Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Genesis 1:1 - Genesis 2:3

Disclaimer: After further studies, I have added thoughts and points to my overview of Genesis 1:1 - Genesis 2:3. For the benefit of those who have already read the original, I have highlighted the changes in red.

The Creation

The Bible opens with a doctrinal truth in it’s first four words: “In the beginning, God” This teaches us right from the start that God is God. He was there before the beginning of time and will be there at after the end of time. These four words, combined with the rest of the first verse refute atheism, for creation is the work of God. It refutes evolution, for the universe was created and did not evolve. It refutes materialism, for the universe did not always exist. It refutes polytheism, for there is only one God and it refutes pantheism, for God is apart and independent of His creation.

From there it goes on to teach us that God is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth, establishing that God is also very powerful. This is made obvious by the shear vastness of the universe that He has created. My favorite demonstration of the vastness of our universe is the paper stack model. It says that if the thickness of a single piece of paper represents the distance from the earth to the sun, (approximately ninety-three million miles,) then to reach the next closest star, you would need a seventy-one foot high stack of paper. To cover the diameter of our milky way galaxy, you would need a 310 mile high stack. To reach the edge of the known universe, you would need a stack of paper thirty-one million miles high.

The following is the Biblical model for the order by which God created the earth:

Day 1 – God created Light. The Spirit moved upon the earth, creating the energy that now acts to keep everything in working order. The three types of energy that God set in motion here are gravitational, electro-magnetic and nuclear.

Day 2 – God separated the water into two forms; regular land based water and atmospheric water, (water vapors in the sky around us.)

Day 3 – God created Plant life. This is the first life form that God actually created to inhabit the earth. This day refutes the false doctrine of Theistic evolution, that tries to combine creationism and evolution.

Day 4 – God creates the sun, the moon and the stars and gives them three purposes; To act as signs of the wonder of God, to give us seasons, (giving us a calendar to plan our work) and to give us a light source.

Day 5 – God creates Fish and Birds.

Day 6 – God creates land creatures and man. God saves his greatest creation for last. He makes man in His own image and after His likeness. Man is the greatest of God’s creations for multiple reasons; He is aware of his existence, capable of praising God, able to subdue the earth and fill it and he is tasked with naming all the animals and given dominion over them.

Day 7 – God rests. This is the only place the Bible tells us that God rests. It is not because He is tired, but rather to foreshadow and to demonstrate God’s desire for man to rest on the Sabbath and to keep the seventh day of the week set aside, only for Him.

It’s worth mentioning that the most likely explanation for the length of the days are literal twenty-four hour days. This is backed the fact that the Hebrew word for day here, “yom,” almost always means a literal twenty four hour day when used with a numerical adjective or with the phrase, “evening and morning.” (Both are true of this passage.) Combine that with the fact that the Bible later confirms it in Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17.

We already know that verse 1 refuted many anti-Christian worldviews. One view left to refute is that which states that the world is millions, (or even billions) of years old. The Bible suggests that the earth is no more than 12,000 years old. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support this, but perhaps the simplest indication is found in the earth’s population statistics. If man appeared over one million years ago, the present world population would be thousands of times greater than it actually is. In fact, our entire galaxy could not provide the needed space for so many. The present world population is around 4.3 billion. Assuming the average life span to be seventy years and the average generation length to be thirty-five years, then starting with one family, the present world population would result in about thirty doublings. These doublings would carry us back in history from today to around 3500 b.c. This date is suggested by several creationist scientists to mark the time of the Flood. Thus, the creation model dovetails beautifully with known world population statistics. But what of the evolutionary model? Morris writes: "Now, if the first man appeared one million years ago, and these very conservative growth rates applied during that period, the world population would be at present 10 (27000 zeros following) people. However, no more than 10 (with 100 zeros) people could be crammed into the known universe!" (Scientific Creationism, p. 154)