“First Crack Outta the box!”

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

My late father, Richard D. Wilson, was known for such pithy one-liners. He first slung this one at me on a long, hot family road trip to Florida. It was one of those classic family car scenarios  – ever-vibrating little kids in the back seat, parents sitting like sentinels in the front, occasionally shouting commands to quell the crowd, and an adolescent or two burrowed into a the most secluded corner that could be found in a square metal box scarcely bigger than a twin bed. I, the teen daughter, had settled into a sixteen-year-old funk when Dad boomed out:

“We’re going out to eat at Long John Silver’s, then heading over to Putt-Putt Paradise for miniature golf.”

Delighted squeals were drowned by my counter-announcement:

“I’m not going!”

Every head in the car snapped around to stare at me (except Dad, who was driving). It was the first sound that had issued from my mouth for hours, perhaps days.

“First crack outta the box,” Dad muttered.

First cracks often reveal the core of a person. In my case, it perfectly conveyed my sentiments, the expanded form of which would be something like, “I don’t want to be with you people. I’m becoming an adult, and need more alone time, away from my family, to process the rapid-fire changes coming at me socially, emotionally, physically, daily.”

“I’m not going,” was the first crack out of the box of adolescent me. It summed me up in three words.

Here’s my spiritual lesson: The first crack out of God’s box, the Bible (humor me) was Genesis one and two, the creation story. It conveys His core perfectly. In Genesis one, we see the masterful, omniscient, omnipotent Elohim, able to speak whole worlds into existence. In Genesis two, the close-up lens brings into focus Yaweh; He is the same God, but here reveals His tender immanence as He gingerly sculpts Adam out of dust and Eve out of Adam’s rib. This balance of power and affection makes God, God. His transcendence and immanence blend like the finest symphony of strings.

How strange, then, that “higher” critics deem these chapters myth. What better way to neuter them of meaning than to claim this? And what better way to vandalize the public image of God? Adding insult to injury, evolution implies a God whose ideal world included death and all its ugly ancillaries. Theologian Richard Davidson says, “I would argue that the greatest reason to reject (theistic) evolution or progressive creation is that it maligns the character of God, making Him responsible for millions of years of death/suffering, natural selection, survival of the fittest, even before sin.” 1

God’s opening salvo, His first impression, His “Enter: God” speaks to me today. I hear Him saying, “By my power and care, I made for you a perfect world.” I gladly rest in the arms of my strong, loving Father. I’ll gladly accept the branding “stupid fundamentalist” for the privilege of believing His Word over all else.

  1. Richard Davidson, The Biblical Account of Origins. (PDF file)


“First Crack Outta the box!” — 4 Comments

  1. Jennifer, thank you so much for a little bit of sonshine (not misspelled) in a dark corner. I must admit though that it took me a little time to see the connection between the one liner and Genesis. Now that I see that connection I think it is a very important philosophical gem. To me the single most important sentence, the apex of the article, is when you said, "This balance of power and affection makes God, God."

    Even though evolution does an immense amount of damage to our image of God I believe that often we are our own worse enemy. What we believe God is like not only greatly influences how we treat others but in our witness of Him we often give atheists reasons why evolution seems to be a better system of beliefs than Christianity.

    In my opinion, it seems that Christianity has misinterpreted a lot of the Bible and in doing so the image of God has greatly suffered, perhaps even more so than what has happened through evolution. I wish my church was not part of the problem - I wish I wasn't but I must admit that at times I am certainly not part of the solution either. My beliefs are what make me what I am. From what I can see what I believe is the "first crack out of the box." The first ten seconds of impression one gets of my God.

  2. David, thanks for your input. You clearly O.D. on end-time focus. I wonder if you have a little end-time post-traumatic stress syndrome. . . because for me studying prophecy and end time-type stuff reinforces my focus on Jesus. I don't feel the need to avoid those kinds of studies. But maybe some do need that. I'm curious about one line: " Over time we too became less involved with church activities until, we saw the “Total Onslaught” series, by WV." It sounds like you left the church and "Total Onslaught" brought you back in?

  3. Tyler that's a very interesting lesson to draw from my piece--that the first crack out of our box impresses others about God. Hummmmm. . . puts a measure of responsibility on us, doesn't it? Yet I believe God can use even our mistakes if we're willing to repent and return over and over and over. This is what I believe it means to endure to the end--endure our own mistakes and sins and keep coming back to Jesus believing He can save, and use, even us.

  4. Hi Jen,

    I am so happy to see your post. I thought the fire cracker out of the box was going to be Adam and Eve's response to God since it was a response like yours to do your own thing just like they wanted. Evolution didn't come in until much later than creation so if we look backwards, it was Darwin with the fire cracker and not God since God was the original. Great thought provoker.


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