The Bible Story
God Is Creator
We Are Created
September 18, 2016
"Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7 And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8 God called the space “sky.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.
13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.
14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
23 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:3-24 NLT
The Genesis 1 Song
It would seem Genesis 1 stands separate from the rest of the book. Most of Genesis is narrative prose, story-telling. Genesis 1 seems to be strophic, repeating stanzas, a poem, or song.
To take Genesis 1 literally could be a huge mistake if the author was writing in verse and seeking to communicate the creation in the form of the song.
If it is in song, then its intent is not to give the storyline of creation but to write a song about creation.
So Genesis 1 could be a song about creation and Genesis 2 the narrative prose. This feature is used often in the Bible. Saul's death is written in narrative prose in 1 Samuel 31; the song concerning his death is found in 2 Samuel 1.
The point of all this deals with earth age. It would seem clear that no one can draw conclusively that the earth's age is short or that creation happened in six 24-hour periods. The point Genesis 1 seems to be making is God spoke, maybe even sang, over the earth for an indeterminable amount of time until He had fashioned the world He wanted inhabited by the creatures He made.
If Scripture is true and God created, then the evolutionary theory must be at least inspected and questioned. In our present world, the evolutionists have so scoffed the creationist model that some feel stupid to imagine them wrong.
If one is not well-studied in the sciences, then it is easy to be intimidated by overwhelming research, data, and theory with which science portends and from where it asserts its lofty views.
Beyond scientific intimidation, preachers more and more evade this issue because it has become more a political hot potato than open for honest, scientific debate.
Churches are more and more filled with "Christian Evolutionists," so, not to offend, the subject is carefully avoided. This is not a criticism of preachers, for it is wise not to be offensive in areas where mentioning a subject may immediately alienate the masses, but it does leave the spirit of truth at want in our culture.
With that being said, I do want to give, in brief, an accounting of some of my thoughts concerning evolution.
I will only bullet point the issue, allowing those who wish to dig further to leap off from my bullet points and research the matter for themselves.
I will be brief as I am not seeking to convince. I am actually wanting to make some vital conclusion at the end of this brief discussion on evolution.
Scripture and Creation
From Scripture, it is clear that God created the universe out of nothing and then He shaped what He had created into something very specific (Genesis 1:1; 16,25, 31; 2:3,4,9,22).
Types of Evolution
There are two types of evolution:
Micro-evolution: meaning the evolutionary change within a species or small group of organisms over a short period of time.
This kind of evolution can be seen in such things as the different sizes of sparrows, depending on temperature and environment, making some bigger or smaller.
Pests are resistant to pesticides and weeds resistant to herbicides due to new mutations and gene combinations that are generated over the time of the chemicals’ use.
The evidences of micro-evolution are evident in many ways.
Macro-Evolution: is a theory that “non-living substance gave rise to the first living material, which subsequently reproduced and diversified to produce all extinct and extant organisms” (Wayne Frair and Percival Davis, A Case for Creation (Norcross, Ga.: CRS Books, 1983), p. 25.).
It is with the macro theory that I wish to express my doubts. Among the evolutionists, there are what I would call the Christian or Theistic Evolutionists and what I would call the Natural or Secular Evolutionists. I will make some bullet points regarding both.
Theistic Evolutionists do not deny God created; they acclaim His intervention at three crucial points:
a) the creation of matter at the beginning
b) the creation of the primary life form from which all other life emerged
c) the creation of man
Theistic Evolutionists, for the most part, see the rest of life evolving much as natural science proposes, through random mutation, allowing for types or kinds of life to be better fitted for their varied environments while evolving into higher forms of life.
Modern Evolutionary Theory
For the modern evolutionists, life began when some chemicals mixed and spontaneously produced a one-celled life form.
This single cell reproduced and there were mutations and lots of new cells.
Over time, these cells developed into more complex life forms. Based on environment, some expired while some were more suited to their environment and thrived.
Thus, nature shaped and "naturally selected" life forms which could survive their environment.
So more and more complex life forms emerged through mutation and natural selection.
Reasons I Don't Hold to the Theory of Evolution
1. Inter-breeding between various animals and plants have allowed for a limited range of variation because genetic ranges are limited in each type of living thing.
Oddly, when those things breed and are returned to the wild, they either perish or revert to their original type.
The survival of the fittest seems more like a God-given force of life to preserve genetic fitness and health within a species.
2. The likelihood of complex mutations occurring over long periods of time required to produce a complex organ without an entire functioning organ is a mathematical impossibility.
3. The absence of “transitional types” of fossils being discovered in the last 150 years is astounding. If life forms were developing from species to species, there should be some indisputable archeological evidence. Not one convincing type has been discovered.
4. To imagine the spontaneous generation of the simplest living organism (the prokaryote bacterial cell) capable of independent life apart from intelligent design and intervention has zero evidence in which to ground any faith.
Personal Objections to Theistic Evolution
1. Scripture teaches purposefulness in God’s work of creation, and nothing God says or does has a hint of random mutation into higher life forms. Far from being random, God declares His own design and personal care in all of His creation.
Not only does Scripture teach that God created, but Scripture teaches God had a caring hand in the development of life all along the way, giving rain for seed, seasons for harvest, and food for the birds of the air.
Even David is able to confess, “You formed my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
2. Scripture teaches God’s Word as the creative force which brought about creation and as the force which sustains creation (Hebrews 11:3; 1:3).
"The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command" (Psalm 33:6-9 NLT).
3. Scripture teaches that both plants and animals were created to reproduce after or “according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:11, 24). The implications are clear; God created different types of plants and animals, and while within these different types and species there would be varying sizes, shapes and looks, there would be limits for genetic mutations to occur.
4. All Theistic Evolutionists capitulate that the creation of Adam and Eve required a special intervention of God. If God intervened in the creation of Adam and Eve, what would prevent God from being constantly present and intervening throughout all stages of creation?
Creation Is Not an Epic, Purposeless Accident
In the shadow of God our Creator, we find our lives filled with purpose.
God Is Transcendent
As Genesis opens up, you find two subjects: the main subject, God, and what I call the supported subject, creation.
God is un-created; the creation obviously is created. There is One Who transcends creation. Creation is finite, limited, temporal. God transcends all of that. He is infinite, unlimited, and eternal.
One could say Genesis 1 puts humans in their place below the God Who transcends them.
To transcend creation means God does not need creation and is not dependent upon it for His existence.
For centuries, people have battled against a transcendent God. This is the passion behind evolution; this is why you can't have a reasonable debate on the subject, sometimes from either side.
The fallen human heart fights against there being a transcendent God. Instead, we want to invent a god of our own. Interestingly enough, the God we keep inventing is the same old god who has been invented again and again and again.
The God We Create
Materialist ... Matter is all there is.
Christians invent a materialist God, meaning the material world is all that matters, social justice is God's main concern, and the wealth and well-being of all people essential to happiness and fulfillment. For the materialistic Christian, matter is ultimate and material possessions measure happiness. God exists and lives to make me materially thrive.
Pantheist ... The whole universe is God and a part of God.
Christians invent a Pantheist God so wherever they are, God is there--God is in the thing they are present with. Being in a forest God made is as good as being in a gathering of God's people. Because God is in everything, independence is nurtured and gathering with others for worship is not valued as a necessary habit. Sundays can happen anywhere and everywhere. Pantheistic Christians give where they want and how they want. For the Pantheistic Christian, "experience" is the ultimate.
Dualist ... God and universe exist side by side.
Christians invent a Dualist God to keep God from being personal. The Dualist makes the world to be one force in the world and that force is made up of good and evil. For the Dualist, Star Wars is their favorite movie, for in it Lucas proposes the existence of good and evil in one force. There is no concept of a personal God because God is viewed more like a force or a power. New Age religion is mostly Dualistic by nature, but the most prominent characteristic of a Duelist Christian is prayerlessness. There is no need to pray, for God is not personal. It is treated like a force to be tapped into. For the Duelist Christian, "human development" is the ultimate. Becoming a better person, developing a better society is the center of their mission.
Deist ... God is not directly involved.
Christians invent a Deist God to define the principles they can apply for the most success. They view God and creation as a watch and Watchmaker Who has wound up the clock and started it working and has gone off to do other things.
The Deist leaves no place for immanence--God being present, God leading, guiding, transforming. Change takes place as the principles God has put into our world are obeyed and followed.
The ultimate for the Deist is "principles." Following principles makes one successful.
Christian materialists, pantheists, duelists, and deists have things in common: they must be materially satisfied, the now experience is what satisfies, they are void of prayer, and they focus on principles.
Because God is not transcendent or transcendence is insignificant, He’s not above and neither is He immanent. He is not personal nor ultimate. He is what we need to make us to feel good about Him.
In the shadow of His transcendence, we see ourselves as humbled and subservient.
God Is Immanent
God is transcendent yet also immanent, meaning He transcends creation but also remains in creation, for creation is dependent upon Him and He is necessary to sustain it. He is not creation; He transcends it but also dwells in or with creation.
Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for “in Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:27-28 ESV
And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17 ESV
His transcendence and immanence described in these verses:
... one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:6 ESV
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36 ESV
Creation does not teach that God is withdrawn, but near--He is present to be with us and to cause creation to be enjoyed and enjoyable.
It is God Who provides us with everything to enjoy,
God Who enables us to do good so we can enjoy all He has created,
God Who has given us good works to make the world He created enjoyable,
God Who gives us things to share so we can make the world enjoyable and abundant.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, Who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV
God is so immanent that He is making the earth He created a foundational place from where our future is built as we long for God's immanence and His creation.
In God's transcendence, we find ourselves bowing as servants.
In the shadow of God's immanence, we find Him bowing and lovingly serving us, providing a wonderful world for us to enjoy. He is the bending Servant, washing the feet of those who follow Him.
God is Creator ... We have purpose.
God is transcendent ... We are subservient.
God is immanent ... He is subservient.