Where did it all come from

ic434.jpgThere was a very engaging discussion over at Jeff Noble’s blog this week, and I got wrapped up into it.  The discussion was concerning the origin of the universe and the theories of how this all came about.

I don’t have any desire to continue an argument here.   I would, however, without arguing with anyone (I hope), like to explain what I believe about the creation of the earth from my point of view of Scripture – and thus possibly expand the discussion here.

A few ground rules… there may be people (including myself) who have a point of view different than yours.  Please don’t belittle one another! We all seem to think we KNOW what happened, when we weren’t there.  Scientifically, one thing is seen; and it seems that Scripturally, another is seen.  Like I’ve said before regarding end-times – We’ll all sit around in heaven shaking our heads about many things we believed on earth wondering “where did I come up with that?”  I like what Jeff said as he wrapped up the comments on his post after several near-doctorate essay style comments:

If God chose to create the world in six literal days, I’m fine with that. If he chose to create it over the course of eras, I’m ok with that too. The issue of when God created the world should never be a test of heresy or fellowship, however. It is an interesting and intriguing mental exercise, but one that should be approached in a spirit of conversation and of faith seeking understanding.

My brain hurts.

Here we go…

I don’t believe that the earth is only a few thousand years old.  How old is it?  Honestly, I have no idea – and really don’t care how old it is.  What does matter to me is the miracle of what took place in the miracle of creation as the Creator sculpted His masterpiece.

What I do believe is that there were certain things created and brought into order in 6-24 hour periods that began the history of the Earth.

Let me reference the Bible’s account of creation as I continue… 

Genesis 1

 1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

I believe that this could be a totally separate event from the 7 days referenced in following verses.  Of course there is not any indication from Scripture as to how long of a gap there could have been or what the heaven and the earth consisted of.  There was water – we do know that because of the next verse:

 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

So here’s when the 6 days of creation began (plus 1 day of rest).  The first day, we find the definition of what the Scripture is referring to when it says “day” leading me to stand on the belief that these were 24 hour days as we know it:

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

So then we are told what God did each day of creation on down the list…

6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

 7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

 9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

 10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

 11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

 12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

 13And the evening and the morning were the third day.

 14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

 20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

 21And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

 22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

 23And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

 24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

 25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

 29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

 31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

One more gap of time I desire to mention is the time from man’s creation to man’s fall.  How long did Adam and Eve live until they finally succumbed to the temptation to eat of the forbidden fruit.  I truly don’t believe man was created on Friday, and then sinned on Tuesday.  How long did it take to populate the earth with enough people for Cain to join a tribe of people after killing his brother? Hundreds of years? Thousands of years?

Here’s what I feel in my spirit when I think about God’s act of creation: 

God had such an intricate design in the creation of the earth, that every time I see a facet of it, I am awestruck.  Every time I see an image that NASA has made available from one of the great telescopes of the far reaches of the galaxy, I am even more amazed that God did all of this, and I still am not too far from His reach.

Science has a great opportunity to study God’s creation.  I don’t believe that science and faith should be diametrically opposed.  The concern I have with relying on scientific findings to determine what really happened, is when the supernatural power of the Intelligent Designer (Jehovah God) is left out.  I don’t think scientists should just give up and say “well, God did it, so I don’t have to understand it.”  The process should begin with the understanding that by God all things were created (Colossians 1:16).  From there, let’s look at how He did it and be amazed at this awesome design.

I still sit back in amazement as I think about how God created this vast universe (ever think about how big infinity really is?) yet still cares about me and my relatively small issues like how I’m going to pay for the light bill.

Humbling.

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4 thoughts on “Where did it all come from

  1. Jeff says:

    Excellent. Very close to my views as well. Thanks for adding to this discussion in a humble way.

  2. Mark W. says:

    TJ,
    Thanks for continuing the topic. I really do like to discuss such things, and I’m glad that Jeff stated that I’m not quite a heretic…I was beginning to wonder. Anyway, without trying to argue, I enjoy this kind of “let’s take it from the beginning” approach. Personally, I’ve been through an entire lecture series on the first book of Genesis for just the purpose for which you are using it. Scholars still debate the use of the original word that we now have translated as “day.” I also believe it is a mistake to automatically assume that the phrase “morning and evening” indicate 24 hours…earth is one planet in the universe and even it doesn’t abide by exact 24-hour days (which is why we need leap day every four years). Whatever might God mean by calling the darkness night? Are we assuming that he is standing on the earth and being fooled by the rotation of the planet, or does he simply mean the unlighted “space” of the universe as opposed to star formations? I believe he means the latter, and, if so, then it is quite likely that we need not assume that Genesis need be interpreted from our own “limited” earth-bound perspective. We often make God out to be smaller than He really is.

    As to your belief that, being created Friday, mankind didn’t sin Saturday, I think you’re giving us too much credit…I don’t thinks it’s out of bounds to think that Eve ate of the fruit minutes after being told not to…and as for Cain, where exactly do you think the tribe came from and HOW did it arise? These are all troubling questions once you dig through the Sunday-school gloss and think about what all it entails.

    Okay, sorry for the arguments…on another note, I really dig your new Yahoo Avatar…looks just like you! Sehr cool!

    Jeff – You wrote “Excellent. Very close to my views as well.” Strange–Are you saying that it’s excellent BECAUSE it is close to your views?– because that is kind of what I am getting from it. I researched that stinky article from your post and used it as a way of uncovering “a lot” of inaccuracies as regards redshift quantization theory and you simply belittled it because it went against your own arguments. Next time, perhaps I’ll say something that IS in line with your opinion, and then maybe I can be brilliant again. 😦

  3. Jeff says:

    Mark,
    I was saying that TJ’s post was excellent because it was. THEN I was saying that it more closely resembles what my personal views are.

    There is no way of knowing the timeline of creation from Genesis, as to how long the undescribed parts lasted. For instance, somewhere Satan and demons were cast from heaven. We know that they were created beings, but Genesis does not place their creation in Genesis 1-11.

    I also think that I lean towards a more literal interpretation of the days of creation as it describes “morning and evening” because the Hebrew words used there indicate exactly that: our morning and evening. As the Holy Spirit inspired scripture, I don’t think He meant the unlighted space of the universe as opposed to star formations, although that’s very interesting. I think we have to remember that Moses wrote what would be understood by the people to whom he was recording those words. I think it’s a much stronger possibility that what Moses understood as morning and evening were actually that, morning and evening. The Lord sure could have edited that and said, “No Moses, what I meanteth was this…” But He didn’t.

    On top of that, there arose no prophet or priest in Israel’s history to correct Moses’ writing in this regard, and Christ Himself saw it as sufficient to explain the creation of what we know.

    I still think you’re brilliant. 😉

    And TJ too.

  4. dean says:

    want to know what’s REALLY brilliant? the slick way that jeff and tj went into cahoots together… in tj’s bio (right under his avatar), he cleverly slipped in the word “journey” in order to drive more traffic to jeff’s personal blog as well as his church’s website. why not “travel with me” or “accompany me” or “join me”? i’m no conspiracy theorist, but i think mark is onto something here… brilliant indeed! although… mark’s comment about tj’s avatar is what drew my attention up there in the first place, so maybe mark is in on the plot as well, now that i think about it. YOU’RE ALL BRILLIANT!

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