Sermons

Summary: God of Wonders, Pt. 1

IN HIS TIME (GENESIS 1)

New York Times reported that when the American Association for the Advancement of Science devoted a session to the separation of science and religion at its annual meeting this year (2005), scores of scientists crowded into a room to hear it, including scientists who are not afraid to speak out about their faith. Francis S. Collins, who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and is writing a book about his religious faith, spoke concerning the separation, “I don’t find it very satisfactory and I don’t find it very necessary. Isaac Newton wrote a lot more about the Bible than the laws of nature.” One panelist, Dr. Noah Efron of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, said scientists, like other people, were guided by their own human purposes, meaning and values. The idea that fact can be separated from values and meaning "jibes poorly with what we know of the history of science," Dr. Efron said.

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 were never 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.

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.

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, as Hawkins implied.

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 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

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 is not. The single Hebrew word “re’shiyth” or “beginning” means 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.

The verb “created” tells that the world has a beginning, a starting point in time of which we do not know when. Man invents, but God creates. Even the best and the brightest, the most brilliant of scientists, have to invent out of something - a cell or a particle, but God creates everything out of nothing. Scientists can convert matter from solid to liquid, gas or plasma and combine atoms into molecules and split them, but only God created from nothing. The geniuses of the world need supplied material, physical resources and substantial experiment to come out with a product or a proposition, but God creates by His spoken word, a hint of the Word who is to come.

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