There's something about standing on top of a mountain pass and looking out over what you just climbed. My mind tends to wonder back in history. I stand there leaning against a marvelous mechanical wonder (my bike), but 100's of years ago people before me came through these mountain ranges with far less. Wagons with wooden wheels and the fear of not knowing what lies just over that next peak or around the next corner. But I bet they too stood on top of this mountain pass and looked out over what they just climbed and marveled at this amazing view in awe of how it came to be.
Creation... we all enjoy it, some enjoy the woods, the beach, the ocean, canoeing in fresh water lakes, traversing mountains, sliding down snow-covered mountains, time spent working in gardens, etc. We can all agree we love the outdoors, but not everyone agrees on how these things came to be. Some will say it was a big bang and we slowly evolved, others will say a higher calling created it.
No matter what we agree on or don't agree on, at Fully Packed Adventure Ministries, we know that God is our creator and God is the reason we enjoy all that is around us. He intended for us to do so!
So, let's take a look at unpacking the Biblical view of creation.
Last week we talked about our Biblical worldview and how it sharply contrasts with other worldviews. Again, a Biblical view of creation is going to contrast with other views. Please take this into consideration. A conversation on creation can rapidly escalate when two parties have different views.
Remember, we are not here to defend God (He is our creator and needs no defending), but we are here to be His light (Christ ambassadors) to those that live in darkness. We seek to share His love, grace, understanding, and guidance. We are not here to belittle people or snub them. We are all children of God despite whether they choose to follow or not. In the words of a great man: "we don't eat our own."
Before we dive deeper let's start with some recommended reading:
Ok, let's start with some talking points:
- As we understand that God is the Creator, we recognize that every aspect of creation gives evidence of His power, creativity, and desire to be known.
- Look at the power of running water, how it carves out the hardest of rocks and gives shape to the landscape.
- Look at the forest and how many types of plants and trees live in symbiosis, giving life and nutrients to other flora and fauna. God designed life. God gives life, God sustains life.
- Feel the unseen breeze and hear the power of the wind. These invisible natural phenomena serve to affirm our faith in the unseen Creator.
So, WHY did God create the world?
The HOW of creation affirms the power of God’s spoken word. In His perfect wisdom, God is seen as the intelligent designer, constructing the world with laws to govern and sustain it. Laws which we have given names like the law of gravity, the law of conservation of matter, etc. The design includes invisible components so many that only the most modern laboratory equipment has allowed man to see them. In recent years, we have understood that God’s design of plants, animals, and human beings is based on DNA, stem cells, and other microscopic structures that the brightest minds of humankind struggle to understand, much less replicate.
The Bible explains the sequence of God’s design and creation process using the term days (Genesis 1&2). The discussion of literal versus figurative days has spawned countless debates, but either conclusion yields the same outcome: God attributes this creation to Himself. He has signed the painting, claiming to be the Divine Artist.
The seventh day was set apart by the Creator to reflect and appreciate His handiwork. To make the day holy is to set it apart as special, and unique for all the other days of this literal or proverbial week of creating. It should be understood that the Creator did not rest because of any physical fatigue on His part, as the Bible describes Him as omnipotent and not needing rest. But yet, the Creator’s rest allowed Him to appreciate His creative work and see His own reflection in it.
Side note: Think of this much like we described climbing to the top of the mountain pass and resting to enjoy the work we put into getting to this point. Although God rested not out of physical fatigue, to enjoy his handy work, we do the same, but we too rest out of physical fatigue. In His reflection on His finished products, the Creator became the architect and author of human life.
To sum it up, our Biblical view of creation sees a creator being the supreme author of why we enjoy the outdoors. His handy work surrounds us every day, every minute, every second. There are countless reminders of His power, His glory, His intelligent design. So, the next time you find yourself in a debate on creation take a second to stop... remind yourself we are all children of God. We are here to represent aka love, understand, show grace, and guide. By listening we begin to understand where they come from concerning their view of creation. This allows us to show His grace towards fellow children of God and thus we will be able to then guide aka help them understand our Biblical view of creation and begin to see His handiwork.
Here's a great example of differences in ways we view the world (Biblical) and ways other people view the world:
For example, to say “God”, others might hear ‘god’ or ‘gods’, or even ‘self’. In a very general sense, the worldviews on ‘God’ can be classified as follows:
Monotheistic- There is only 1 god.
Polytheism- There are multiple gods.
Pantheism- God is in everything and everything is in God.
Atheistic- There is no God.
Agnostic- There might be a higher power, but we cannot know for sure.
Within each of these 5 general views, there are thousands of permutations of how ‘God’ is understood and explained. For example, Islam (Allah) and Judaism (Jehovah) are both monotheistic worldviews. But a careful inspection of the attributes of the deity described in these two faith systems and their primary texts (the Koran and the Torah, respectively) cause a very different understanding of the world in which one lives. The issue of Palestine and a Jewish state make this discrepancy in worldview very evident. The Muslims might categorize the Jews as infidels and enemies of Allah, while at the same time, the Jewish people claim the promise that Jehovah established their national identity and therefore consider the Muslims to be their adversaries. This example is important because of a person’s view of God (or the absence of) in fact influences their behavior and life choices.
We must also understand that culture, family of origin, and personal experience all shape our worldview. Many of the people that cross our path do not have or do not read the Bible. It is not the source of their understanding of who God is and how He interacts with mankind as His creation. In order for us to properly share a Biblical worldview, we must ready, study, and apply the Bible to our outlook on the environment in which we live. Furthermore, we must be prepared to share with others the content of the Bible and the perspectives it offers on God, the world, and life.
As followers of Christ, we also understand that careful study and application of the Bible will gradually shape our understanding of God, His purpose for the world around us, and His will for us. This is gradual, and it happens supernaturally, through the power of the Holy Spirit. This process of reshaping our worldview is called sanctification, and is discussed in Module 2 of the Fully Packed - Biblical Foundation Material.
Don't forget to take a minute to enjoy His handiwork this weekend! He created all of this for us to enjoy, rule over, and care for! Let's do our part in helping other see and understand a Biblical view of His creation.
Next week we're going to continue unpacking the Biblical view of creation and begin talking about the creation of Adam. We will begin looking at Distortion which will then lead us into Restoration
Genesis 2:4 - Genesis 3
Thanks and God Bless!