I am currently enjoying the unmitigated pleasure of sitting in a class titled “The Bible: fact or fiction” presented by an ordained Lutheran pastor who is on the faculty of the University of Queensland that I am currently attending. His presentation of Genesis suggested that the theme of Genesis 1 is the foundations of the creation of Israel. He suggested that the God of Israel is a God that brings order out of chaos. It is the nature of God to reveal Himself in order. The creation story is not a story of the steps of creation but of the ideal of separation. Israel’s ultimate sense of self was that God had separated them out to reveal Himself. At each stage creation is an ordering of separating: light from dark, dry land from sea, the heavens above from the heavens below. The ultimate act of separation is the creation of the seventh day rest: the sacred from the profane.
As we clearly understand holiness as the separation of the individual from sin and the creation of the life that glorifies God out of the life that is self oriented does this presentation not present a fertile ground for the presentation of the creation narrative.