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Is Biblical Creation Passé?

Greg King

Recorded

  • June 28, 2010
    1:20 PM
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little story that comes to mind it was over forty years ago did the three Apollo eight astronauts Frank Gorman William Anderson James Lovell where hurtling through space some two hundred and forty thousand miles from our planet they orbited the moon about ten times on one of his organs they were only sixty nine miles above the desolate gray surface that at that time no human had ever walked upon and it was on one of those organs that they took that famous picture that some of you might recognize it was later taken and made into a stamp by the U.S. Postal Service the famous photo of a very brighter hanging above the surface of the moon well it was on Christmas Eve then it came time for Mormons statement you say six weeks prior to the launch of Apollo eight a NASA official had called Frank Borman and had told him we figure that more people will be listening to your voice than the voice of any single person down for history at any one time and we wish you would have a message to say it would be appropriate for the entire planet will turn our challenge on for size Borman pondered his assignment what message could be appropriate for an entire planet what message could be bringing that would embrace Christian and you and move one Protestant and Catholic and African and Asian and South American in North America what message could speak to us all and I think the message that he chose to bring to planet Earth on that Christmas Eve nineteen sixty eight in my view with the most relevant message you could share because he began with these words in the beginning God created the heavens and the year and for the next few moments more money and his fellow astronauts alternating reading reading the first ten verses of Genesis chapter one Borman later wrote in his memoirs he said while out in space I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us working with a Christian and he wanted to communicate something of that reality to his listeners back on planet Earth will sadly even though the creation message was highly valued by Borman and his astronaut colleagues in some circles it has fallen on hard times nowadays there are a lot of people living on this planet as they think about origins and even a number of Christians who think that the biblical creation story tells us little or not the about how life began on this planet as to where we came from and why we are here but I'm thankful for the opportunity to participate in these yes creation seminars because I'm grateful to belong to a church that values the message of biblical creation I believe that the book of Genesis is the best source we have for where we came from and why we are here in other words it speaks to issues of origins it speaks to our reason for existence and so I would say that the message of the biblical creation story is not toss a a word of French derivation that means outdated antique unfashionable but I believe that the biblical creation story speaks eloquently to our day and age is the review of a couple of biblical verses before I go through my reasons why the grass withers the flower fades but the word of our God stands how long as fans forever in the universe and the New Testament what is Jesus say in John seventeen your word is truth okay let's run through quickly ten reasons why it really doesn't matter what we believe about creation units and is a good biblical number is in it a number of completion and fulfillment and a round number it works well on the decimal system was going through ten reasons reason number one because the Bible says a position on creation that many Christians are aware that the book of Genesis speaks to creation that I did not realize until I started studying this topic throughout Scripture how pervasive the creation message is in all of the Bible was mentioned a couple of verses Exodus twenty first eleven in the ten Commandments for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth the sea and all that is in them and he rested on the seventh day some thirty three versus six and nine when we read there by the word of the Lord the heavens were made in by the breath of his mouth all there has war he spoke to the Bible say and it came to be he commanded and it stood firm I like this quote from the great controversy page five ninety five God will have the people up on the year to maintain the Bible and what it say the Bible unlike as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reform I want to be a part of that people have about you reason number two not only is it true that the Bible takes a position on creation but Jesus took a position on creation of some of my sorority you find that Willis looked at a couple of verses Matthew chapter nineteen verse four says have you not read and he who created them from the beginning made them male and female what is that a reference to their friends as a reference to the biblical creation story and there's only one creation story and you can look at a number of there's a multitude of origin stories that are available from the ancient world there's only one creation story it tells us that male and female humanity were made at the very beginning not after a long period of millions of years of a developmental creation but the one who created them from the beginning made them male and female and in Mark chapter two verse twenty eight an important first for us it says the Sabbath was what made for man not man for the Sabbath is many biblical scholars have recognized that is an illusion to the creation story to the creation narrative the Sabbath was made for man again those are the words of Jesus whenever Jesus references not only the creation story but the first eleven chapters of Genesis Jesus refers to the narrative in a way as that he considers them historical and reliable but somebody might say well wasn't Jesus just buying into the primitive mindset of his day I mean Jesus lived in a prescientific age maybe that was his mindset I find it interesting and perhaps particularly well illustrated in the sermon on the Mount Jesus does not hesitate to take a detour from the prevailing worldview dicey one people held views they were wrong Jesus wanted to move them in the right direction you have heard that it was said Jesus would declare but I say something else so Jesus certainly had ample opportunity if people had been wrong in their understanding of Earth 's origins Jesus could have corrected that reason number three because the Bible 's teaching on creation is closely related to its teaching on the plan salvation now what do we mean by that realm Rachel and her presentation nicely alluding to the whole creation being subject to frustration longing for the redemption that is going to come I think that is nicely crystallized in Romans chapter five verse twelve therefore just as sin came into the world through one man and what came through sin death came through sin and so death spread to all men because all sin this is a very important point in Scripture the origin of death and according to Paul's understanding of the plan of redemption the origins of death is laid at the doorstep of the entrance of sand into the world this year is this my friends God did not create a world that was replete with suffering and predatory activity and and death God created the world it was good and perfect and beautiful and the death death has come about as a result of the actions of the enemy and human free choice that leads us nicely into reason number four because the Bible 's description of creation parallels is description of heaven and other words the new Earth constitutes a watt a restoration how can you restore something that never to estate it never existed in the first place Revelation twenty two verse one then the angel showed me on either side of the river Dutch free of life now where we first meet the tree of life in Scripture refers me that in the I need a new the book of Genesis the tram line with its twelve kinds of fruit yielding its fruit each not Revelation twenty one versus three and four God himself will be with them as their God he will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more don't you look forward to that day and what you say is that the Bible comes full circle just as the volume patriarchs and prophets begins with that one little three word sentence God is what love and then you come to the end of the book great controversy having covered the whole conflict of the ages series you come to that three word sentence once again what do we really God is left even so the Bible is coming full circle you have a paradise of the beginning you have I've lost a man at the end of revelation you have to nice regain what a beautiful picture you have their reason number five I think of beer a significant reason is because of the implications it has for the character of God what do we mean by that well at the heart of the biblical message is the emphasis that God is love first John chapter four verse eight God is love it is the main theme of the message of Scripture Genesis one thirty one reads and God saw every thing that he had made and it was very good now if you don't have it you don't have a creation in the beginning it was beery good if you never have a time and said that things were perfect and lovely without sin without death without tragedy that research is the character of God how can you say that God is allowed in the method he uses to create is the law of claw and fang is son has said I was talking with a fellow pastor one time and I think perhaps just for purpose of argument and discussion he was suggesting the viewpoint that a perfect world would exist in the end that God would restore a perfect world of some time that it had never existed in the beginning so we were dialoguing a bit about this and I said well based on the Genesis account one is that God saw all that he had made and it was very good and based on the idea the revelation paints the picture of the new Earth as a restoration where was that perfect earth in the beginning if you only operate with the record of death that you see in the fossil record where was that perfect world and he said well to be consistent with my position I would have to say that it only existed as an ideal in the mind of God that never existed in reality well my friends that would net the question in the perfect world at the beginning only existed as an ideal and the mind of God is it possible that the earth restored would only exist as an ideal and the mind of God I believe the Scripture says we have not followed cunningly devised fables but we have a sure and certain hope reason number six because of the implications it has for the attributes and the sovereignty of God what do we mean by that some nineteen states it nicely in that verse was used on the brochure for advertising the yes creation presentations that have others declare the law glory of God in the sky proclaims is handiwork I believe that if you let at the biblical creation story is a wonderful story if one is able to read in the original language there's a Majesty in a cadence that is found there interesting in English it takes for words to say let there be light and Hebrew it only takes two words some might translate it like me Eugene Peterson in his fine paraphrase simply says what one word but the point is emphasizing is that God is a God abundant since sovereignty and power reigning over the University and one of the main distinctive features of the biblical message in contrast with the other origin stories from the ancient near East is that God is not part of the natural world is not identified with the forces of nature that God is sovereign over the natural world because he created it all argue glad to survey magnificent and powerful and awesome God never seven because of the implications it has for the value in the word of humans I think this is one of the most important contributions of the biblical creation story the theological contribution of Genesis one twenty six and twenty seven then 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 birds of the heavens and ever the livestock and over all the years so God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them there is no more profound statement in all of Scripture about the dignity and worth and value humans than the one that you find in Genesis chapter one God created humans in his image what is the alternative position I like this quote from Stephen Jay Gould him until his death was one of the most one of the foremost evolutionist in the United States taught at Harvard as a paleontologist why do humans exist he says I do not think that any higher I notice he has that I do not think that any higher answer can be given when he are the offspring what history and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes one notice carefully the words and different to our suffering and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive or to fail in our own chosen way notice it is an interesting title to his vet and he is quick that is being quoted their wonderful life somebody might ask if the universe is indifferent to our suffering if we are the offspring of history somebody might legitimately ask why is life so wonderful anyway another quote and there's something that is very striking about the clarity of these quotes George Gaylord Simpson man is the result of a purposeless and natural process it did not have been in mine is the lesson and say he was not plan reason number eight because of the implications it has for our understanding of the Sabbath the Bible site and on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done so God blessed the seventh day and made it heavily because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation isn't it beautiful links bearing us whenever he summoned by the Sabbath comes around to be linking arms with those who may worship God on his Sabbath day going back to the creation we to the origins of this earth when God blessed the seventh day and made it holy reason number nine because of the implications it has for the nature and the sanctity of carriage or a marriage come from is it a divinely ordained covenant or is it simply something that exists to assist with the propagation of the species is a day a piece of paper that we get from our human government or is it a divinely ordained institution the Bible says a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh I think your sins are some significant implications for this the validity of marriage and the permanence of marriage if we adopt another perspective reason number ten because of the implications it has for our evangelistic proclamation now scientists said they did it we would only modernize our views that we would come more if we become more and in the modern age that we would our message would be more attractive to thinking people is there evidence that we might mention along those lines well first let's look at what Jesus says go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you that would be the word of God right now some have said that the SDA church would be intellectually honest and accepts some form of evolution more people would join our church we don't have examples of what is happened when Churchill yes you abandon the leaves of Orthodox Christianity when churches move away from the inspiration of the Bible from the virgin birth from the reality of the second coming I took my doctoral program at a Presbyterian school and my good Presbyterian friends are constantly embroiled in a number of discussions about whether Jesus was truly divine and whether he is the son of God and how we might understand this was a truly raised from the dead one we abandon our belief in what Scripture says it does not help us out in our evangelistic proclamation that I would say my friends even if it did our main concern should be to proclaim God 's word and history in other words even if it were more popular I should be I should be intent on being faithful to the word of God because his word is truth Justin conclusion I believe we have in the Seventh-day Adventist church a concept that we call present truth what is present it is a truth that is in danger of being disregarded eight a truth that is maybe be never let the truth it is being slighted I believe because it is so foundational to Scripture I believe that all of Christian belief in some way grows out of the creation story I believe that biblical creation is present truth him and

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