Week Commencing 21st October 2018
Notes for next Sunday’s sermon on Genesis 1:1-31, “Hasn’t Science Disproven You?”
DAY 1: Read Genesis 1:1-19
There is a common misconception that science generally, and the theory of evolution in particular, has somehow disproven God. Yet this is not so at all. There are many scientists who are strong Christians, and see no conflict between faith and science. This is because science only addresses the question of how the physical universe operates, and has nothing to say about why it exists or where it came from in the first place. In 2014, Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”, (an outspoken atheist), had a debate with Ken Ham, a creationist, who asked him, “Where did matter come from in the beginning?” Bill Nye responded, “We don’t know. This is the great mystery – you’ve hit the nail on the head!”
But the Bible has a very clear answer to this question. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” You see, the reason why science has not been able to find a natural cause for the origin of the universe, is because there isn’t one! The universe was caused supernaturally!
The point is that evolution, even if it did occur to some extent, (and that is a long way from being proved!), has not displaced God by any means, because it doesn’t answer the biggest questions of all; where did the universe come from in the first place?
I want you to notice several things in this passage in Genesis 1:
Verse 1: God is the creator of the universe
Verse 2: The Spirit of God was involved in the creative process
Verses 3-5: The creation of light, and day and night, on Day 1, yet the sun, moon and stars were not created until Day 4 (verses 14-19). Where did the light come from? Answer: God! Because “God is light” (1 John 1:5). Interestingly, this also accords with the scientific theory regarding the Big Bang, which postulates that the Big Bang at the beginning of time created enormous amounts of light, heat and radiation, millions of years before stars coalesced and were formed.
Verses 6-8: The creation of “sky” with water below (oceans) and water above (?). Some theologians speculate that the water “above” may have been a hydrosphere surrounding the planet in its original perfect form, protecting it from harmful radiation prior to the fall. They further speculate that this may be the source of the water that was brought down to the earth in the flood of Noah. Fascinating!
DAY 2: Read Genesis 1:20-31
As we continue our study of Genesis 1, Days 5 and 6 describe the creation of animal and human life. In particular, note the order in which the various life forms were created;
Day 5: Aquatic life and birds (vv.20-23)
Day 6: Land animals (vv.24-25)
Do you notice any inconsistency between the order of creation in these verses and the order of life according to the theory of evolution? According to the theory of evolution, birds evolved from reptiles (land animals) after several million years of evolution, yet Genesis 1 states that birds came into existence before any land animals were created. This is just one of many instances where the Bible contradicts the theory of evolution. Some Christians explain this by saying that the Bible is not a scientific text book, and is not meant to be taken literally at such points, while other Christians are adamant that the Bible and evolution are irreconcilable. What do you think?
DAY 3: Read Isaiah 40
This is a marvellous chapter, describing the greatness of the God of Creation. In the middle of this chapter, there is a fascinating verse; “He sits enthroned above the circle / sphere of the earth” (v.22). You and I, living in our modern scientific world, understand that the earth is a sphere, but this is only a relatively recent discovery. For thousands of years mankind believed that the earth was flat; some believing that it went on forever, while others believed that you would fall off the edge if you went too far! Yet in this passage, written 2,700 years ago, Isaiah revealed knowledge of the earth’s spherical nature! How is this possible? The only explanation is that this was revealed to Isaiah through the inspiration of God’s Spirit.
There are other examples of the Bible indicating supernatural understanding of the nature of creation, centuries ahead of science:
Job 26:7 “He suspends the earth over nothing”. Here we see a basic description of the earth being suspended in an empty void (space), thousands of years before this concept was proposed by science.
2 Samuel 22:16 and Jonah 2:6 describe that the ocean floor is comprised of mountains and valleys – something that was unknown until modern day science.
Spend some time re-reading Isaiah 40, and give praise to God for his creative greatness.
DAY 4: Read Colossians 1:15-20
Note the following:
Verse 15: The description of Christ as “firstborn over all creation” does not infer that there was a time when he did not exist, for he is the eternal Son of God. “Firstborn” was a legal term describing one’s right to inherit; to assume ownership over something. Jesus, therefore, has “inherited” ownership and rulership of all creation, ultimately secured by his atoning death and resurrection.
Verse 16: The universe was created by Christ and for him. It is his universe, and he is the rightful Lord.
Verse 17: Here is the most profound verse of all; “In him all things hold together”. What keeps molecules bound together? What keeps electrons orbiting their nuclei? Why don’t they just fly away? Science can measure gravity. Science can quantify the intra-nuclear force (that keeps electrons orbiting their nucleus), Science can measure these and dozens of other forces and cosmological constants, but it has absolutely no understanding of what causes these forces to operate as they do. Why does matter attract other matter? We simply do not know. We think that by quantifying something, that we understand it. But we really don’t! Scientists describe these physical forces as “laws of nature”, but they are simply the normal means by which God continues to hold the universe together, including the very stuff of matter itself. And it is Christ who is behind it all. “For in him all things hold together” (v.17). The only reason that we are not flung off the surface of our planet, the reason why my atoms do not fly apart and dissolve into nothing, is that Christ continues to “hold all things together”. Science is not the study of the laws of nature; it is the study of the laws of God. And Christ is at the centre of it all!
By Kevin Simington