Yes, I’m with you on that. However, I don’t see how this solves my problem with Genesis 2:1-3.
No, I do not believe such references are lies. On the contrary, they are truths. They indicate that there are points of correspondence between our attributes and God’s. We should expect this because, after all, we were made “in His image.” Therefore, even though God is spirit and we are spirit housed in flesh, God has attributes that correspond with our arms - otherwise the prophets would never have made a reference to “the arm of God.” There is something like “sitting” in the spiritual realm, there is proximity to God (anthropomorphized as “the right hand”), and there is something like a “throne” (and we know that the Scriptures call heaven itself the throne of God). Therefore, while I don’t think such references should be used to “bring God down to our size” I do think they are intended to convey realities about God that such figurative speech is intended to convey.
Here is what I wrote to @Mervin_Bitikofer on this point. It seems to apply here as well.
As what I wrote above would suggest, I don’t see any reason to take any portion of Genesis 2:1-3 anthropomorphically. But even if you did take it anthropomorphically, it would still require God to do something that bore some correspondence to the anthropomorphism. That is, an anthropomorphism has to be describing something about God, and it certainly can’t be describing the opposite of something God was doing. That is, it can’t be describing God as taking a rest if He were doing the very opposite of that. In such a case, it would be a lie.
Only if God didn’t actually do it the way that the text describes. I don’t have any problem with God doing something a certain way in order to provide us with an example to follow. I do have a problem if He says He did something a certain in order to provide us with an example to follow but did not, in fact, do it that way. It would be a lie for God to say He did something that He did not do, and it is impossible for God to lie.
The same way that the hymn writer intended us to take the line “He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way/ He lives! He lives!”
I don’t see the text saying that God did not know the answers to the questions He was asking. Thus I understand the questions to be like that of a parent wanting to make a child think about his actions, as in, “Herman, who took the cookies from the jar?”
I don’t insist that the text must be giving an exact transcript of God’s utterances to Adam. These questions could be paraphases, even summaries, of what God said. Where I can’t go is to say that God never said anything like this to Adam. That would mean a fabricated conversation, which is fine for a parable but not for something presented as actually having occurred.