Monday, February 09, 2009

I had someone ask me to blog about creation, science and God. Wow! Huge topic to talk through and dialogue about.

I have to start by saying that I am a literalist - a believe that God literally created the heavens and the earth. I do not ascribe to evolution of the species from an single cell to me. I just cannot believe something random created something this organized. I understand there are seemingly random occurrences in the universe, but I believe that these only seem random to us who have a limited view on the whole scope of the universe and of God.

Having started there, I also do not want this to be fodder for argument. There are those who ascribe to a literal 7 day creation and those that ascribe to a longer time period. I don't want to argument about this. Actually, I really don't even want to give my view on this because it may spawn discussion that wastes emotional time and thinking energy. Suffice it to say that I have committed brothers in the Lord that have varying views on this topic who I know love God, are committed to obey the ways of Jesus and are trying to build His kingdom. I in no way want to take away kingdom building energy and use it on this topic!

There are some things that I mull over as I think of this topic. These are statements or questions or ponderings - figure out which is which!!!!!
  1. When the scriptures say "God created", I believe that literally. My defining statement about creation is found in Paul's letter to the Colossians 15-17: He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. I cannot say it any better or any clearer than this.
  2. When Genesis 1:1-2 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." it does not define when the beginning was and what formless and empty are. I don't think we are smart enough to do that either.
  3. When scripture talks of God separating earth from sky and water from land, these were not separated in Genesis 1:1-2. There was something that existed before He separated them. I am not sure what it looked like; I am not sure of its age. The rocks (notice I did not say humans or animals) on the earth could be billions and billions of years old. I don't know when in the beginning was and when God started the process of making the formless and empty earth. I don't know Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek so I cannot parse the "in the beginning" statement too much. Someone much smarter than I chose to interpret it this way using these English words.
  4. God created Adam with a built in history. Adam was not a baby when God created him. Did Adam have a historical Carbon -14 dating? Did God create the rest of the universe with a built in history? Don't know. Could He have? Absolutely.
  5. How did God set the stars in place? Did He place them one by one in a location? Did He use a "big bang" to move them from a central position? Don't know. All I do know is that GOD SET THEM in a place - the mechanism is not defined for us. We can guess all we want, but God has not chosen to reveal this detail to us. It is not worth arguing about the mechanism. It is worth arguing about God putting them where He wanted them (refer to #1).
  6. Dinosaurs confuse me. They are real for sure (duh...), but why did they and when did they become extinct is beyond me. As I look at recent history, it does not surprise me that something like an extinction happened (consider the buffalo....). The flood could have had a part in this, but hunting to extinction is not beyond the scope of humans!
  7. The Bible is not meant to be a science text book. When God said subdue and rule over the earth, I believe He meant for us to figure it out. Science is the discipline that we use to figure it out.
  8. Any science text book is not the Bible. In our limited brain, we cannot understand everything that happened in creation because it was supernatural. We should be able to figure out more about God's creation as we continue to explore! We will never totally understand the entirety of creation because there are supernatural influences in creation that are beyond our scope of understanding!!!
  9. Spending time arguing about this is a distraction to our real charge - make disciples. If we are arguing about this, we are not making disciples.
  10. I really believe that most people cannot get their arms around evolution and believe deep down inside them that there was a God who designed it all. Paul wrote to the Romans and David wrote in his songs, that creation testifies to God. Just like a vast majority of humans have a basic understanding of right and wrong, so too does a vast majority of humans have a basic understanding that something designed this whole thing. If this is not true, then Paul and David are liars (which they are not).
  11. This is not a huge issue for the next generation.
  12. I believe that science is confusing for most people. There are a select few who have the responsibility to help us unlock the wonder of this creation. Those that use science to turn people away from God will be held accountable for this. Science is meant to help us understand God more, to worship Him more; not to deny His existence. I pray that all scientists will eventually come to worship a divine creator as they continue to explore. (I know that at some point they will bow their knee before Him, I just hope it is sooner and on this earth rather than later when they stand before Him).
  13. The universe is way too big for a human to understand.
That should be enough to get your brain moving! As I said (twice), this is the kind of thing that I don't want to spend a ton of time on - I am not an expert in this area and I can alienate a lot of people from what is real (Jesus) by being too dogmatic in this area. Let's tread lightly and gently in this area so that we don't polarize over a very complex issue. This should not be the lightning rod of our spiritual conversations with people. If they need to get through this issue, then maybe. Let's start with Jesus and His aid in helping us get to a God who loves us and then begin to put creation in that context.

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