Summary: God of Wonders, Pt. 1


A Newsweek poll shows that 91 percent of American adults say they believe in God and 87% say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82% of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such. Another five percent say they follow a non-Christian faith, such as Judaism or Islam. Nearly half (48%) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34%) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. 73% of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39% of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41% of Catholics agree with that view.

Although one in ten (10%) of Americans identify themselves as having “no religion,” only six percent said they don’t believe in a God at all. Just three percent of the public self-identifies as atheist, suggesting that the term may carry some stigma. Six in ten (62%) registered voters say they would not vote for a candidate who is an atheist. In conducting the poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,004 adults aged 18 and older.

(“God’s Numbers” March 31, 2007)

According to a much-discussed survey reported in the journal Nature in 1997, 40 percent of biologists, physicists and mathematicians said they believed in God - and not just a nonspecific transcendental presence but, as the survey put it, a God to whom one may pray “in expectation of receiving an answer.” The survey, by Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia, results were virtually unchanged from one conducted in 1914. (“Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science,” New York Times, 8/23/05)

Was there light or was there water first? Why is the earth millions of years old? The first chapter of Genesis is science as you have not been taught and insight the wisest scientists would appreciate. Genesis 1 is a concise though not a comprehensive account of creation. It is true though it is not thorough. It is not intended to be a scientific and historical record but it is a theological and truthful record.

How did God create the world? What does God reveal about Himself in creation? Why did He create man?

Exalt His Power in Creation

1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Gen 1:1-2)

Stephen Hawkins said that probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology is that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago, countering Immanuel Kant’s notion that the world was uncaused and has no beginning. Scientists like Kant’s idea because they reject the idea of a supernatural cause or a Creator. Hawkins also believes that time would collapse or end again, although I am not sure where he got the idea that the Bible says the universe is 4,000 years old.

A 2004 Gallup poll late last year showed that only 28 percent of Americans accept the theory of evolution, while 48 percent adhere to creationism - the belief that an intelligent being is responsible for the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. An informal survey released in April from the National Science Teachers Association found that 31 percent of the 1,050 respondents said they feel pressure to include “creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classroom.” According to the survey, while 20 percent of the teachers say the pressure comes from parents, 22 percent say it comes primarily from students. (“New Tactic In Evolution Debate,” Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2005)

Intelligent design is the theory that the universe and its life forms are so complex that a higher cause must have caused it. It has been pointed out that some of the greatest names in science — men like Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johannes Kepler and Galileo – were Christians.

The opening statement “in the beginning” is the account of the beginning of time, space and matter, which were created and the architect is God. God existed before the physical world began. Man is finite because he is limited by his bodily flesh, the physical world and natural laws, but God has no and knows no such limitations. The single Hebrew word “re’shiyth” or “beginning” is limited to the first thing God did when time began.

Questions like this have often been put to Christians to test their knowledge: “Can God create a rock so heavy He can’t lift?” We are so stuck on physical laws, matter and substance, which are issues to man who knows no other “sphere” but not to God, who called them into existence. God is spirit (John 4:24) and He stands apart from space, time, distance and material.

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Peter Enns

commented on Dec 31, 2007

Thank you Pastor Yap - I am a C&MA Pastor in Minnisota. I am beginning a series on Genesis this year. I use the Logos/Libronix digital library for research and this message came up in one of the searches on the passage. I appreciate your thourough research and faithfulness to the text. May you continue to have a truly blessed ministry in the New Year!

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