Posts Tagged ‘Creation’

How can there be a day when the sun wasn’t created until third day?

January 5, 2010

According to Genesis the first days were sunless.

There are three ways that we can understand the idea of a day…

The first is a 24 hour day.  Technically, the sun has nothing to do with a 24 hour day.  The 24 hour day has everything to do with how long it takes for the earth to rotate once.  Right now at the North Pole they won’t see the sun for another month or so, but it still takes the globe 24 hours to spin all the way around.  Many people believe that the earth was created in six 24 hour days.   And this view can easily be understood if for no other reason then the author 6 times says “there was evening and there was morning”.  This however may simply be a way of expressing the transition from one stage of creation to another.

The second definition of day has to do with the time when there is light outside.   Likewise, the time when it is dark outside is called night even though night is a part of the same 24 hour day.  The first order of God’s creation was to make light and separate it from the darkness.  God distinctly calls the light “day” even though there is no mention of sun for another couple ‘days.’  So in one verse God the author of Genesis used two definitions of the word day: the definition of day that associates with light, and the definition of day that associates with time.  But when it comes to time, 24 hours is not the only time-related definition of day.

The third kind of day is also related to time, not lightness.  It is a long period of time, an age of time, or longer.  For example our grandparents may have said of their youth, “back in my day” in which case “day” may represent several years of their lives.  Sometimes we might say the day (or age) of the dinosaurs is over.  In those cases a day is not a specific length of time, but a very long time with imprecise boundaries.  It is very likely that this might be the proper understanding of day in Genesis 1, as God may have taken years or epochs to create things.  (see the post on evolutionism vs. creationism).

In short, the sun is only a small part of the meanings concerning the word day.  Thus, there could have been days before the third ‘day’ of creation.

Who is “us” in the first few chapters of Genesis?

January 5, 2010

Question:

Who else is God referring to when he mentions ‘us’?  Gen 1:26 ‘ let us make human beings’.  Gen 3:22 ‘look humans have become like us’?

Answer:

There is no doubt in my mind that these are the first references to the fact that our creator God exists in a community called the Trinity.  This is a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith, it is not the belief in 3 gods, or the belief that God takes on 3 different shapes or ‘modes’ (a heresy called modalism).  Rather, this is the simple yet ineffable idea that God is One AND God is 3, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In the Gospel of John Chapter 1, we see that Jesus (described as logos or ‘the Word’) was there at creation:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Thus, God can have a conversation with himself, because he dwells eternally in the community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 3:22 we get a glimpse of what that conversation looked like.

There is nothing mentioned in Genesis about any females being born from Eve. Where did the woman come from who married Cain.

January 5, 2010

In Genesis 5:4 it actually does say that “Adam had other sons and daughters”. However, none of the daughters are ever mentioned by name.

For human race to have grown there would definitely have been marriages between brothers and sisters.  While this type of incestuous relationship may seem like a perversion, it was common even among our Bible hero’s.  For example, Abraham married his half-sister Sarah.  It was only later in human history, and biblical accounts that incestuous relationships were identified as something that was wrong.

Why does the bible tell us two slightly different creation accounts?

January 5, 2010

There are a couple reasons for this, neither is exclusive of the other.

1) The two creation accounts tell us different information.   The first account is a larger over-arching account that covers all of creation, while the second account focuses more on the creation of humans, and specifically the man and the woman.

2) The other reason is that these two accounts may have come from  dual sources.  Authorship for Genesis is attributed most often to Moses, but obviously the contents of Genesis happened before he was alive.  Moses likely collected these accounts that had been handed down from his ancestors, some written perhaps some oral.  And it is possible that these two accounts originated from two different sources.  In other words, authors who had been inspired long before Moses, wrote or told different versions of the creation accounts.  Then, generations later, Moses played the roll of God’s editor, and he put in Genesis the accounts of creation that were true to communicating the truth.

Neither account contradicts the other.  They just give us deeper insight into who God is and who we are.

What’s the deal with with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

January 5, 2010

Wouldn't it have been better if God didn't make The Tree of Knowledge and Evil?

The significance of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has everything to do with God’s glory and the way that God is glorified when we do his will.  Yes, God could have made a creation where it would have been impossible for us to sin and disobey God.  But instead he designed a creation that had the potential to give Him the utmost amount of glory.  Let me explain…

When God made everything, it’s very existence and perfection radiated glory to Him.  But God designed his creation in such a way that he could be even more greatly glorified…  He made humans in His image who could choose Him or not choose Him.   As humans, when we choose to worship God, when we choose to do his will, he is glorified more greatly.  God is not conceited, but He is perfectly self-centered, after all, what else would he be centered on, He’s God!  That is often hard for us to understand because it is so hard for us to grasp the infinite worth of God.  But God gets it, so he designed a creation that he could love and that could choose to love him back, and in doing so he would be most greatly glorified.

Enter the tree… God made the Tree of Good and Evil because he wanted us to be able to choose him.  If he had made us robots without a will, then we would not have been able to choose him, obey him, and worship him.  Think about that for a minute… think how great God’s glory must be if he was willing to make a creation where his creatures could choose to not even believe him.  This may seem like a great design flaw, but if you think about it, this really points to how much God is glorified when we do choose him, when we do worship him.  It was worth it because God wanted us to choose him.  And when we do he get’s what he deserves… supreme glory.

Was the world really created in 6 literal days? (Creationism vs. Evolutionism)

December 30, 2009

What's the deal with evolution?

This is a question that comes up often when considering the first 2 chapters of Genesis.

As I read Genesis 1 and 2 and I think about creation and evolution, I think that there is only one question and one answer that means a whole lot to me.  Q: Where did the world come from?  A: God made it.  One thing all scientists have had to conclude is that the world had to have a beginning, no matter what got us here in 2009, it had to start somewhere.  Some scientist give it a name like “the big bang” and that’s fine,  but who made the big bang?  The fact is, that if evolution does exist God made evolution.  God also made science. And he made our minds, and gave us freedom to deny him or believe him with those minds.  Pretty trippy, huh?

But it is important when considering this to do a real heart check about why you think or do not think it is an important question to answer.  You can almost bank on the fact that any time you put an “ism” at the end of the word, it means that there are lots of people out there who have made a religion out of whatever that ism is about.  CreationISM and EvoltionISM are two good examples.  I think that these are people in two distinct groups who sound like they are talking about the origin of humanity but between-the-lines they are saying either “the bible is literally accurate” or “the bible is a fraud”.  Of course they are both making it far too simplistic.  Personally, I believe in evolution, but not the way the evolutionists do.  I also believe in creation, but not the way the creationists do.  Creationists want to say that the world was created in 6 literal days as described in the bible.  Pictures of people with dinosaurs are ways of emphasizing those believes.  These people are also called literalists.  While I do believe that God could indeed created the world in 6 days (or a mere snap of his finger), I don’t think this is the point of Genesis 1 and 2.  The point is simply that God was first, and he is the one who created.  The 6 days may simply represent some important divisions of God’s creation, as well as emphasizing the all important 7th day where God rested (something I hope to do someday too).

By the way, this worldview has a name, it’s called “Intelligent Design”.  It’s simply the belief that our world was indeed created by a higher being.  Whether that was in 6 days, or 600 billion years, it was still created by something, someone, greater.  2 Peter 3 says that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.”  So even 6 days as written in Genesis, could really be a long long time.  As a follower of Jesus, I believe that the higher being that created everything was God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

Most evolutionists who don’t believe in a creator are atheists who don’t believe in God at all, or agnostics who believe that even if there is a creator or ‘initiator’ that being has no connection or interaction with us.  These are also the same people who hold up Charles Darwin as a kind of ‘hero’ of evolutionary thought.  However, what is rarely discussed among evolutionists today, is the fact that Darwin’s theory of evolution has very serious scientific holes in it.  If you’re curious, check out best sellers like “Darwin’s Black Box”.   This is not to say that evolution is not credible, but only to say that the man that is so widely renown as a hero to scientists and atheists was really only the author of a theory not a scientifically proven fact.  Even my high school science book called it Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but this theory was  taught like it was fact, and it is always talked about like that, as if the word ‘theory’ doesn’t mean what it really means.  I mention this only to point out the fact that there must clearly be some religious-like biases on the side of many people to promote the ideas of evolution as if they are proven fact.  Similarly there are religious-like biases on the side of the creationists who talk about 6-day creation like it is a proven fact.  Obviously we are dealing with a case of radical beliefs that have radical followers.  But at the end of the day the important thing is still who made it, not how it was made.

The final thing that I didn’t mention is that it’s not just a creation vs. science thing.  Science is often on the side of the idea of creation, and there are lots of great, credible scientists out there who are great men and women of faith.  They simply know when to stop looking for proof, and when to start believing in something greater than they could ever comprehend.

Any thoughts?