Each according to its kind (Part II)

One of the tragedies of theology is when we read the creation story, we are drawn into the creation vs. evolution debate. The creation story was written thousands of years before the theory of evolution. It would be extremely unlikely that Moses’ intention in writing this story is to debate against Darwin. It is tragic that modern Christians often completely missed the wonderful teachings contained in this story in order to engage in a debate that never existed.

Traditionally the phrase “each according to its kind” in Genesis is interpreted as “each species is different from other species” – often as a polemic statement against Darwinistic evolution theory. But there is a grammatically simpler understanding of this phrase – each animal/plant are created according to its “God-assigned” kind.

The corollary of this simple understanding is powerful. “Each according to its kind” means that there are – by God’s design – many kinds of creatures living among each other. Every creature in creation have a God given purpose in its ecosystem. God has provided means for it to survive, and its survival is intricately and complexly linked to the well being of others. A single species cannot form a sustainable ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem is a diverse ecosystem.

“Each according to its kind” also means that God controls the population of each kind. If there are too many wolves, there would not be any sheep left. If there are too few wolves, the sheep population will boom and the grass will be eaten up and the grassland will turn into a desert. A healthy ecosystem is a balanced ecosystem.

The common misconception is that the most successful technology start-ups are formed by putting a bunch of young, smart, energetic, ivy-league educated people together. The reality is that such companies usually fail. Successful companies know how to incorporate the seasoned business veterans, the cautious “slow-movers”, the “soft-and-gentle” peacemakers, etc. The young and energetic can get a company started but to successfully run and grow a company need a diverse and balanced workforce.

Similarly, next time you walk into a church, look around. If the church is filled with young, well-educated, white-collar, professionals – and is missing the poor, the elderly, the minorities – stop and ask: “Is this what God wants?”


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