[Pre-Lesson 3] Introduction
Creation is a hot topic. In fact, the validity of everything recorded in Genesis 1-11 is a hot topic, though not a new topic.
The concept of some type of naturalistic explanation for the origin of the earth, universe and its inhabitants has been around since the ancient Greeks. But it did not affect mainstream life until a couple of scientists promoted their ideas through books in the 1800’s—Charles Lyell (who proposed that the earth was much older than what the Bible said it was) and Charles Darwin (who is known for pushing biological evolution as an alternative to creation).
Then in 1925, the brand new ACLU decided to target a law in Tennessee that demanded creation to be taught in school. They found a man willing to be the scapegoat—John Scopes—although he had only been a substitute teacher for 2 weeks in a biology class and had not really taught evolution. The message perpetuated by the ACLU throughout the trial was that science was the new source of authority and truth. The Bible was no longer relevant. It was simply the fallible work of humans. Christians must let scientists interpret anything that deals with origins.
What’s ironic is that every single piece of evidence produced in that trial has since been shown to be false. About 10 years ago, TIME magazine ran an article about its own senior editor, Charles Alexander, which said:
“In the years before he got into journalism, senior editor Charles Alexander taught science at two high schools in Tennessee. He told his students about early man and the origins of life and touched on the dinosaurs, ‘And, just about everything I taught them,’ he says, ‘was wrong.’” (TIME magazine, March 14, 1994, p. 4)
Knowing Where To Start
What is my point? You have to know where to start. Decide what will be your source of truth. Science is constantly changing. But, the Word of God remains unchanged.
“All biblical doctrines have their foundation ultimately—directly or indirectly—in the book of Genesis. The doctrine of marriage; why we wear clothes; the reason Jesus came to die on a cross; why there’s death in the world; why man has dominion over the earth—all of these are dependent on a literal Genesis. The only reason we understand the meaning of sin is because we read about the literal rebellion of the first man when he disobeyed God. Actually, if Genesis were taken out of the Bible, you’d have to throw the rest away. It’s all dependent on the historical accounts in this first book.” (Answers in Genesis Weekly News, October 10, 2003)
The very first book in the Bible, GENESIS, is an account of the origins and history of all life and the universe. It tells of the creation of different kinds of animals and plants and of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first people. This book explains the entrance of sin and death into the world, and a judgment by water when a worldwide flood destroyed the original world. We are told of the event of the “Tower of Babel” that is important in understanding cultures and nations existing today. Knowing what happened in the past can give us a basis for explaining the present. If we start with what has been revealed about the events of the past, we have the ability to come to some right conclusions about geology, culture, geography, biology, etc. If we have the revealed Word of One who knows everything, then a basis exists for having right interpretations about the facts of the present. If we ignore that, then we can never know for sure whether our interpretations are right! Science is constantly changing. But, the Word of God remains unchanged.
Foundations For Our Trust In The Word To Be True:
There are 3 scriptures that are foundations for our trust in the Word to be true:
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
1 Thessalonians 2:13 says this, “…when you received God’s message that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human message, but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe.”
In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.”
Taking Captive Every Thought:
Knowing where to start, we can do what is said in 2 Corinthians 10:4b-5. “We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.”
Think with me about the messages you are receiving to your thoughts through the media about this issue:
1) Science is the source of authority and truth.
2) Evolution is scientific fact. Untouchable. Not going away. Satan’s best counterfeit of creation.
3) The Bible is only a human work.
4) Christians, stay out of anything that deals with origins. Stick to religion.
So, how do we respond? To many, compromise is the only comfortable solution. Sadly, most religious leaders have done just that. In fact, many religious leaders are even holding science as absolute authority. This is most often because of 2 things: 1) the fear of being ridiculed as happened in the Scopes trial and 2) not knowing that true science has facts that support Scripture.
Half of us are probably not affected by this. The rest of us are split personalities. Just say,” believe Genesis” and our thoughts are going crazy on one side of our brains! Our minds fill with “yeah, buts”. And we think of every TV show, every book and magazine that teaches with confidence that this earth is billions of years old and man evolved from animals. We say to ourselves, “What do I do with those thoughts?”
In this study, we hope to help you take those thoughts captive so you can be whole again. We ask you to come to this study with an open mind. You will not get all your questions answered. Maybe not even half. However, you can ask the One who knows all to reveal to you some ways for you to believe that His record of beginnings is literally true.
Please Be Assured Of This…
You can still be a Christian and believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and evolution was the method by which you got here. Salvation is based upon faith in Jesus Christ alone. We only ask that you give the scripture a chance. We’ll do our best to provide information for you. We want to help you learn how to think for yourself about this issue.
Our Approach For This Course…
It is reasonable to consider the earth and universe to have been created in 6 days in a perfect state, affected by the curse and death after creation, then completely reshaped by a global Flood— all less than 10,000 years ago. What we see in God’s World agrees with what we read in God’s Word!
So, let’s get started!