Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can access the audio of this sermon here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.
The late Carl Sagan was famous for saying, “The cosmos is all that is, ever was, or ever will be.” That is the necessary result of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It requires a closed system, where there is nothing outside of the system. That system may be as big as the universe, but it’s closed. There is nothing outside of it. And if nothing exists outside of the system, everything must be in the system, which leaves no room for a Creator who created the system. Thus, you have naturalism, the view that everything comes from natural processes. The supernatural is excluded. And, of course, out of that comes evolution.
In the past few decades some have tried to interject God into the equation. Some very respected thinkers in Christianity have attempted to reconcile the biblical account of Genesis with what has become accepted science. I mentioned John Stott, who wrote that Adam and Eve were two-legged creatures, hominids (ape-men), in whom God put His image. Still others affirm what is called theistic evolution, an evolutionary process where there is God somewhere on the outside in control of the evolutionary process. One such group is Biologos, which purports to be reconciling the Bible and science, but every time it’s reconciling the Bible to science.
Those trying to reconcile the beginning of Genesis with science do so in various ways. One of the most popular is to assert the word day is referring to an age in Genesis 1, even millions of years at a time. But in this series we’ve already addressed the word day, yom in Hebrew, and how it is always referring to a twenty-four day when coupled with words like night, day, evening, morning, or a number like first or second and so on. It’s not honest with the text to say it means something else completely in Genesis 1 when it is used consistently in a different way throughout the rest of Scripture. That’s eisegesis, reading something into the text, and it is to be avoided.
Still others assert Genesis 1-2, and really all the way to chapter eleven, is allegory and shouldn’t be taken literally. But read through it and tell me if there is any indication within the text itself why that should be the case, or why the opening chapters of Genesis were the basis for many things Jesus said and taught during His ministry, and why He sure seemed to consider it literal history, and not allegory?
The ultimate issue on how we read Genesis 1, 2, and so on, is an issue of authority. What are we going to submit to as our authority? A book we affirm as the real word of God? Or the scientific theories of fallible men?
If the word of God really is our authority — our only infallible, perfect, authority in all it says — then we can know, and we do know, the who of creation — God, and we know the when of creation, about 6000 years ago. And we know where the first whateveritwas came from. We know from Genesis the what and how, and even the why of creation. In this session we see that beginning in Genesis 1:1, going all the way to 2:3. Continue reading The What, How, and Why of Creation (Gen 1:1-2:3)