Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE BEGINNING”

Genesis 1

 

Where did it all begin?

How did it all come to be?

How did it start?

To answer this type of question, we must first come to an agreement about it.

What is it?

For the sake of our time together this morning, can we agree to understand it as being everything we perceive with our five senses, including those tools and instruments that extend our senses and make our five senses more sensitive? I speak of optical microscopes, scanning electron microscopes, optical telescopes, radio telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope, and anything else you can imagine by which we gather information to understand better it. Whether it involves time, matter, space, or some combination of all three, or some small portion of all three, let us agree for now that it can be summed up as the physical universe in which we live, plus you and me, as well.

How then did it all begin?

How did it come to be?

How did it start?

If you are sharp you have already recognized that I am directing the flow of our thoughts by the questions I am asking.

Before we ask how it began, came to be, and started, the question that ought to be asked is, did it come to be, start, and begin?

Or has it always been?

Please turn in your Bible to Genesis chapter one. Once there, I invite you to stand and read along with me quietly while I read aloud:

 

1      In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2      And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3      And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4      And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5      And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6      And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7      And 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.

8      And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9      And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10    And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11    And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12    And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13    And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15    And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16    And 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.

17    And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18    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.

19    And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20    And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22    And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23    And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24    And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25    And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30    And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

We are seeking answers to questions this morning, so I quite naturally turn to the scriptures of the only belief system in existence which speaks to the question of origins, which is the Bible. One credible observer writes,

 

No other cosmogony, whether in ancient paganism or modern naturalism, even mentions the absolute origin of the universe. . . 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.[1]

 

However, fewer and fewer people accept as credible the Genesis record of God’s creation of the universe and all that herein is. Therefore, I propose that we take a step back and take into consideration what we have just read about it and how it came to be, and by whom it was fashioned.

Three main points for your consideration and contemplation:

 

First, PERSPECTIVES

 

Allow me the freedom to set aside patchwork philosophies and glued-together belief systems to distil everything down to two essential competing and adversarial worldviews that make universal truth claims in the marketplace of ideas. These worldviews are perspectives. This will allow me to avoid dealing with Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism, so that I can focus exclusively on Biblical creationism and what is accepted by each of these superficially different belief systems, namely evolution.[2]

In reality, there are only these two perspectives. Either God created the time/space/matter continuum from nothing, ex nihilo, or He did not. Either God is eternal and uncreated, or this physical universe is eternal and uncreated. This universe and all that herein, including each of us, is the product of the creative and life-giving activity of an all-powerful and intelligent personal Being, or it is the product of eternally preexisting matter and energy randomly interacting without intelligence of any kind for eons of time and producing from those random and unorganized interactions what we observe today.

The first perspective, the Biblical perspective, is found only in the Bible, specifically, at the very beginning of the first book of Moses, the book of Genesis. The alternative and opposing perspective first appears in written form in a 6th century BC Greek school known as the Melisian School, from which came such ancient notables as Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. Their “evolutionary myths found their way over time into the religions, philosophies and mythology of countries from Egypt to China. . . In short, all who are cut off from biblical revelation fall into this error.”[3]

Let me read two brief summaries of these three Greek men’s evolutionary views:

 

Colin Brown writes,

 

“Anaximander imagined an original state of formless matter which gradually evolved into the universe as we know it. Things came into being through a process of separating out. Living things originated from a primeval slime. . . he seems to have believed that human beings originally came from fishlike creatures.”

 

Henry Morris writes,

 

“Both Thales and Anaximander taught that men evolved from animals, animals from plants, plants from inorganic elements, and all these from water. Xenophanes argued, on the basis of fossil shells on mountains, that land animals had evolved from marine animals.”[4]

 

May I make three observations before moving to the next main point? First, please take note that evolution as a worldview and as an explanation for existence began more than two thousand years before Charles Darwin was born, long before the existence of anything remotely called science. Next, the claim is made by virtually every propagandist for evolution that the difference between Biblical creationism and evolution is essentially one of religion versus science, faith versus fact, and declaration versus discovery. However, no scientist has ever claimed to have seen evolution take place while evolution was proposed and accepted centuries before anything like science was known. Therefore, the issue is not religion versus science, faith versus fact, or declaration versus discovery at all. Third, the certainty of this false notion of religion versus science claim is bolstered by an understanding of what is termed The Scientific Method, an approach using what is called inductive reasoning that gave rise to The Scientific Method.[5] “Darwin clearly understood that his theory was not based on any new scientific evidence,” which caused him no consternation because he was not a scientist, but was rather what is called a natural philosopher. A scientist, you see, makes observations and conducts experiments so that using inductive reasoning he can formulate a theory based upon facts while Darwin as a natural philosopher made use of deductive reasoning first to formulate a theory before gathering by scientific means experimental data or facts.[6] Thus, Darwin worked in the opposition direction that a scientist employs. He made observations, true, but performed no experiments. One does not have to be a scientist to make observations, and Darwin was certainly no scientist. Thus, whether from its ancient origins or its more recent popularization, evolution does not in any way owe its acceptance to science.

 

Next, PROOFS

 

Two comments concerning proofs:

First, when considering the only two explanations for how it came to be there are no proofs. The Word of God offers absolutely no proof whatsoever to back up its claim that God created this universe and everything in the universe in six literal 24-hour days and then rested on the seventh day. The late Henry Morris, one of the founders of the modern Biblical creationism movement, wrote these words concerning Genesis 1.1:

 

“One who really believes Genesis 1:1 will have no difficulty believing the rest of Scripture. God (Elohim) is eternal, existing before the universe, and is omnipotent, having created the universe. Therefore, nothing is impossible with God, and He alone gives meaning to everything. No attempt is made in this verse to prove God; it was recorded in the beginning when no one doubted God.”[7]

 

On the other side of the argument about beginnings, despite the claim by evolutionists, be they scientists or otherwise, there is not one scintilla of scientific proof to support evolution. Remember, the first evolutionists whose writings have been preserved, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Xenophanes, lived thousands of years before science and made no claims of any kind that their beliefs were scientific. Remember, Anaximander “imagined” evolution to be true. Thales and Anaximander “taught” and Xenophanes “argued.” Not a one of them claimed to have proof. Centuries later a Greek philosopher named Epicurus and a later Roman philosopher Lucretius embraced the same evolutionary conception of reality, but did so not on the basis of science but on the basis of refusing to believe in a god or such a thing as an afterlife where someone might be punished and held accountable for the kind of life he lived.[8] Are we on to something here? You decide.

Therefore, when someone seeks to persuade you of either position, that God created the universe in six literal days, or that energy and matter randomly interacting over astonishingly long periods is the proper explanation, be very careful when anyone uses the word proof. I can prove that the Bible declares something to be true. An evolutionist can declare that he is convinced something happened in a certain way. However,

 

“Neither creationist nor evolutionary cosmology involves empirical observation, experimentation or testing. The question of origins is ultimately an historical question.”[9]

 

Of course, this makes the entire issue a matter of faith, doesn’t it? The creationist can’t prove that God created the heavens and the earth, much less that He did so in six literal days. I wasn’t there. My only recourse is to direct you to the Bible, where God declares what He did and how long it took Him. The same is true of the evolutionist. No evolutionist was there in the beginning. And as much as he claims he has science on his side, the reality is that science tells him what is and what happens now, not what was or how it came to be then. Either way, it is a matter of faith. Do you trust the never changing Word of God, or do you place your confidence and the safety of your soul in the ever-changing conclusions of scientists?

 

Finally, PREJUDICE

 

Christians are admittedly biased toward the Bible as our source of truth, believing God’s Word to be inspired and without error.[10] We freely and openly admit that. Evolutionists, on the other hand, insist that they are not biased, but are scientifically objective in their pursuit of truth. Really? Does recent history support scientist’s claims that their motives need not be questioned?[11] In a word, no. More importantly, what does the Bible declare to be true regarding this thing called objectivity?

Turning to Romans 1.28, we see the Apostle Paul’s inspired conclusion concerning mankind’s so-called objectivity with respect to God and the things of God:

 

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.”

 

What does this inspired declaration say to you about the willingness of any man unaffected and uninfluenced by God to receive truth about God, truth showing him accountable to God, and truth showing that he will one day stand before God in judgment? Here, my friends, we see the grand motive for atheism’s explanation of how it came to be, something called evolution that neither needs nor wants God. Thus, there is spiritual bias against the truth even before there is any opportunity to consider pertinent facts. Minds are already made up.

No wonder Lucretius designed a materialist philosophy to exclude troubling thoughts of an afterlife or any other disturbing thoughts. Consider also the comments of a modern leader of the evolutionists, Aldous Huxley, who very likely speaks for more evolutionists than they want to admit when he writes,

 

“For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotical revolt: we could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.”[12]

 

This comports well with Charles Darwin’s attitude toward a consideration of God, especially following the death of his daughter. Not that he was a libertine, but that he was intolerant of any God who would be responsible for her death.[13] I seem to remember the same type of response by Mark Twain when his beloved daughter Suzy died from spinal meningitis.

The point that I seek to illustrate is that with respect to God and origins, when it comes to God and how it came to be, how we came to be, there is no possibility of any neutral consideration of the facts. There is no possibility of the objective pursuit of the truth.

 

To recap what we have briefly considered, there are two and only two perspectives from which a person comes to an understanding of how we came to be, of how it came into existence. Either there is a God, the one true and living God, eternal, immortal, and all-wise, Who spoke all things into existence, or there are eternal energy and matter that over a long, long time is responsible for what we see today, by means of some unintelligent and unguided series of accidents called evolution. These and only these two perspectives exist, perspectives that in no way arose from anything like science.

As for proofs concerning the truth of each of these perspectives, there are no proofs. If there is no God, then no one was there, and if there is God then only He was there. Either way, the one perspective or the other perspective is not embraced, clung to, or clutched as a result of any proof, because Christianity offers no proof only proclamation, and evolution only pretends to offer scientific proof to those who are too ignorant to recognize that where science cannot make observation or experimentation there can be no science. There are scientists on both sides of the argument, creation scientists on one side and evolutionary scientists on the other side, who both have access to the same data recently acquired, but interpret the data according to their perspectives. So you see, for both sides, though only one side is willing to admit it, it is a matter of faith. Do you have faith in God and His Word? Or do you have faith in scientists and science so-called?

This is an immensely important question because no matter that conclusion you draw, no matter that side you come down on, it will not be the result of any objective inquiry into the facts. I am not saying the facts are not important and that we should not do our best to tackle the facts. I am only saying that objectivity is utterly impossible because sinful man desperately works to suppress his knowledge of God, according to Romans 1.28: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.”

How is the person who believes the Bible to be explained? By what means does someone who naturally and normally suppresses his knowledge of God come instead to believe in God and embrace His Word and His declaration of origins as being a true account of what happened? That is grace, my friend. Nothing but God’s grace.

So, which is it to be with you, my friend? Do you reject the Bible and deny God’s account of how it came to be? Or do you believe in God and accept His account as true? It is not a matter of science. It is not really a matter of history. In reality, it is a matter of faith. As Hebrews 11.3 declares,

 

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

__________

[1] See footnote for Genesis 1.1 from Henry M. Morris, The New Defender’s Study Bible, (Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 2006), page 7.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_views_on_evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution 12/10/15

[3] Donald D. Crowe, Creation Without Compromise: A Christian worldview response to evolutionary challenges to the faith, (Brisbane, Australia: Creation Book Publishers. 2009), page 22.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Richard William Nelson, Darwin, Then And Now, (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc., 2009), page 74.

[6] Ibid., pages 82-85.

[7] See footnote for Genesis 1.1 from Henry M. Morris, The New Defender’s Study Bible, (Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 2006), page 6.

[8] Crowe, pages 23-26.

[9] Ibid., page 277.

[10] 2 Timothy 3.16; 2 Peter 1.21

[11] Please consider William Broad & Nicholas Wade, Betrayers Of The Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science, Michael Fumento, Science Under Siege, and Horace Freeland Judson, The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science

[12] Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the methods Employed for Their Realization, Fifth ed. (New York: Harper, 1937), pp. 316-17 as it appears at <www.edwardbabinski.us>

[13] Crowe, page 84.

 

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org