Summary: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” This sermon will acknowledge and celebrate creation as an act of God and contrast it from the modern secularist’ view of evolutionary process. Moreover, it will refute evolutionary process as God
The Creation vs. Evolution debate is much older than most people are aware of - and has always been more about philosophy and religion than Science.
1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
"For there are those who, giving the name of atoms to certain imperishable and most minute bodies that are supposed to be infinite in number, allege that these atoms, as they were carried along by chance in the void, all clashed fortuitously against each other in an unregulated whirl. They thereby commingled with one another in a multitude of forms. Entering into combination with each other they gradually formed this world and all objects in it. This was the opinion of Epicurus and Democritus. How we bear With these men who assert that all those wise constructions are only the works of common chance? But truly these men do not reflect on the analogies even of small, familiar things that might come under their observation at any time. For, from such things, they could learn that no object that has any value – and that is fitted to be serviceable – is made without design." Dionysius of Alexandria. 262 AD
"Man is not merely a rational animal, who happens to be capable of understanding and knowledge – as the croaking philosophers say." Tatian 160
“Who can bear to hear it said that this mighty habitation, which is composed of heaven and earth and is called the cosmos, was established in all its order and beauty by those atoms that hold their course – devoid of order and beauty? Or, that this same state of disorder has grown into this true cosmos of order?” Dionysius of Alexandria 262
Does it really matter if we believe in an “old earth” or a “young earth” as it relates to God’s creative ability?
"People believe the ideas of the evolutionary development of life on earth for many reasons: it is all that they have been taught and exposed to, they believe the evidence supports evolution, they do not want to be lumped with people who do not believe in evolution and are often considered to be less intelligent or “backward,” evolution has the stamp of approval from real scientists, and evolutionary history allows people to reject the idea of God and legitimize their own immorality. Evaluating the presuppositions behind belief in evolution makes for a much more productive discussion. Two intelligent people can arrive at different conclusions using the same evidence; so their starting assumptions is the most important issue in discussing historical science...." (Bert Thompson, PhD. In Microbiology from Texas A& M)
It does matter because it’s not just a discussion about science - it’s a discussion, ultimately, about a world view that has God and His Word at the center - creating, sustaining, and redeeming vs. A “goo to you” philosophy that has us as nothing more than animals who are not accountable to anything other than our own inbred drives and desires.
Remember that Epicurus fella that was mentioned in that quote of an early Christian writer from 262 AD. Who was this Epicurus that Dionysius references? He was a philosopher who from 341BC to 269 BC! Yes, before Christ!
This is a short synopsis of his belief system - of his world view, taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - The philosophy of Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.) was a complete and interdependent system, involving a view of the goal of human life (happiness, resulting from absence of physical pain and mental disturbance), an empiricist theory of knowledge (sensations, including the perception of pleasure and pain, are infallible criteria), a description of nature based on atomistic materialism, and a naturalistic account of evolution, from the formation of the world to the emergence of human societies. Epicurus believed that, on the basis of a radical materialism which dispensed with transcendent entities such as the Platonic Ideas or Forms, he could disprove the possibility of the soul's survival after death, and hence the prospect of punishment in the afterlife. He regarded the unacknowledged fear of death and punishment as the primary cause of anxiety among human beings, and anxiety in turn as the source of extreme and irrational desires. The elimination of the fears and corresponding desires would leave people free to pursue the pleasures, both physical and mental, to which they are naturally drawn, and to enjoy the peace of mind that is consequent upon their regularly expected and achieved satisfaction.
Charles Darwin was a student of Epicurus. Remember that little book that Darwin wrote a few years ago that supposedly started this whole “scientific” line of thinking. - On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
Did you catch that full title?