Origins #1: Creation Versus Evolution
INTRO TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS:
The Book of Genesis – the first book of the Bible – was written by Moses. The title Genesis comes from the Greek word geneseos, which means birth, genealogy, or origin. It was written around 1440 BC, sometime after the Exodus from Egypt. “Genesis reveals that humans were divinely created, that they suffered a fall, and that God proceeded to provide redemption… The account then focuses upon the origin and growth of the nation of Israel which God chose to fulfill a key role in implementing His plan of redemption.”8
THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT OF CREATION:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
The first four words in the Bible are foundational to what we believe: “In the beginning, GOD.” One of the arguments that evolutionists have against God is this: If God created the universe then who created God? Outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins made this point when he wrote, “Natural selection is a better alternative. Indeed, design is not a real alternative at all because it raises an even bigger problem than it solves: who designed the designer?”9 His argument is flawed because it reveals his lack of understanding of the basic nature of God – an eternal Being who has always existed. Nowhere in Scripture does the Bible try to prove the existence of God. There is perhaps no more definitive statement in all of literature: “In the beginning, God!”
But some people would say, “It doesn’t make sense to me, how could God have not had a beginning? How could He have existed forever? I don’t understand it!” That’s okay. We should not be surprised that in our finite, limited human minds we cannot fully grasp a One who is transcendent and infinite.
So what did God do in the beginning? He created the Heavens and the Earth. Not only is God eternal, He is also omnipotent – all powerful. He created everything in the universe that exists. “But, very significantly, the concept of the special creation of the universe of space and time itself is found nowhere in all religion or philosophy, ancient or modern, except here in Genesis 1:1.
“Appropriately, therefore, this verse records the creation of space (the heavens), of time (in the beginning), and of matter (the earth), the tri-universe, the space/time/matter continuum which constitutes our physical cosmos.”10
THE IMPORTANCE OF GENESIS:
Why is the Book of Genesis so important to us as believers? “In a very real sense, the book of Genesis is the most important book in the world; for it is the foundation upon which all the other sixty-five books of God’s written Word have been based… The greatest doctrine of all – the special creation of all things by the eternal, self-existent God – is revealed in the very first chapter of Genesis, the foundation of all foundations… It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the greatest attacks on the Bible have been directed against the integrity and authority of Genesis.”11
Where then do you think the idea of evolution came from? Second Corinthians 4:4 tells us, “Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (nlt). Don’t be surprised therefore when you see the historical, archaeological, biological and scientific aspects of the Bible are being attacked. The enemy wants to destroy our faith in God’s Word.
DAY ONE OF CREATION:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5).
Our English word God comes from a Hebrew word, Elohim, which is a plural word. This reminds us that God is a triune being: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the historic Christian creeds, we declare that: “We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. We believe in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord. And we believe in the Holy Spirit.” This is such a foundational statement that explains what we believe about the nature of God.
We see in the first verse of Genesis chapter one that God created time, space and matter. Now in verse three, the Lord declares, “Let there be light!” I love Henry Morris’ explanation of what took place in this supernatural event: “The result is light, the energizing of the vast cosmos through the marvelous electro-magnetic force system which maintains all structures and processes in matter. These varied energies include not only visible light, but also all short-wave radiations (ultra-violet; x-rays, etc.) and the long-wave radiations (infra-red, radio waves, etc.) as well as heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, molecular interactions, etc. “Light,” the most basic form of energy is mentioned specifically, but its existence necessarily implies the activation of all forms of electromagnetic energies.”13
DAY TWO – ATMOSPHERE:
“Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Genesis 1:6-8).
When the Bible says that God created the firmament called heaven here, he is referring to the sky, or the atmosphere. There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible. Jeremiah 4:25b describes the first heaven as the earth’s atmosphere (the sky) or the realm of the birds: “And all the birds of the heavens had fled.” Isaiah 34:4 describes the second heaven as the starry heavens or the realm of space: “All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved.” And Second Corinthians 12:2-4 describes the third heaven as the throne of God, the place where God dwells: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven…caught up to paradise.” In this Genesis account, Moses is talking about God’s creation of the atmosphere around the earth on day two.
DAY THREE – THE PLANT KINGDOM:
“Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.” (Genesis 1:9-13).
On the third day, God commanded the Earth to bring forth the plant kingdom. Here we see an important creation principle: “the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind.” This principle teaches us that a kind will always produce the same kind. If you have an apple tree, and you plant the seed of one of the apples from that tree, it will produce an apple tree. Cats will always give birth to cats – they will never give birth to dogs. It’s surprising how the evolutionists deny this basic principle of genetics. They teach us that human beings and chimps descended from a common ancestor, but this is a genetic impossibility. The DNA molecule carries genetic information in all living systems, and is one of the more recent discoveries in science that has confirmed what the Bible has taught all along – that a kind will always produce the same kind, according to the information in its genetic code.
To say that one kind can never produce another kind does not mean that we don’t allow for small scale variations within a species. You can see all kinds of variations within the dog family, from the golden retriever or the Dalmatian, to the pit-bull or theChihuahua, yet these are all dogs. The problem that science has withDarwin’s theory of evolution is the idea that new information can be added to the genetic code to produce a different or more complex animal. It’s true that sometimes there are mutations and defects that cause information to be lost from the genetic code, but there has never been a reported case of new information being added to our DNA. There are so many scientific processes and principles that support the Bible’s account of creation.
“DNA is an incredibly detailed language, revealing vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell – design which could not have arisen by purely naturalistic means. In every other area of our world, we recognize that information requires intelligence and design requires a designer. With our present-day knowledge of DNA, this presents a formidable challenge to Darwinian evolution.”13
DAY FOUR – THE SUN, MOON AND STARS:
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Genesis 1:14-19).
On the fourth day of creation, God set the sun, moon and the stars in their place.
DAY FIVE – BIRDS AND SEA CREATURES:
“Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:20-23).
On the fifth day of creation, God created all of the birds and sea creatures.
DAY SIX – LAND ANIMALS:
“Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25).
In a parallel passage in the next chapter, Moses writes: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19). That tells us that on this sixth day of Creation, God created all of the land animals – including the dinosaurs! In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were walking around with lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), but they were also living alongside of all sorts of dinosaurs as well. If you have a hard time believing that statement, then it is most likely because you have been indoctrinated by the evolutionary lie that mankind and dinosaurs were separated by 65 million years. We will take a look at dinosaurs and their place in Biblical history in the third part of this Origins series, “Dinosaurs in the Bible.”
GOD’S GREATEST MASTERPIECE:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.” Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:26-31).
On day six, we see the creation of God’s greatest masterpiece – human beings. When you see the glory of God displayed in a starry sky at night, or a colorful sunset, as beautiful and majestic as these things are, they were not the apex of God’s creation. When God created the light, He said, “It is good.” When He created the sun, moon and the stars, He said, “It is good.” When He created the plants and birds and fishes, He said, “It is good.” But on day six, when He created mankind, He said, “It is very good!”
You are not an accident. You are not descended from the common ancestor of a chimpanzee. You have been created in the image of a God who loves you and has an amazing plan for your life. The Bible says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:13-14, nlt).
Why is what we believe about our origins so important? Because if evolution is true, then we are just a great big cosmic accident, evolved animals with no greater purpose beyond the survival of the fittest, we live until we die, and then we are no more. But if the Biblical account of creation is true, then you are God’s masterpiece. You have dignity, worth and value. You are special, important and significant, and God cares so very much for you. You have a destiny – not just here on the Earth, but your highest goal is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever in the everlasting joy, peace and bless of the paradise called Heaven. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
RESOURCES: For those who want to learn more about evidences for God and creation.
- The New Answers Book by Ken Ham (www.answersingenesis.org)
- The Defender’s Study Bible by Henry Morris (www.icr.org)
- The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (www.leestrobel.com)
- Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (www.josh.org)
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
- 8.L. Thomas Holdcroft. Pentateuch. CeeTeC Publishing. 1996.
- 9. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pages 146-147. Mariner Books. 2008.
- 10. Henry Morris, The Defender’s Study Bible. World Publishing. 1995.
- 11. Henry Morris, ibid.
- 12. Henry Morris, ibid.
- 13. Ray Comfort, from the introduction to The 150th Anniversary Edition of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Bridge Logos. 2009.
Pastor Chris Jordan
This is a sample chapter from The Beausejour Pulpit.
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