by Andy Diestelkamp
via Gospel Power, Vol. 15, No. 30, July 27, 2008.
The beginnings of things always intrigue us. We often mark them with great ceremony at the time if we anticipate their importance (weddings, ribbon-cutting grand openings, signings, etc.). We frequently research beginnings if only later we realize someone's or something's importance (the work of historians). It is therefore of no surprise that thinking men and women have often pondered the beginning of the physical universe.
While many are content to not give it any consideration and
perhaps assume that because it is here it has always been here,
most observe and realize that all physical things have measurable deterioration and, therefore, cannot be eternal but must have
had a beginning point.
Essentially, there are two possibilities for how the physical began: 1) It happened by random chance, or 2) It happened on purpose. Expressed another way: 1) It happened by random chance, or 2) It happened by design. Stated yet another way 1) It began spontaneously from ignorant nothingness, or 2) It began intentionally from intelligence.
In modern parlance it is the debate between "Big Bang" and "Intelligent Design" or "Evolution" vs "Creation." While some have attempted to harmonize the general theory of evolution and creation theory, at its core such an attempt is futile. To borrow from the apostle Paul, "what fellowship has purpose with accident, what communion has design with chance, what accord has intelligence with ignorance, what agreement has creation with evolution," (adapted from II Corinthians 6:14-16). The answer is none.
When anyone is challenged to give a historical explanation for the existence of something physical, spontaneous generation from nothing is never considered sound reasoning. Yet this is what modern science teaches is the best explanation for the beginning of all things.
However, the ancient book of books, the Holy Scriptures, offers another explanation. Many find its explanation incredible, but it is far more credible than the spontaneous generation of something from nothing suggested by atheists and agnostics. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Indeed, mankind is without excuse for not drawing the basic conclusion that a powerful supernatural intelligence (God) is the cause of this physical existence (Romans 1:20).
Scripture reveals that God simply spoke things into existence. "Then God said...and it was so," is an oft repeated phrase in Genesis 1. To be able to speak material things into existence demands a power that is beyond nature and beyond our comprehension. It is super-natural. Therefore, it is understandable that atheists assume that this creation account (along with the rest of the first eleven chapters of Genesis) is mythical, legendary or, at best, allegorical, but certainly not literal. Yet, even some believers in God attempt to explain the creation using the naturalistic assumptions of unbelievers.
Forgetting that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), many find these accounts incredible and unbelievable. However, again borrowing from the sayings of Paul, "why should it be thought incredible by you that" God spoke things into existence in six literal days? Of course, Paul was addressing Agrippa with regard to Jesus' resurrection (Acts 26:8). But beware! If you find a six-day creation incredible, you might have the same problem with the resurrection from the dead. Most people do. Whenever we doubt the powers of God's spoken Word, we have no foundation for faith in any aspect of His Word.
As disciples of Christ, we would do well to follow His lead concerning the authority of the Genesis account. In responding to His adversaries about a point of great controversy regarding divorce, Jesus refers to the Genesis account of the beginning (Matthew 19:3-8). Jesus' authoritative use of Moses' account of creation affirms that He believed it to be accurate. Indeed, we cannot claim Christ as our Lord and reject the accuracy of Moses' words (John 5:46,47). To adapt Jesus' Words to the Sadducees and apply them to the present controversy over creation and evolution, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29). Beware, a rejection of these beginning truths undermines the whole foundation of the rest of Scripture and, therefore, our faith in God's power to do anything.