In the third grade at Timothy Christian School, we learned a variation of the children's catechism. I don't remember most of it any longer, but I've always treasured the first three questions.
Recently, however, I've come to realize that these three questions do not accurately represent what it is that many American Christians believe. I have amended them to bring them into line with current practice and teaching:
Q: Who made you?
A: God made me.
Q: What else did God make?
A: God made me and all things — except Steve.
Q: Why did God make all things except Steve?
A: God made all things except Steve for His own glory.
"Steve" has emerged as a central figure in American theology. He even played a significant role in the recent national elections. Yet despite his enormous influence, we know little about Steve aside from a single reference to him in our holy texts. This reference is, like the catechism, extra-canonical but considered authoritative:"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
This oft-quoted text presents a mystery. If God did not make Steve, then where did this uncreature come from? How did Steve come to be?
God did not make Steve, therefore we must also assume that Steve was never born. If Steve had been born, after all, then he would be "begotten, not made." Surely we are not meant to conclude that Steve is a little-known fourth member of the Trinity.
Thus again we come to mystery. Steve was neither made nor begotten; yet Steve is.
What can we do in the face of such mystery? It is beyond our ken. We cannot hope to understand, we can only drop to our knees to sing a bewildered hymn of praise to the Creator of all things except Steve.
I have taken to doing exactly this whenever anyone recites this particular sacred text in my hearing.