus was saying still applies to me. ... It has very little to do, in my perspective, with Jesus trying to lay out a history of the world for a historical-minded people. ... Even if Jesus knew that Noah and Adam were mythical, but knew He was talking to people who thought they were real, that's another possibility. Jesus was just referring to a story he was part of to these Jewish people that know that story," added Gungor.
He also explained that he sees Genesis 1 as a poem instead of a scientific recording of history, but insisted that it should still be considered valuable for Christians a historic memento.
"I do see value in it. I think that is another dichotomy that is completely needless," said Gungor. "To me that would be like asking if Romeo and Juliet is not historically verifiable and it's not based in history does that make it lose all value? It's not even the primary value at all it's not even what it is," he explained.
"To make it that is to lose its value. Actually, its value is for the genre that it is, for the intention that it is. You know it's beautiful. It's a piece of music. It has nothing to do with the math of the music. It's not what it is, it's not 'aren't you amazed how these numbers added up and balanced each other out at the end?' That's not what music is. It's an aesthetically driven situation," he argued.
"So to take the poem of Genesis 1, for instance, and try to make it into a science textbook is to just, is to kill the thing. ... Now, I say poem because that's actually what it is. The way it's lined up and divided, with repetition and the days, how they're ordered, it is a poem. So, I think it absolutely has amazing value, and I think it has for billions of people for thousands of years," he continued.
"And for thousands of years or at least hundreds of years, people in Christian history have been saying things like hey, you can't try to read the Bible as a science book when science conflicts with the Bible and your reading of the Bible," he said.
"Re-read the Bible. Change that, because you're probably the one that's wrong; and if you don't do that you're gonna look like an idiot. ... The church made pretty big mistakes in the past ... thinking the world was flat," he noted.