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4. Should We Still Take Genesis Seriously?

Anthony Bosman


Anthony Bosman

Assistant Professor



  • December 31, 2018
    10:45 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C T B N in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online and she Y.C. Web. OK Let's let's get moving. I'm particularly excited about this next presentation we're going to be looking adds Genesis asking should we still take Genesis seriously. I think you and I'm hoping that afterwards when we finish we can have extended time for more Q. and A I know a lot of questions we didn't get to this last. Or that we may want to revisit So let's go ahead and pray and then we can jump in talking about Genesis fathers are used to operate now has been some time thinking about Genesis going back we really just reminded of the fact as we travel backwards back before the creation of all we find you Father Son Spirit existing in loving community what an awesome reality that the foundation of reality itself is you and your love but the hope is to grow in that love growing appreciation of who you are and better communicate the reality of you to those who don't yet have that confidence in you them women. Here we go we should we still take Genesis seriously so you may have seen some critiques like this is another meme religion gave us the Dark Ages science gave us the space age so it is basic narrative that science is about moving us forward or creating all these exciting things putting people on the moon writes on this afternoon we'll talk about the future of humanity and the awesome potential of science based colonies and colonize Mars artificial intelligence this afternoon but but this is looking back as historically science look what it's given us was religion it gave us the Crusades and gave us it held back scientific progress were the best examples of this is is this guy you know this is yeah this is Galileo and so the story goes well look what happened Galileo right he was trying to usher in this this scientific truth but religion was holding him back right Galileo was was trying to explain the the universe but the religious system was holding him holding him back so it's science against religion but we actually look at the life of Galileo something interesting happens you begin to recognise that yallow had a high view of scripture for instance he wrote I think of that I think in the 1st place that it's very pious to say and prudent to affirm the Holy Bible can never speak on truth whenever it's true meaning is understood and so Galileo didn't sense this tension between what God revealed in Scripture and his study of the universe that some project onto him so what's going on what was the what was the fuelling this this conflict with Galileo and the church. Well when you step back and appreciate the worldview that was dominant of the time or world view that was inherited from Aristotle there you have it integrated into medieval theology and it went something like this you have the earth at the center of the solar system which was then the entirety of the cosmos and then you had a number of bodies orbiting the Earth the Moon Mercury Venus the sun Mars you put a Saturn Incidentally these bodies are the foundation for the names of all of the week the names of the days of the week so we have like. Sunday after the sun Monday after the moon and so forth up to Saudi half a Saturn So the 7 days of the week were named after the 7 bodies that we could see with the naked eye orbiting the Earth and then there was believed to be some out of spheres whether the stars were fixed and then the outermost fear Aristotle had this idea of the prime mover or the on cause for cause and what happened was when the medieval church read Aristotle someone who was held in very high esteem they're like ha we can integrate this with our religious teachings pretty well the ON CAUSE 1st cause is just another name for God And so we could integrate our theology with this philosophy and it gives some kind of prestige some kind of authority to search because if you have. You know you're winning rights so so they're able to get him on the team but it came at the cost of not only integrating into the theological system but also integrating into the cosmology the understanding of the world around them and so what the reformation then came in did was the Reformation was a pushing back upon. Aristotle by the way this is why there was conflict when Galileo was proposing his model we have this Copernican model we have the sun is at the center and look up into the heavens and the heavens is not just about things going perfect circles right it's a lot more complicated than that and he's beginning to to challenge the church because he's challenging Aristotle and so the cause of the controversy there was because the church had married itself with Aristotle but the Reformation did was it pushed back and it was that healing in world view for instance Aristotle had written this ethics we become just by doing just acts so style has this idea that you know what makes you a flutist means or why your flute is because you play the flute Well so what makes you just why you just because you do just things well you you do just X. and now integrate it into the theological system right so justices is that we become right with God through through good works and so you have a push back in the reformation where Martin Luther realizes no the just shall live by faith right and so you begin to have a rejection of this marrying of the philosophy with the theology but then that also then pave the way to begin to reject the way in which the astronomy had been married to the churches understanding so after Martin Luther comes coupler intially enough couple of calls himself the Luther of astronomy and what Kepler is doing it's he's pushing back on some of these models saying OK you know just like how Martin Luther studied the book of scripture to understand how we become just now I'm going to study the Book of Nature and understand how the world really is and come up with models that will challenge those of what the church can you please held Stardoll. So central to this reformation was this idea of 2 books it's an old idea the dates back in Christian history that there are 2 books of God's revelation that God has revealed himself both in the book of scripture but also in the book of nature and so both are telling us something about who God is and so on Protestants come and they began to read the book of scripture in a new way that's not just listen to the past authorities let's study the book itself and then gave permission for individuals to rise up and study the Book of Nature itself rather than just listen to what the past authorities have said about nature doesn't make sense so the prostin Reformation really reading the book of scripture leads the way to the scientific revolution which is revealing the book of nature in particular the process introduced a new hermeneutic the radically changed how they read scripture. Prior to the Reformation very common were these allegorical readings of Scripture it was considered that they were like 4 levels of reading Scripture the literal level that's like the surface but then if you want to get the true meaning of the text you need to get to the allegorical reading of Scripture and so he was some examples of of how this or this allegorical reading have been used in Christian history the church father Origen he offered a way to make sense of the parable of the Good Samaritan and let this into it is quite fantastic this is his interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan his allegorical reading of it he says the man who was going down is Adam the man who is traveling along the road Druce alone is paradise and Jericho is the world is traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho the robbers are hostile powers the ones who call him and beat him up the priest is the law the end Levite is the prophets the Samaritan is Christ so the law and the prophets of passed him by but here comes Christ His wounds are disobedience the beast of the horse that he put him on is the Lord's body the in this mess and took him to which accepts all who wish to enter is the church the manager of the it is the head of the church the bishop to whom its care has been entrusted and the fact that this man it's in promises to return represents the fact of the Savior is coming again his 2nd coming and so he's made able to fit all of redemption history into the parable of the Good Samaritan. Now for the Protestant Reformers when they come to the parable of the Good Samaritan they got no that's not what users were saying right like but that's good that you've got all the Christian doctrine in there but this is an allegorical reading that isn't really true to the text itself is allegorical he did not become rampant Here's some more examples when reading the creation account when you read that on the 4th day there was a greater light and I left the light it was common to say things like well the greater light is Christ the less a light is the church the stars are the same. And day one when God says Let there be light this is the light of the Gospel coming into your life it is a beautiful story but that is that really what the text was teaching or in Adam was created the reason he was put to seriously than his side was open is because he is representing Christ who who saw inside was cut and he slept in the tomb secure even for himself a bride and so it was go through in every passage of Scripture all of Scripture it was trying to read in this allegorical way but just as there were 2 books not only would they try to read Scripture and is our goal career way there was a movement to read Nature itself in this allegorical way and so when you go out into the world in you see birds flying you would be like Well that is a symbol or type of how we can soar above sin in Christ or something like this where you can imagine that the all of Scripture the stories of scripture are Milly allegories the militias to this greater spiritual reality and all of nature all of creation is merely some kind of allusion to or assign to a greater spiritual reality. And so what the reformers began to do is they began pushing back on this they said no the text has a literal meaning in itself that isn't just allegorize ing right now we should understand what the text itself is saying we're seeing a 2nd how this pave the way for modern science but I want to point out that there's a danger in modern Adventism that sometimes we can fall into the same Al Gore izing of the text and so here are some some versions I've heard of the parable of the last coin there are 10 coins and ones missing there oh there are 10 commandments one has been forgotten. If you ever heard of this well it's true that we have largely forgotten the Sabbath commandment in Christianity but I'm not sure if that's what the parable of the Lost calling is actually about or when you read the story about a woman like Ruth or about some ship Paul child and some ship it's action allegory for what's going to happen to the church and if you go in down you break it down to great detail you can see how it's telling you the history of Adventism or something like this. Or the Song of Songs is is actually about the great disappointment Well it's true that Scripture does teach about the investigative judgment in those important biblical doctrines but I'm not sure if you're going to find that in the Song of Songs or everything in the same Sherry corresponds to what your body is a living saying Sherry and therefore everything in the central corresponds to your body in some way and the church is the temple of God So every nook and cranny of the same something by the church and Christ is in heaven so every little nook and cranny you some detail about is having a ministry and so many people come up with fantastic claims by allegorize in the text in this way and I want to suggest that we need to be careful in doing this that some of these come to the right doctrinal conclusions but they model in a responsible way of reading the text they're reading more into the text than is actually there yes the Certainly Scripture teaches about the Sabbath and teaches about the history of the church and teaches about the fantastic teachings of the century we need to make sure that we don't read that into stories when it wasn't intended is that clear. Fantastic. So here's the implication of the form is when the form is came back in the let's step back once a ban analogous Let's try and sell you the text self and see its primary meaning its literal meaning Peter Harrison story of science notes its influence he says How did not then for the rise of the literal interpretation of the Bible this Protestant community and the subsequent appropriation of Biblical narratives by early modern scientists modern science may not have a risen at all in some the Bible in its literal interpretation have played a vital role in the development of Western science this is his book the Bible process ism and the rise of natural science encourage you to read it's a little bit dense but it's a fantastic summary because it shows how when prophecy said let's start taking the text of Scripture seriously it led to people saying let's start taking the book of nature seriously it's not just the sign no illusion of a greater spiritual reality creation itself has value God created this world and we can go out and we can study it and we can understand it it's a rather then people sometimes you hear like if you take Genesis seriously as opposed to science but historically it was people taking Genesis seriously let me conclude it's not just about spiritual realities the god actually values our physical world he created the physical creation that we're part of that led people to began to take nature itself seriously invest in the study of nature it's not cool to take taking scripture seriously even a literal reading of scripture is what led to the rise of modern science. We can see a number of the reformers even anticipating this during the Reformation Martin Luther and one of his table talks is recorded a say in the we are at the dawn of a new era for we are beginning to recover the knowledge of the eternal world that was lost in the fall of Adam so so you anticipate is that we're going to usher in all this new knowledge of the world around us writes What was really fantastic about Luther in the reformers is they recognize the priesthood of all believers and the priest of all believers says it's whatever your job whatever you occupation if you are participating in God's good creation maybe you're building something maybe doing some creative task maybe you're caring for people then your work is sacred it's not only the work of the priest that a sacred everyone belongs to this priesthood so whatever you do is sacred and then this leads to the possibility of a scientific exploration itself being a vocation of being a calling of a study in the world around you know sustaining it is itself a sacred work it's not just the priest to do something special and everyone else's is stuck doing some lowly lot but each one of us by living in existing and extending God's good creation may be for serving people taking care of the planet or doing creative works ourselves with protests a pain in this creation and that has incredible value we're acting as a priest in that capacity as a priest of all believers and so you can start to see how after. Luthor in this revolution this reformation a number of these scientists come forward and they understand their science to be an extension of their faith people like Cap learn who said I had the intention of becoming a theologian and maybe you would have been a good one but notice what he says but now I see how God is by my endeavors by his science also glorified in astronomy for the heavens declare the glory of God And so these pioneers of modern science understood that what they were doing to understand the universe was glorifying God there's science is not in tension with their faith whether it's coming out of their faith Isaac Newton put it this way he wrote The Principia Mathematica perhaps the most scientific the most important scientific document in all of history it's fantastic he developed the laws of motion he gives a mathematical derivation for for Kepler's laws explain why planets move in elliptical paths it's a fantastic documents but notice what he says about it he says when I wrote my treat C. about our system about the solar system I had an audio upon such principles as might work with considering men for belief in a deity and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose so new Newton saying my greatest joy is that when people read and understand my work on the mathematical structure of the solar system they come to believe in or at least consider belief in God It kind of sounds like John at the end of his gospel he says I wrote these things so that you may believe but for Newton he wasn't just writing gospel he was writing science but he understood that his science was revealing who God is. What I want to do now seem that a study of scripture has not been opposed to science but as fuelled it I want to take a seminar to dig into Revelation chapters of Genesis Chapters 123 a little bit deeper and see what is Genesis chapter $123.00 really saying now there's so much there we could spend all $67.00 hours just going through the 1st 3 chapters it's packed but I'm going to try to hit some key points to try to really understand what's going on in Genesis respond to some criticisms and try to save the significance of Genesis for our lives today so if you have a Bible I encourage you to pull it out or you have a phone you can pull it out and we're going to be digging into the 1st 3 chapters of Genesis trying to see what's going on there and why is this still so significant for us today as you turn to Genesis you catch the opening line in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth what's going on here what's the significance of the statement the 1st observation is when the text says heaven and earth when it puts together these 2 opposites what is saying is that saying everything the universe the cosmos but he was don't have a word for the universe as a whole so it employs a device called a mirror is of what a mirror is them does is a brings together 2 opposites to represent the whole For instance in the Book of Joshua chapter one verse 8 the command is given to keep the book of the law always on your lips meditate on it day and night what is meant by it meditate on a day and night. Method on all the time it brings together 2 opposites day and night not to say oh don't worry about it in the afternoon it's now what it's trying to say is is he with the 2 opposites who the 2 extremes the day in the night in together when I bring them together represents the whole so meditate on it continuously Similarly you see another example the 2nd Chronicles Chapter $34.00 of us 30 it refers to all the people great and small Well how about the medium sized people right now know what it's doing is bringing together 2 opposites great and small to represent the entirety that clear when you make your wedding vows you say things like for better or worse rich or poor sick one has to go sickness and health it's bringing together the opposite sex to make the point of all the time this commitment is forever and to the same things that function here in this 1st verse in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth that is in the beginning God created the totality of everything and we see this very clearly in the New Testament like for instance John chapter one it says that all things are created by Christ and through Him all things were made that were made we can look at the grammatical structure in the beginning God created heavens and the earth and we can see that it serving as an introduction. Notice it begins with a temporal a marker in the beginning next in the Hebrew is the verb translation it comes as the object of the subject God And then of course of created in the object of His creation the heavens and the earth this is a common device used in books to introduce to give some background information that introduces the US to the to the setting for instance and Chapter one Verse one you've given some tempo marker in the 3rd year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Juda then you've given the subject never could as her and then you've given the verb he came when you come to Jerusalem besieged it similarly as you're now in the 1st year of Cyrus king of Persia you've given some tempo marker who the Laura what do you do we stir up each of these cases it's given you an introduction in the introduction is providing some background information. To books outside the bible to have us all sure I mean just a grammatical construction in Python all over the place if you were to look at other books so. I can't think of an introduction particular book right now does it oh you should look at the 1st sentence of stuff to Christ and see if it doesn't but I mention this right here because it's showing us the way to understand the statement in the Hebrew is it's giving us some kind of background to introduce what's happening in the time see some think that when Jen says once one and it says in the beginning God created heavens and the earth that's simply operating as a summary of what's to follow but I believe what's actually going on there is not a summary of the chapter it's an introduction to the chapter that's given you background I need to know their author is saying that God has created everything that's the background and then from that background it moves on and it focuses attention specifically on the earth. Not only is a claiming that God created everything but the incredible claim of scripture is that created everything from nothing and we see this explicit in the New Testament Hebrews chapter 11 verse 3 by faith we understand that the worlds were formed by the Word of God So the things which are seen were not made by things which are visible the not made by preexisting matter that God brought them about by the power of His Word it Revelation Chapter 4 of us 11 you are worthy our Lord to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things and by your will the existing were created but there's nothing that could exist independent of God God brought everything into existence now maybe that isn't seem so radical but if you compare this account with other creation accounts those of the Babylonians or elsewhere you see that this is altogether singular it's altogether unique because in other religious creation accounts it's typically cancer with those cysts some primordial material some chaotic system some some water is of some earth or some original material and from this material the gods emerge the gods of Borg the gods have a beginning the theology and then once the gods come into existence then they began to shape that material in form the universe around it Genesis is quite different because it begins by emphasizing no God Himself created everything the heavens in York has a beginning God does not in contrast to these other accounts where there's some original material that has no beginning from which the gods emerge and so the God of scripture is quite unique from these other gods. Genesis $12.00 moves on to focus on the earth the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep the Spirit of God is hovering over the face of the waters but Genesis doesn't begin with one verse 2 because if it did then you might be tempted to think while the waters were always there the earth was always there God came along and shaped it that's why he began to emphasize in Genesis one verse was that God created everything God created the universe and then it moves and says Now let's focus on what he did to lead your how you prepare the earth how he made it inhabitable for us is that clear. OK Great let me pause and see if there are any questions at this point. You know right here. If. The. So if the. If the if God did not build the Earth it would be. The other way around so if God had not created the earth then I guess there would have had to exist forever but that's why Genesis is going out of its way to emphasize in the beginning God created everything so everything traces back to God It's not that some things existed before God writes so Genesis is trying to emphasize that God created everything and then the New Testament goes above and beyond emphasize this point even more so the angels created before that that's right so the Genesis one does not engage with the creation of the angels were elsewhere scriptural talk about the angels that's not in the purview of Genesis chapter one. Very good OK let's keep moving so I did Genesis one verse one we see in Genesis one verse 2 attention is moving to the earth and then what God does he goes through a series of steps to prepare the earth. There's a structure to the series God's not acting arbitrarily he's not just doing random activities and the 1st 3 days he's forming the spaces of the year or so on the 1st day he separates light from darkness because the light day because the darkest night on the 2nd day supporting the waters the waters above from the waters below and the 3rd day separates the land from the sea and then when he does on the next 3 days if he fills up those spaces on the 1st day he had separate light from darkness on the 4th day we see that he gives the greater light and the lesser light the task of governing the seasons now filling up the light in the darkness we see that now it's significant that Genesis doesn't call them the sun in the moon doesn't give them any names at all it simply says the greater light and the lesser light why is Genesis doing this because Genesis wants us to be reminded that their job is simply to function to govern the seasons there not some kind of gods in themselves the temptation would be to worship the sun as a god or until it is not even going to name the sun in the moon it simply says No no the simply a greater light and a lesser light cannot actually do U.T.S. it's trying to. Shine to demystify the cosmos that the functional the not to U.T. is they 51 day to get sober the waters above from the waters below so in day 5 he fills that up he fills above with the flying creatures and below with the sea creatures and day 6 and day 3 God separated the land from the sea and day 6 God fills up the land with various land creatures and awesomely with humanity so God is forming spaces and then he's filling in those spaces notice what happens at a 7. What does God for mean he's forming a space in. Time and what's filling that with with his presence he's blessing the sink defies it he fills it with his presence is not beautiful so sad but this is God has carved out the space and time them that he's filled with himself in desire to be with humanity so that's the creation account going through these days one highlight of the Creation account is on the 6th day the image of God Now what does it mean when the scripture talks about God made us in His image we can go through we can see the 1st aspect is that in some way we resemble God Genesis one verse 26 says Let us make man in Our image according to our likeness so in somehow we resemble God That's not to say we are God no no no God as creator we have created it but somehow we have a moral or spiritual nature we have the ability to reason we have the ability to engage in complex language be a language like mathematics or language like English or one of the other many languages write we can engage in language we can do these things that set us apart from the other animals so God has made his image to give us the capacity to reason to think but also to into its relationship with him which have a moral aspect to nature we have a free will but we can exercise our will so in some sense God is endowed us with unique capacities not only do is a God but is a relational aspect to the image of God God created man in His image in the image of God He created him male and female he created them somehow us reflect in the image of God It comes down to the fact they were made both male and female. Somehow human relationships are reflecting the relationship that exist in the Godhead God has let us make God and let us make man out image God exists employ reality God exist in a community of love and he's created humanity to reflect that in part to be made in the image of God are both male and female and we're able to reflect the love that exists in the Godhead and one last aspect I want to suggest that what it means to be made in the image of God is that we are representatives of God when God gives these commands Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it have dominion over the fish of the sea of the birds of the air and of a living creature that moves on the earth God doesn't bind us to do the kinds of things that he has just been doing in creation God had been creating God had been exercising governance over the world and now he says I want you to step into some capacity where you why don't create from nothing we procreate you spread life you exercise governance over the animals I want to invite you into sharing this role with me I want you to participate in creation with me and so we share God's rule of and care for creation we extend creation and so this is what I was saying that the process of reform is when they come of the priest of all believers the said whatever your job is whatever you do in whatever you do throughout the week it's a sacred priestly thing because you create your participating in the creation of water that when you create when you create a VAX make a youtube video or paint a painting it's it's you acting out in this creative capacity we left in the image of God extending his good creation. This is also science itself us understanding the world and thus extending creation innovating creating technologies is us we flecked in the image of God rights so this is what it means to me the image of God Now some have debated well what's what is it is it that we resemble God that somehow relationship reflects God or that were his representatives the answers and saw 3 in order for us to be as representatives are we need to resemble him we need to have these unique aspects of our nature and you know the 3 have tied together and so it's a holistic of use it to you collect in the image of God means we're made in His likeness but also in Shuster with responsibilities it in our relationships we deflect the love that exists within the Trinity we're going to question who in the microwave here. Doesn't that also mean that we look like God as well oh so you're asking do we look to God some physical way so I suggested for when we resemble God merely point to a moral or spiritual nature the fact that we can reason use language no one to know Does God have like a physical no rights and does God have like 2. Well I don't know if Scripture would give us any reason to suggest that and I would be careful to go too far down that line of thought but we can say this in the Incarnation God has taken upon himself humanity and so now there is in heaven one who looks like one who is even a Son of Man and that's an incredible fact that independent how God looked before he has taken upon himself humanity in the Incarnation and so the incarnation is for that gives value to humanity be made of God That's profound enough already the fact that God speaks upon himself humanity in the Incarnation Wow that's God of valuing humanity in a really significant way. I want to contrast this depiction of the image of God becomes a question a 2nd with some other creation accounts so we just saw the high view of what humanity used to be in the Genesis account but how did some other world views how did they understand it here's the Babylonian creation account Enuma Elish it puts it this way a savage man should be his name there early savage man I will create he should be charged with the service of the gods that they might be at ease what a contrast the Babylonian depiction of what it means to be human is to be human is to be a savage to be human is to serve the God so that they may be at ease the question how does God makes us in His image so that we can join with him in extending in appreciating creation chances even mentions it says when he talks about the god create the trees it says he created a beautiful tree. That throws in the word beautiful it's like college wants us to enjoy the beauty of creation it's a God values humanity so much as I'm going to create beauty and give them the capacity to enjoy incredible sunsets and beautiful trees versus these other counts of view humanity has as some kind of animal whose only purpose is to serve the gods at their pleasure What a contrast here we have a question let's get a question here and then I want to think about what Islam is implications for today. You know actually my question goes back to Genesis 1112 you know when you were saying that God created the universe and then it focuses on the creation of the earth up does that mean that Earth the matter and the materials that guy used to create Earth were floating in space for a. You know I'm not sure of the tech specifies the odds but something some would say that Genesis one verse one happens at the very beginning of the 1st creation God creates everything but I don't think it's necessary to read the text that way I think it's fine to read the text at some point in the past God created everything. I don't know how long past some out of time past I have no idea of the same day it was much much much later that God comes to the folks this is activity in preparing the earth but the days of creation are specifically focusing God preparing the earth and so it's met some people who read many do you read that at some point in the distant past billions of years ago who knows God created the universe as a whole with a much more recently he focused his divine activity on the earth to repair it. Oh the Mike is dead so I'm going to let you speak into my mike. So my question was specifically focused on the fact that the universe could be billions of virtually of years old but the lifespan of the Earth could be much shorter and that that's biblical. I see no tension between DOT in scripture so I think if you read Genesis one it's a binary Genesis one I don't think it says that God created the heavens and the earth 14000000000 years ago but it doesn't exclude the possibility it just simply lets us know that God created the heavens and the earth right and so there's no tension there but it doesn't focus on at some point more recently Well it seemed like the Earth was already there in some capacity but God was preparing the earth to make it ready for life and that would have been much more recent in the in the biblical view so I hope that answers your question it's not that insist upon that but that's a possible way of reading the text and maybe some of us we disagree on that maybe some US would insist the whole universe was created instantly at the beginning of creation week and maybe someone will come for that and I think there's room for that disagreement to take place OK let's get one more comment on things part of the important question and then I was a move on to Doc's reflection on the image of God in the significance. I just learned to make a comment on what you were just saying that you can either see the whole universe being created the beginning of creation to go along before but if you do it at the beginning of creation week there's no room for like the fall of Lucifer the creation of everything else that there would have to have some sort of span of time I would think that's a great point. Autum a very comfortable with a very old universe because we understand this is a whole prehistory to the creation week of all the Angelic Host in the narrative of Lucifer Now that's 6 place in heaven it's not clear is have been part of our physical universe we're not right and so you know you can ask those kinds of questions I don't think the biblical data is definitive on that and so I'm I'm happy to let people speculate on that and leave room for some different views on that it's OK let's keep moving and come back some more but I want to think about what are the implications of the image of God and particularly I want to reflect upon the west and in Western civilization this idea of human rights so sometimes we think this idea of human rights is universal and natural but it's important you look back at history you see that prior civilizations have very different ideas about what kind of rights people have for instance Aristotle in his politics argued that this should be a law that no deformed child should live. Now of the time modern sensibilities we just think that's incredible how could you think that it's a human being right is a human being that's instilled with dignity but where does the modern sense of human dignity come from and I want to suggest that it comes from this idea of the image of God It passes through the in light of Minute takes a secular flavor to it so we don't have to use religious language but also many traces back to the conviction that all humans are infinitely valuable that have incredible dignity independent of the ability to work or to perform independent of if they have deformities or not because the made still in the image of God Notice the Declaration of Independence how it echoes this language we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed with their creed by The Creator with certain unalienable rights and so it's views human rights as being God and doubt or as coming from the fact they were made in the image of God Now you read this and maybe you recognize quickly that well when these words were written not all people were treated with full dignity right now was an extended to all people but the idea of human rights coming from people in the image of God was so powerful that allowed us to appeal to it for progress for instance monitor King when he's making his case for racial equality notes the language he used man is more than a tiny Bakery of growing electrons or a wisp of smoke from a limitless Smalling man is a child of God made in His image and therefore must be respected as such and so throughout history it's a powerful idea of the image of God The people who are appealed to to allow us to recognize hey maybe we haven't always lived up to this but this extends to all people who hates this has implications for how we live. Victor Frankl points out some of the moral implications but to Franco survivor of the Holocaust puts it this way he says if we present a man with a conception of man which is not true like the Babylonian conception man is a savage we may well corrupt him would resent man as an atomic as an automation of reflexes as a mind machine as a bundle of instincts as a part of drives and reactions as a mere product of instinct heredity and environment we feed the nihilism to which modern man is in any case prone he says I became acquainted with this last stage of that corruption in my 2nd concentration camp Auschwitz the gas chambers of Auschwitz with the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment or as the Nazi like to say of blood and soil so as point out that if we abandon the depiction of man as being made in the image of God or if we compromise for something less that there was simply the product of environment was simply the result of some naturalistic accounts then this seems to corrupt individuals it seems to lead them into a nihilism or a place of meaninglessness where we fail to respect each other with dignity so that's the ultimate end. To be clear he's not saying that that an individual who may at the time be an atheist can't respect people absolutely there are all kinds of atheists who have very high views of humans and a very high views of people but what the question is is what's the basis for that view and I want to suggest that even if some was professing atheism the high view of people the dignity of saying to people. The fact that they're actually relying upon this doctrine of the image of God even if they don't explicitly affirm it it's still informing the ethical framework it's still the foundation of their ethics and that's one way we can appeal to people we can say hey you have a high view of people in a high view of dignity and so where does that come from and what worldview would allow you to affirm these things that you care about so much I want to briefly mention the connection of the Sabbath Genesis to talks about the Sabbath that's made more explicit in the next 20 minutes want to emphasize the way that Sabbath is an affirmation of human dignity notice the Sabbath Commandment it begins Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy 6 days a chalet been joy to work for in 6 days the Lord made heaven and earth the sea and all that is in them and rested on the 7th day so what is that saying that saying you have to do this thing work 6 days and rest why because God did this thing. So what's the logic there oh it's because you in the image of God in the sense of the image of God You have to reflect the kind of divine activity that God himself participated in and just sat with his actual reminder that you made in the image of God but knows the commandment goes on because Genesis teaches that all humanity shares in the image of God So notice how the command goes on you should not do any work you or your son or your daughter or your male servants or your female servants or your livestock Officer German who is within your gates it is the idea that the human dignity it extends to all these classes of individuals and even the animals have some level of dignity as well rights that independent of your race so use social standing independent of how much money you have independent of your gender you a share in the image of God and therefore you deserve the dignity of rest I think about our current political and social situation and how we divided we are. And I wonder if we took Sabbath seriously and we saw Sabbath as a time of us coming together in a forum that all people have dignity independent of race in the pendant of gender independent of social status all people independent nationality all people of dignity why would that be a powerful statement at a time when was so divided I was so nasty to each other that we can in our Sabbath keeping be affirming the dignity of all people it goes on to say therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made a holy this remind us the that since God is the one who makes Sabbath holy God is also the one the only one who makes us holy So why the work we do is valuable is us participating in creation that's on the ultimate foundation of all Holiness the foundation of a whole and this is God's work so that's the message of the Sabbath and the relevance of it's today well when the question comes up in Genesis that I will spend a few minutes song. And that's why there are 2 creation accounts we had Genesis one it seemed to already tell the story and intially enough it doesn't finish until Genesis 2 with the creation account finishes you have judges one begins in the beginning God created heavens and the earth and then finishes in Genesis 2 of us for this is the history of the heavens and the earth were dug that was then st of it but then it begins what seems to be a 2nd account in Genesis chapter 2 in the day of the Lord Genesis chapter 2 verse 4 in the day the Lord God made the earth in the heavens and then starts go into a 2nd accounts they can focus in on Adam and Eve And so what's going on there why the 2 creation accounts and some have used this as a critique of Scripture and they said things like oh well that must mean that you know there were 2 competing accounts and someone just stuck them together and they posit that they were different authors of the 2 accounts but I would suggest that you have very deep harmony treated to a cow's the 1st one Genesis Chapter one is given the cosmic creation account the it is folks there is a creation the world as a whole how the world came into being just one verse one how the whole universe came into existence but in Genesis to focus specifically on humanity. But not in a competing way rather what Genesis 2 is doing is unpacking the 6th day of Genesis one in Genesis one on the 6th day he told the gods creates male and female Very briefly but then in detail in Genesis chapter 2 it goes through and it tells the account of how the Happened God created Adam because asleep to befall him and and it goes through the holes there tive in Genesis chapter one you are given the given the command to be fruitful and multiply and then in Genesis chapter 2 you have a further expounding upon the family and what it means for them to become one flesh in Genesis chapter one they are given the command to do work to fill the earth and subdue it you have to minions you to exercise this kind of governance and then Genesis chapter 2 you give an account of how Adam is placed in the garden to work it to keep it tended to protect it how he has the job of naming animals and so is just unpacking the command that's given in Genesis one it's been on packed in Genesis 2 in detail in Genesis one you've given a command about diets about the trees they may eat from Genesis 2 that becomes unpacks further it's all Genesis 2 is doing is it's on packing the 6th day and it's focusing in on humanity and emphasizing further the relationship between God and humanity some may attract object though but wait a 2nd if you look at the beginning of Genesis 2 it seems to contradict the creation accounts for instance it says before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown and then when there was no man till the ground and didn't God how do we just created the plants and created humanity so why is it saying here that it's not yet created and so some say that the 2 accounts are contradicting each other but when you take into it notice what it's actually doing is simply previewing the fall before any plants of the field was. Was in the OR What was the means of the diets in Genesis chapter 2 they would eat plants of the field rather than the trees and it's not until the course of Genesis 3 that they are commanded to eat from the plane so the feeling by your sweats you would eat bread are right there given the hard task of do not recall church and if there's no man to fill the ground it's nothing humanity having created yet rather it's focusing on the fact that the man humanity is not yet still in the ground the not yet doing that hard labor and so Genesis 2 was doing its Genesis 2 is zooming into the 6th day of creation not packing it but it's also previewing the fall it's laying the snow that this was a time before all of these things took place it's saying us up once and tis a pain in the fall so it's not a contradiction it is the patient what's to come when them of course we have the story of the fall what I want to do now is I want to talk about the significance of the fall for people today because sometimes you hear the story of the fall and the like that's kind of a weird story what's going on or why should I care about it that just sounds like some myth but I would suggest that the doctrine of the fall has a profound significance for us to make sense of our lives today G.K. Chesterton unpack this he was a British author he put it this way he said the fall is a view of life it's not only in lightening but an encouraging view of life. A man who holds to the dismay of life the view of the fall will find a given light and a 1000 things on which evolution it thinks has not a word to say he says it has more explanatory power in the last presentation we saw how Christianity was able to make sense of the universe of the whole I want to suggest here the doctrine of the fall is able to make sense of our personal experience and this is a powerful way for us to combat apatheism because everyone has some experience of extension of of Beano war within themselves in the fall helps us to make sense of this it puts it this way that happiness is not only a hope but also in some strange manner a memory and then we all kings the next cycle and he points out that if you look at all the great poetry of all the different people in different worldviews background knowledge perspectives there's some longing for something that seems to have been lost in the fog how gives words to long it helps us to understand why do we have this universal longing for some kind of lost happiness best goal he puts it this way he says Man has put a reader. The most feeble thing in nature but he is the thinking reader the entire universe the arm itself to crush him a vapor a drop of water would suffice to kill him but if the universe were to crush him man would still be more noble than that which killed him because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him in the universe knows none of us and so so what Pascal saying is there's some contradiction in what it means to be human there's a great this and that we can think and we can understand it make sense of the world but there's also a nothingness that we realize that we have but dust and what gives an account how are we to make sense of what it means to be human both this great this and this nothingness he impacts his idea further he says that the man's greatness retched this these 2 extremes are so evident everyone experiences this ever experience this ng's to both being an incredible thinking creature but also a sense of you know nothing in comparison to the universe as a whole is man's greatness direction is so evident that true religion must necessarily teach us that there is in Man him both some principle of greatness and some principle of wretchedness and I don't suggest that the doctrine of the fall is able to connect in this really vivid way with people's lived experiences that we have but dust and you can identify with that in such a true way I am but a dusting of pairs into the world you think about your mortality you think about the vastness of the world and yet I am made in the image of God I can think and I can reason and the paradox of being human that the fork next with them explains that in the people a longing for that kind of explanation it's important because once you recognize that the fall diagnosed as a human condition then you can begin to find that scripture also presents a solution to the human problem. For instance we face the problem of racism but notice how the teaching of Genesis which Paul echoes in Acts 17 now from one man God made all the nations that inhabit the whole earth comebacks that by emphasizing we're all part of one human family right the father speaking directly to these contemporary issues that we face the deduction of creation is saying hey this is relevance for how we think about humanity today but it also has relevance for existential problem this ng st feel that we are both great and we had nothing because if Adam can diagnose of the fall of Adam can diagnose a problem then Romans Chapter 5 points out that the victory of Christ can give us a solution for if the many died by the trespass of one man how much more of God's grace in the gift of that man come by Jesus Christ no flow to many and so for us Christians we must hold on to the reality of a store call Adam and recognize that diagnose is a problem of human condition because the paves the way for a store called Jesus that solved the problem so make sense now the fall both diagnoses the problem what it means to be human but that it points us to the solution in the 2nd Adam Jesus Christ I want to end by making a few comments about how about modern science is a compatible with these views of Adam and Eve Well I was saying before the that science relies upon models and it's all these models are going to be based upon assumptions and so it's really difficult if you go back into the past and try and project into the past a model to be inherently limited but there are some recent discoveries that seem to speak in in some kind of agreement with at least the overall texture of Genesis. One is is the discovery of a why a chromosomal Adam so men have an access and why I chromosome women have 2 axis rights which means each man receives his wife chromosome from his father and so this is why chromosome carries a picture on a lineage you can trace back and each man receives of Miss father receives of his father from his father and we've discovered that there's a common ancestor there's a common father that all living male share we've done genetic analysis that show that all living males have a common male and such that you can trace back. On the D.N.A. of the Y. chromosome it's called. Adam Similarly you have this mitochondrial D.N.A. that's passed on to you from your mother. And as we trace it back we see there's a common living in there's a common Matryona lineage so you can go all the way back in this is a cut common ancestor a woman that all live in individuals have as their ancestor and she's called mitochondrial Eve Now the models don't necessarily put them as being contemporaries Some put the evil living before the atoms of the animals living before the eve if they don't necessarily suggest that the only living people at the time as I said these met models are held in limited. You know they're based on assumptions about how quickly genetic material is mutating but the overall tenure of the models are pointing to the fact that indeed we all came from one man has access rights so I just want to end with a brief reflection of the issue between faith and science and I think Ellen White nails it in the book education on page 228 she says since the book of nature and the book revelation that's 2 books you are talking about there the impress of the same mastermind they cannot but speaking of harmony by different methods and in different languages they witness to the same great truths sciences of discovery new wonders but she brings from her research nothing that rightly understood conflicts with divine revelation the book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other they make us acquainted with God by teaching something of the laws that which he works and so I think the model goes something like this God is the author of both Scripture and nature and therefore those 2 things must speak in harmony rightly understood but theology which is our interpretation of scripture and science which is our target of I'm sorry theology the temptation of scripture and science our interpretation of nature can sometimes be in conflict. This shouldn't surprise us a science is tentative a consulate coming up with new models even within science the conflicts we have General Relativity the scribe the very large quantum mechanics describe the very small but these 2 things come into tension when we study things that are both very massive and very small and black holes so even within science we have conflicts that we're trying to resolve we don't give up on science we continue to investigate we continue to grow in understanding in the same way some of us scientific models may be in tension sometimes with theology but we expect that as we continue to study continue to grow out of standing in that was we better understand scripture nature these 2 things will speak in harmony because the same mastermind behind it well I'm going to end there let me say one of prayer and then open it up to any questions you may have for the go we want to praise you for revealing yourself to us both to in a general way through nature is that we can go outside and watch sunsets and just stand in awe of the credible universe that you created but also be revealed yourself in a specific way in Scripture that you revealed a plan of salvation to address our human condition how do we praise you for that but we pray that we may grow to a greater appreciation of your love as we study you created works as we dig into your word and that you might better equip us to share that hope with others that we might show them how you were really does address the ink's that we all feel this is being torn between wretchedness and greatness but it also gives a resolution solution in the 2nd Adam the final out of Jesus Christ and what he accomplished on the cross in Him is our hope Christ and we pray laymen. OK We're out of times you want to slip out that's fine but I'm happy to take some questions and I'll open it up so that you know everyone can hear them. So the questions yeah let's get a few of these. There were constant the need for data were finally tuned about the day I was with and how we deal with you for example and some other material in nature what would you say a bone to that comes to and use der or D. question used or. Yeah that's a good question so we tend to assume this uniformity as we go back the. Very sticky rates have been constant and that's going to influence our models I don't have anything particularly provocative to say this is the ill effects which is so you know I can't suggest this is a particular way that the models of the fish into this is a way to understand them we have good people working on this. Just Science Research Institute we have a number of people thinking about this problem and working through it but I would just come back to this basic model that even if times you may find points of tension we have the conviction that all to me nature and Scripture speak in harmony and then we saw one of the last Talk of the big idea of what is and what we know about the universe on a grand scale is incredible agreement even if some of these final points to me I feel sometimes. Question about I've been in arguments with people that have said that mathematics don't actually exist in nature it is just a tool that we use as human beings to understand physics and the world around us as a mathematician what you have to say about mathematics existing in nature. It's a really good question so like does the number 7 exist somewhere you know like there's a like floating out there somewhere there's the Platonic view which Plato how like this in platonic realm where they exist some Christians are say that they exist in the mind of God I'm fine with saying that mathematics is just a human invention right but the fact that we can invent mathematics Now that's telling us something that's telling us something about what it means to be human right because you know as we're saying animals monkeys dogs could not come up with mathematics but we can come up with things like E.G. Guy pi plus one equals 0 and so I'm less concerned about if he is floating out there in space somewhere right and I'm more concerned about what does that tell me about what it means to be human and was a saying about a human minds and it we look at then at the Applied to belittle of mathematics and I only can we develop consistent mathematics but then it goes on to explain the universe that seems to be saying that there's some deep sense in which our minds are wired to both seek truth and beauty mathematicians often describe mathematics is beautiful but then that truth and beauty corresponds in a profound way with the very fabric of the universe right and so I think that's that's a profound testimony to the fact that we're made in the image of God and therefore we can think and we can reason and that corresponds with God's creative activity now if you want to posit that ease floating somewhere you don't have to my concern is just what is it tell us about being human Now we can think of and understand these things. So my question relates to your previous question about The Big Chill soul as entropy increases and we inevitably approach absolute 0 only the end of the universe how do you reconcile that with God's original plan of eternity for man like on Earth. So maybe your objection is something along the lines of. If God created man to be eternal then why would the universe be set up in such a way to run down or these kinds of things yeah it's a good question I mention you the big chill is just one of a couple models of you know there's various cosmological eschatology is of how the universe will and. One might wonder you know what's the ultimate consequence of sin on the universe right and what's meant by god create a new have been the new earth what kind of ways is God sustaining the world in that capacity I can only speculate here and so I don't have a definitive answer for any of this but those of the line of thought you may go down Romans 8 after all indicates a creation is growing and so there's some way in which the fall of humanity impacted the creation order that creation is like long now to be restored and I don't know like you know it does not have like some implications for the physics I would be very cautious to make that claim but that may be a life line of thought you want to pursue but I don't know if we need much more than speculate on my question but it certainly does show God and you have a new earth that does do well forever and so we do see the coming about you know. So the mathematics and such we see that there are definite mathematical patterns plans and you know figures and even animals in the forms of butterflies and accept or it wouldn't tell those definitely there is some sort of mathematical background there that got uses that can be pitiful can be sustainable and even seen through our creation. Yeah this is a good question so this is a media that I got as a mathematician and you can look at it like that then not you sequence and you can see it in nature and it's like this this is the evidence got his mouth Titian So we have mathematical order and structure in nature I think that is telling us something deeper about God Well I'm a little more cautious is when we introduce things like I like imaginary numbers I'm not sure if that actually exists somewhere like if there's an in nature somewhere right but but the fact that human minds are able to reason in this way and then that reasoning can lead us to these the math we need to scribe the universe that's saying something about what it means to be human so independent I'm trying to be agnostic on the question of does mathematics exist in some profound way other than human creation you can think that it does or doesn't I mean the fact that we can do mathematics that's saying something really profound. It's going to be more questions from the book. I want to make a comment and they were asking about the the void in the void was there before there was maybe there's a void The deep in this is waters I want to refer into the work by a guy named Robert Gentry you know he's a physicist that he's been administering and he pointed out that radioactive decay in the granite was at the bedrock of the earth were captured instantaneously in the granite when I saw that sort of changed me from a. Ration of one of you and His Son as you're at the conference Robert Gentry is the guys whose work you should look at Great so you might want to pursue that and see what my material has there that sounds fantastic That's. You know. In your last presentation you used a quote from Stephen Hawking that made reference to the law of gravity when you made that call and I was thinking I was that well you said that the law of gravity is it doesn't have anything to do with it creation is just stripped of its descriptive however make maybe when he was saying that because you don't need math to model physics it's definitely more efficient So for example Maxwell's equations are initially like a 600 page he says but like for equation which is definitely more efficient wouldn't one be able to say that because you don't need that math to do the modeling that if you take away the idea that he said the law of gravity just make reference to gravity that his statement isn't disproved by the argument that you use yes so we point out a number of them logical fallacies with that statement one of it was they said because we have some law which is some descriptive of count of how gravity works the universe will then and will create itself from nothing but any of you if you don't use the word law because there's gravity that's still something and so you have to give me something came from well what is gravity what does it mean to have gravity independent of matter maybe you have some of you have some Higgs field or something but you still have some kind of field you have something going on here that says something still exist and so it's not actually a demonstration of how the universe came from nothing has still posit existence of something and so that something would still need some account of how it came into being so I think that's how to respond to that let's go one more back here. I have one question that kind of sound like a bunch of questions. This might be just a misuse of our. There's a here to like it relates to the story of the law. And they're talking about how we're the one she lost like the one she lost and then there's all these other planets. And I was wondering if we assume that. Do you think they would read the same. Thinking. Yeah so I think you're indicating here Scripture does a time point to other creations outside of humanity in addition to the angelic realm you have in job the sons of God A cup being gathered together this seems to be almost some form of Congress to have representatives from the different creation orders you have a revelation reference to various entities and so there is reference to creations outside of humanity it's not clear to me if that means a necessarily in our universe or not so I'm not going to try and maybe there are you know maybe there are other you know it's not clear to me. But. You then you ask the question of do they read the Bible and this is fascinating lawyer Paul says in Corinthians that we are. I witness before men in angels and so appalled seems to have in view that humanity is on display before the Creator universe so creation as a whole that the all of creation is is not true in the Bible with a look at our lives right now the creations that invested in what's going on here because this is where God came down and condescended and took upon humanity and this is where Christ lived and died it was so you know something of supreme stuff going to happen on this right so with Paul would say it's what the mystery of God is revealed it's all of God's created beings angels and other creator orders are intensely invested in what's happening on this earth and so I would say that our lives are the things of the looking at and the power of God to transform our lives I'll might be 1st who does she says we are theater of grace so it's like we're on the stage on this theater and what's happening is the U.S. looks on to see how God's grace is transforming us and it's just a testament to the universe of the goodness of God and that's why all that that as we live in as a response to the grace of God that we have in some kind of cosmic witness were very good. Questions. Yeah let's go one more and then you guys can I'll talk with you more one on one if you want more questions sure Mon was just a thought. As far as the Eastern world or the west and we're us being Christian and the ideas but there's a large part of the world who aren't Christian so what have you come across any I guess we were talking about being made in the image of God and human dignity aspect in other cultures do we find that same line of human decency throughout Yeah that's a good question so. ROMANS indicates that God has written his law on the human heart so that through through the Holy Spirit pricking you conscience everyone independent of religious background can have some awareness of God The moral law right and so if someone is not a Christian is is acting in a more of the cold way I'm not like oh how is that possible it's not this is praise God of the Holy Spirit's working on the right and we can appeal to that and so I would expect that I believe we do find across the world in all cultures we have some prompting to responding to the moral law of God However you do find you know be a caste systems of other systems around the world a devaluing of human dignity rights and so I think the Christians he really did offer something of significance not just Christianity Judaism as well as his to some extent Islam and other Abrahamic faiths have this idea of brought something of immense value to society we didn't always get it right the point you know we don't always live up to that ideal ourselves and we need be honest about history but having that idea was something we could appeal to as people like most of the King did allow us to overcome some of prejudice is what's in there I'm having to news talk more one on one if you have any more questions and I'm enjoying a lunch. This message was recorded at the G. Y.C.. In Houston Texas. Supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based pricing and so Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online see what have.


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