Summary: Do ’seekers’ ask the same questions as Christians about creation and evolution? Which is the right stance? How can we use this debate to help seekers find faith?
Hot Potato: creation and evolution.
Genesis 1:1-2:7. WBC 24 April 05pm
THE LOST CHAPTER OF GENESIS: Adam was hanging around the garden of Eden feeling very lonely. So, God asked him, "What’s wrong with you?" Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to. God said that He was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be a woman. He said, "This pretty lady will gather food for you, she will cook for you, and when you discover clothing, she will wash it for you. She will always agree with every decision you make and she will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will praise you! She will bear your children. and she will never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will NEVER have a headache and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it. Adam asked God, "What will a woman like this cost?" God replied, "An arm and a leg." Adam then asked........ "What can I get for a rib?" Of course the rest is history.................
I want to start with nailing my colours to the mast on a couple of things, tonight:
- one: I am grossly inadequately prepared for this. Mainly because I have been busy sharing Jesus with people (Alpha!)
o also: because what you… we… need tonight is NOT loads and loads of info! I could never give enough. Also- just gets you going round in circles (but in the same camp!)
o Christians make their choices and use knowledge to reinforce their camp position
o Though I am a scientist & a theologian- doesn’t make me qualified as an authority on THIS subject. (though so many claim to be)
- Two: I am undeniably, immovably, a creationist
… in the sense that I believe God is the one who created all this. The Source. The Reason. The Order. The Purpose. He is all those things.
All Christians are. (creationists)
Not all Christians are of the same opinion as to how He did it.
But, in fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that (for US, Christians)- these things… and arguing about them are (IN ONE SENSE)… a distraction
- (in another sense they can be v impt. And I’ll cover that)
What proportion of the Bible is given over to the creation story? The one folks argue over as pretext for one stance or another?
- 1 Chapter!
How much is given over to Jesus?
- THIS much (flump family Bible on table)
Interestingly enough- most (all?) unbelievers aren’t interested in these arguments. Theological/scientific gymnastics… or one particular stance
- they want to know ’does it work’?
- what about relationships? Morals? Global responsibility (now that IS there!)
o they are horrified that the world is falling to bits and Christians are arguing over how it might have STARTED
An older minister recently told me he spent the first fifteen years of his ministry answering the question "Did God create the heavens and the earth?" only to realize the people were really asking, "Why did God create me?"
SOURCE: Fenton, G. Your Ministry’s Next Chapter. The Pastor’s Soul Series; Library of Leadership Development. Vol. 8 Page 24). Bethany House Publishers: Minneapolis, Minn, 1999.
This is particularly true of under 40s, now. The post-modern generation.
- they know that at the moment we don’t have black and white answers to many things
And the truth is- when people meet Jesus… experience Him… all their questions are answered
- like Thomas. Didn’t need the scientific proof. To ’touch’
So- I’m only interested in this debate as much as it affects people coming to faith in Jesus
- I’m not interested in it as a quest for a ’nail it all down, make me feel secure or that I am like omniscient God’
I accepted long ago- "by faith (and evidence!) I know God did it all and this (Bible) tells me all I need to know for my spiritual life. It is spiritual truth. My authority, benchmark, foundation"
But I’ve never seen it as a scientific textbook. My guideline for scientific research.
- or something that only has one way of conveying that spiritual truth: in historic literalism
o it has history, poetry, letters, stories and all kinds of things to convey the truths that make the Christian faith
" read it in only ONE way if you must (and if you can’t do anything else, that’s the best way)… but realise:
" you HAVE to understand what it meant to the people who first read it. Context
" the Jews never saw Gen 1 as literal. Rather story, that MAY have been historical