Week 9 – Creation: Physical Order

We are more than lucky mud.

Ron Lewis

As an explanation of the world, materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has just the quality of the madman’s argument; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out. Contemplate some able and sincere materialist … He understands everything, and everything does not seem worth understanding. His cosmos may be complete in every rivet and cog-wheel, but still his cosmos is smaller than our world.

G. K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3)

“For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:2)

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16)

The first two chapters of Genesis tell of the universe being created by God. The account begins: “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth” (Genesis 1:1). Next, the Bible describes God speaking the entire universe into being, including mankind (Genesis 1, 2). God then shows us that His original creation was entirely good: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God not only created the universe, but He also sustains His creation at the sub-atomical level and farthest galaxies: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

Mankind

Many of us grew up thinking that we are a cosmic accident. In contrast, the Bible teaches us that all men were made in His image, that we were created to rule creation, that we have an eternal existence, and that His very hand designed the fabric of each one of us (Psalm 139).

In His Image

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Being made in his image implies that we are separate from the rest of creation; we aren’t just another type of creature but as a species have a special place with Him.

Without Sin (originally)

This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Before the Fall (when sin entered the world), mankind had the choice not to sin. We lived in perfect fellowship with God. After the Fall that fellowship was destroyed and could only be re-established through the redemption of Jesus Christ.

With Permanence

God created us to be permanent. Although when sin entered the world, death entered too (Romans 5:12), but our annihilation did not. Apart from God, though, our permanent existence would be a curse, a state of eternal spiritual death, first on earth and then in hell. The only way out is through Jesus Christ.

As Stewards of the Earth

Mankind was also commissioned by God to act as stewards over the earth:

God blessed them [Adam and Eve]; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing the moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

This authority on earth affirms that we have a special place in creation. We are superior to the rest of creation. This commandment to steward the earth has not been revoked. God still calls us to have authority over the earth and be responsible stewards of our planet according to His purposes.

Fashioned by Him

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:13-14)

“He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.” (Psalm 33:15)

The Bible teaches us that everyone was fashioned by His hand – that no one is an accident or unwanted by Him. We are a result of God’s boundless creativity along with His attention and intentions for His earth.

The naturalistic perspective of the world claims that life did not arise by design, but by blind chance. Everything, from rocks to migratory cycles to man’s ability to dream, can be traced to a fluke some billions of years ago and the evolutionary processes following it. Scientists, both Christian and non-Christian, are challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution. We are more than “lucky mud” or the result of an alien invasion.

A Few Arguments Challenging Darwinistic Evolution

Evolutionary processes in nature only produce limited changes. For instance, dog breeding (i.e. artificial natural selection) can only produce different types of dogs, not, for instance, rhinos or whales. No significant mutations have ever been observed that produced truly innovative change, a necessary element of Darwinian evolution.

The fossil record shows that any given animal species appeared suddenly and then never changed. In other words, animals seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, and each species then remained consistent in design. The actual fossil record thus flies in the face of one of evolution’s central tenets of gradual development of species over time.

Through more recent developments in physics and astronomy we can readily know that matter had a definite beginning in time and is not eternal as many atheists once believed. This is one of the proofs that caused legendary philosophical atheist Anthony Flew to become a theist, after spending a lifetime writing advanced collegiate texts on atheism. His latest book was entitled, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.

Understanding mankind’s God-given position over and greater in value than the earth affects how we view our relationship to creation and our behavior in it. We can see the fruit of various behaviors and attitudes in the earth by looking at the root of man’s attitude toward his worth and position vis-à-vis the rest of creation.

Review:

  1. According to the Bible, who created the heavens and the earth?
  2. In whose image was mankind created?
  3. How does understanding mankind’s God-given position over the earth affect our behavior in it?