Creation: Everything was Created Good, part 1 (Genesis chapters 1-2; Psalm 8; 19)

Creation: Everything was Created Good, Part 1 (Genesis chapters 1-2; Psalm 8; 19)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, October 4, 2020

In Chuck Colson’s book, “How Now Shall We Live” he writes about a father going on a trip to Disney World with his daughter. He planned the trip with his daughter because he was having problems with her. They had found marijuana in her purse. Additionally, she was no longer interested in church. Then, as they walked through Disney World they had time to talk. However, first he noticed something on one particular ride. They were on a ride in which Bill Nye, was talking about how everything developed. But he traced everything back to a naturalistic worldview. Nye talked about how everything simply evolved the way it was. The dad then realized the problem. He then realized that ever since kindergarten his daughter’s education had been against a foundational Biblical teaching. He was questioning what happened with her faith, but ever since kindergarten she had been taught at school that we are merely accidents. She had been taught macro-evolution at school. Macro-evolution means large scale evolution. Macro-evolution means that everything has evolved across species.

I am in a sermon series on having a Biblical worldview. The Bible exhorts us to Examine everything carefully (1 Thess. 5:21). Every form of media is giving us a worldview. Every news source, every movie, every video game, every form of literature, every commercial, really everything that we watch, read, or listen to is giving us a worldview. Certainly, some things are fine. Some commercials, or books, or movies, or news sources are not corrupting our worldview. However, we must test them. This is important for us as well as our children. This is important for the church.

Everyone has a worldview, but most of us do not think about our worldview. It is under the surface. Ravi Zacharias argued that a coherent worldview must be able to satisfactorily answer four questions: that of origin, meaning of life, morality, and destiny. He said that while every major religion makes exclusive claims about truth, the Christian faith is unique in its ability to answer all four of these questions. Further, Taking it a step further, the three tests for truth must be applied to any worldview: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth.[1]

So, today, we are dealing with the origin question. Today’s sermon was too long and so I have decided to split it in two parts.

Today, my theme is that everything was created good. Today, the focus will be on God as the creator and next week we will spend more time on Genesis 1.

My application is: examine everything carefully.

Let’s read Genesis 1:1, 31:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Verse 31:

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

  1. Everything was created good.
    1. A biblical worldview teaches that everything was created good (Genesis 1 and 2); creation is now fallen because of sin (Genesis 3); Jesus has redeemed us (John 3:16); but creation is not restored yet. Creation will be restored eventually (Rev. 21 and 22).
    2. In Genesis chapter 1 we see that God created everything. God created everything and at the end of the week of creation He looked upon His creation and everything was good, but not just good, it was very good.
    3. There was no death, there was no pain, or suffering. We see that does not enter the Biblical narrative until Genesis 3.
    4. Psalm 8 is about how awesome God’s creation of humanity is. Then, we have Psalm 19 also about God’s awesome creation. Then, we have Psalm 139 about how God creates a baby in his mother’s womb.
    5. We are intricately woven together.
    6. We need to notice a few things. We must notice that God created and we must notice that creation was good.
    7. God created.
      1. God created. Things were created by God, not naturalism (the world as we see it). Realize this. Naturalism would say that everything just evolved, totally evolved. Colson writes: Every worldview has to begin somewhere, has to begin with a theory of how the universe began. Naturalism begins with the fundamental assumption that the forces of nature alone are adequate to explain everything that exists. Whereas the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), naturalists say that in the beginning were the particles, along with blind, purposeless natural laws. That nature created the universe out of nothing, through a quantum fluctuation. That nature formed our planet, with its unique ability to support life.
      2. That nature drew together the chemicals that formed the first living cell. And naturalism says that nature acted through Darwinian mechanisms to evolve complex life-forms and, finally, human beings, with the marvels of consciousness and intelligence. Naturalistic scientists try to give the impression that they are fair-minded and objective, implying that religious people are subjective and biased in favor of their personal beliefs. But this is a ruse, for naturalism is as much a philosophy, a worldview, a personal belief system as any religion is. Naturalism begins with premises that cannot be tested empirically, such as the assumption that nature is “all that is or ever was or ever will be,” to use a line from the late Carl Sagan’s popular science program Cosmos. This is not a scientific statement, for there is no conceivable way it could be tested. It is a philosophy.[2]
  • Further, Colson writes:
  • In one of his many best-selling books, Sagan mockingly describes the Christian God as “an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow.” Sagan regards the cosmos as the only self-existing, eternal being: “A universe that is infinitely old requires no Creator.” On point after point, Sagan offers a naturalistic substitute for traditional religion. While Christianity teaches that we are children of God, Sagan says that “we are, in the most profound sense, children of the Cosmos,” for it is the cosmos that gave us birth and daily sustains us. In a passage that is almost certainly autobiographical, Sagan hints that the astronomer’s urge to explore the cosmos is motivated by a mystical recognition that the chemicals in our bodies were originally forged in space—that outer space is our origin and our true home: “Some part of our being knows this is from where we came. We long to return.” And the astronomer’s “awe” is nothing less than religious worship. “Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were far from foolish.” For if we must worship something, “does it not make sense to revere the Sun and the stars?”[3]
  • One more Colson quote about naturalism: This religion is being taught everywhere in the public square today—even in the books your child reads in school or checks out of the public library. Not long ago, Nancy picked up a Berenstain Bears book for her young son. In the book, the Bear family invites the young reader to join them for a nature walk. We start out on a sunny morning, and after running into a few spiderwebs, we read in capital letters sprawled across a sunrise, glazed with light rays, the words: Nature is “all that IS, or WAS, or EVER WILL BE!”[4]
  • There are many problems with naturalism, but it does give people a worldview without God and that is why I think it is so popular.
  • Chuck Colson’s book, How Now Shall We Live gives great detail of the problems with naturalism. One of which is it is based on macro/ large scale evolution. But there is a quote which I like [Design] is the most empirical of the arguments for God [based on] observational premises about the kind of order we discover in nature (FREDERICK FERRÉ)[5]
  • I want to share a few more things to add to that and these come from Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearsey:

The late Christian evangelist Francis Schaeffer used to offer an argument against evolution that was simple, easy to grasp, and devastating: Suppose a fish evolves lungs. What happens then? Does it move up to the next evolutionary stage? Of course not. It drowns.

Living things cannot simply change piecemeal—a new organ here, a new limb there. An organism is an integrated system, and any isolated change in the system is more likely to be harmful than helpful. If a fish’s gills were to begin mutating into a set of lungs, it would be a disaster, not an advantage. The only way to turn a fish into a land-dwelling animal is to transform it all at once, with a host of interrelated changes happening at the same time—not only lungs but also coadapted changes in the skeleton, the circulatory system, and so on.

The term to describe this kind of interdependent system is irreducible complexity. And the fact that organisms are irreducibly complex is yet another argument that they could not have evolved piecemeal, one step at a time, as Darwin proposed. Darwinian theory states that all living structures evolved in small, gradual steps from simpler structures—feathers from scales, wings from forelegs, blossoms from leaves, and so on. But anything that is irreducibly complex cannot evolve in gradual steps, and thus its very existence refutes Darwin’s theory.

The concept of irreducible complexity was developed by Michael Behe, a Lehigh University professor of biochemistry, in his 1993 book Darwin’s Black Box. Behe’s homey example of irreducible complexity is the mousetrap. A mousetrap cannot be assembled gradually, he points out. You cannot start with a wooden platform and catch a few mice, add a spring and catch a few more mice, add a hammer, and so on, each addition making the mousetrap function better. No, to even start catching mice, all the parts must be assembled from the outset. The mousetrap doesn’t work until all its parts are present and working working together. 

Today we can confidently say that his theory has broken down, for we now know that nature is full of examples of complex organs that could not possibly have been formed by numerous, slight modifications—that is, organs that are irreducibly complex. Take the example of the bat. Evolutionists propose that the bat evolved from a small, mouselike creature whose forelimbs (the “front toes”) developed into wings by gradual steps. But picture the steps: As the “front toes” grow longer and the skin begins to grow between them, the animal can no longer run without stumbling over them; and yet the forelimbs are not long enough to function as wings. And so, during most of its hypothetical transitional stages, the poor creature would have limbs too long for running and too short for flying. It would flop along helplessly and soon become extinct. There is no conceivable pathway for bat wings to be formed in gradual stages. And this conclusion is confirmed by the fossil record, where we find no transitional fossils leading up to bats. The first time bats appear in the fossil record, they are already fully formed and virtually identical to modern bats.[6]

Another example of irreducible complexity is the human eye. It could not develop in stages. My point is that God created, and we will come back to that in a minute, but let’s move on.

  • If God created then, we have a purpose.
  • God created: this is NOT nihilism which means life has no purpose. We have a purpose because God created us. We are created and if we walk through Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we see God giving man and woman a purpose. Man and woman were called to tend the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). We are still called by God to steward the planet. We are called to have children, that is still part of our purpose.
  • God created: this is NOT existentialism, which means I must find meaning in my life because my life has no meaning.
  • No, God gives us meaning to our life. God created us.
  • God created: this is NOT hedonism: life has no purpose, have fun, go for it! Funny as it is, those who make life all about their own purpose are the most unhappy.
  • No, life has a purpose and it is not simply about our fun.
  • God created: this is NOT humanism, I must make the world a better place for humans.
  • No, God is the creator. Humanism is closely linked with naturalism, which I already mentioned.
  • God created: this is NOT transcendentalism which is nature is God, not pantheism, not panentheism.
  • God created: this is NOT Pantheism which teaches that all is God. “Pan” means “all” and “theism” means God.
  • God created: this is not panentheism which teaches that everything is in God. “Pan” means “all” and “en” means “in” and “theism” mean God.
  • God created: this IS Theism

Wrap-up:

Do you understand that when we take God out of the picture it does not work. I have shown you a fraction of the evidence against macro-evolution, further, the Bible makes clear that God is the creator and we will talk more about that next week.

Further, understand, when God is taken out of the picture it makes life meaningless, purposeless. When we take God of the picture it leads to what our society is experiencing today. Right now, there is no authority, why is that? It is because they have taken God out of society. There is now no right and wrong because God has been taken out. The Biblical worldview begins with God creating everything good.

1 Thess. 5:21 shares that we are to examine everything carefully.

Test everything with the Biblical worldview.

Ravi Zacharias shares:

Common is the sentiment among recent college graduates that they went in feeling like they knew something, and leave realizing, in fact, how little they know. I remember what this felt like, walking down the aisle to accept my diploma, wondering at the irony. Yet as uncomfortable as that moment of recognition might be, I am convinced that the thought is an important place at which to arrive.

Ravi Zacharias tells of being a graduate student when the new encyclopedia Britannica was released in its fifteenth edition. It was a massive collection that had taken fourteen years to produce, and he remembers being fascinated by the statistics: two hundred advisors, three hundred editors, four thousand contributors, over a hundred thousand entries, thirty-four million dollars, forty-three million words. Even so, in the last pages of that work, one of the editors had the audacity to conclude: “Herein contains the entirety of human knowledge.” The number of outdated encyclopedias lying in thrift stores and recycling bins does not help their point.[7]

 God created everything. Test everything, cling to a Biblical worldview.

Prayer

[1] https://www.rzim.org/read/just-thinking-magazine/think-again-deep-questions

[2] Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 52). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[3] Ibid, 53.

[4] Ibid, 54.

[5] Ibid, 57.

[6] Ibid, pages 87-89.

[7] https://us5.campaign-archive.com/?e=dbeab94ce5&u=45b75085e6ab57e339ea89d67&id=eb5a919869

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