Summary: This is the first sermon in a series of studies on Genesis 1-3 entilted, "How it all Began"
We’re doing a series of messages called, "How Did We Get Here?" These studies will focus on the first two chapters of Genesis.
Let’s start with the first sentence of the Bible.
The first sentence of any book, or speech, is very important. It sets the tone for everything else that follows. In fact, most writers work for hours trying to come up with the right combination of words that will introduce their subject and leave their readers wanting more.
Such is the Bible. It begins with a wonderful sentence (Gen. 1:1). Only 10 words in English, yet it answers 4 fundamental questions that every person eventually ponders. Questions such as . . .
I. What is all this?
This deals with the wonder of the universe. Humanity has been attempting to answer this question for thousands and thousands of years. The quest to answer this question is what drives men to explore and study the universe and the world in which they live.
So what is all this?
The Bible describes it as " the heavens and the earth." Someone has well said that this phrase is the beginning of true science. The fundamental task of science is to OBSERVE and classify all that can be OBSERVED in the physical realm. Here is a very early attempt at classification. What do you see around you? You see two classes of things: the heavens and the earth. And this classification is universally accepted today, from the most primitive society to the most advanced.
One of the marvels of the Bible is that it uses language which communicates with people of the most primitive and limited understanding while at the same time it still has significance and inexhaustible meaning to the most studied and educated of men. Take this phrase "the heavens and the earth" as an example.
On one hand, it has meaning for a savage in the jungle who perceives the land in which he lives and the sky over his head with a child-like understanding. He notes the earth, with its yield of trees, plants and animal life; and he notes the heavens where the birds fly and the clouds float and where the Sun, moon, and stars shine. That’s all he knows, yet he describes it as the "heavens and the earth."
On the other hand, a modern astronomer, looking out into the far reaches of the universe through a great telescope, would also use the phrase, "the heavens and the earth", to describe the planet on which he lives and how it relates to the solar system in which it moves. Both the savage in the jungle and the modern astronomer would use the same language: the "heavens and the earth.".
The Bible completely avoids the utter ridiculousness of some of the early myths about creation and origin found in other religions. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that needs to be laid aside as man’s knowledge increases. The first sentence of the Bible classifies everything we see with the natural eye into 2 categories: the Heavens and the Earth. And then it expands on these subjects showing a remarkable knowledge of nature that is centuries before it’s time.
Let’s move to the second question.
II. How did it begin?
This question deals with the origin of the universe. Once again, humanity has been trying to answer this question for thousands and thousands of years. The battle between naturalistic evolution and creation is but the latest chapter in man’s attempt to explain the origin of the universe.
When I talk about NATURALISTIC EVOLUTION, I am not referring to the type of change and variation that takes place withing the various species (such as the pepper moth evolving into the fruit fly, or the development of new varieties of dogs through selective breeding, or the development of a single sperm and egg into a bouncing baby). I’m not talking about that type of change. I’m talking about a particular theory of evolution that has to do with the origin of life. This theory is called "Naturalistic Evolution" in most circles. Naturalistic Evolution says that the universe came into being billions and billions of years ago from some primordial explosion and all things slowly evolved over the eons from the simpler to the more complex. That’s called "Naturalistic Evolution.
Naturalistic Evolution is NOT A SCIENTIFIC FACT. A scientific fact is something that can be observed and verified through experimentation. Naturalistic evolution has not been observed and it hasn’t been verified through experimentation, therefore it is not a scientific fact.
It is a THEORY. A theory is when you start with a hypothesis, gather evidence, and try to make the evidence fit the hypothesis. That’s what naturalistic evolution is. It is a theory.
Furthermore, Naturalistic Evolution has a lot of RELIGIOUS CHARACTERISTICS. It is passionately held to by it’s devotees. And ultimately it is something that you must accept BY FAITH.