Where Do We Come From?
DAY 1: Where Do We Come From?
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.
Exodus 20:11, ESV
In today’s time, where racial hostility is hitting all-time highs in the media, there needs to be a better look at the Bible. We need some teaching and preaching in the churches, listening, and learning for the believers. We must evaluate what we believe. We must look for the truth in Scripture, not scan the news in our Facebook feeds.
Before we begin looking at how to heal and move on with the racial tensions in our country, we need to back it up.
WAIT, BACK IT UP
Recently, I came home and opened the garage. I pulled in quickly and hit a dog kennel that was sitting in plain sight. The problem was that my truck was too high to see what was directly in front of me. My son shouted out, “Dad, you hit the dog kennel. Back it up, and I will move it.” This is a good lesson in life. We all have a lot going on. We all have some blind spots, and we all bump into things from time to time. We need to back it up. We need to realize that if we keep going forward, we are going to run over something, and someone could get hurt.
In the discussion about racism and injustice in our country, many are starting to realize they need to back up. Many are realizing something needs to be moved around, but before we go forward, we need to back up.
As we look to God’s word for teaching in relation to unity in the church and our country, we will need to look at core doctrines such as the “imago dei”, being made in the image of God, or the creation of humanity, and so on. However, before we get to that, we must address the issue of creation itself. In a recent study, some 40% of Americans indicated that they did not believe that God created the world or mankind as the Bible teaches. The positive implication of this statistic, from a Christian perspective, is that many, perhaps up to 60% of Americans, believe God is the creator of our world. Nonetheless, there are three basic theories on the origination of our world, and before we dive into the doctrine of the Creation of Humanity, it’s important to have some knowledge of these theories. Here’s a brief description of each.
The creation theory is the idea that God created us, the world, and all that is within it. It’s what the Bible presents in plain teaching, from beginning to end, starting with the book of Genesis which records for us a starting point as origination and explanation of how we got here and how our world was created.
The Bible uses the word “create” ten times in the first five chapters of Genesis, and the phrase “God made” eight times in the first eight chapters. God’s initiative and action in creation is clear. He’s the Creator: he spoke and things came into existence. The phrase, “God said” is mentioned 203 times in the book Genesis.
While our Bible is not a comprehensive explanation of our world or universe, and there is a great need for science to help us more clearly understand the world we live in, the Christian must not dismiss the foundational building block to our understanding of who we are, and how we got here.
Another view of origination is what’s been known as the evolutionary theory. This holds to the idea that the earth over several billion years when chemicals collided, molecules mutated and turned into living organisms. Some have called this the Big Bang Theory. Over millions of years, we have the world we see today: plants, animals, and people.
This view has the foot on the gas and the brake. It’s a stop and go theory. A little of both theories. Those that hold to this idea adapt some views from the traditional evolution, while holding to the theory that God was still involved, allowing an evolutionary process to have its effect in our world. Usually, those that hold to this idea see the days mentioned in Genesis chapter 1, as ages, not days, and see them as potentially, thousands of years or millions of years. So, the battle of a literal six days or non-literal six days begins. These are issues that we would call open-handed issues, where there is room for debate and disagreement while maintaining unity as Christians. In conclusion, it’s important to note that there are many variations of this view. For a more extensive evaluation of these views from a Christian perspective, I’d suggest to look at Ryrie’s Basic Theology, as it relates to being made in the image of God, evolution, and our origins. Additionally, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is incredibly helpful as well for gaining a theological and historical understanding of these issues.
As we approach the topic of the creation of humanity and being made in God’s image, it’s essential to first BACK IT UP and evaluate if we can accept that God is the creator of all mankind, that we are not the product of billions of years of evolution. We are, as the Psalmist said, “wonderfully made!” Now, if you have come to an agreement that God is our creator, let us move forward. Let’s put this discussion into drive and pull forward.
 Gallup study