Worlds in Collision – Creation
Last Sunday I presented the introduction to developing a Biblical Worldview. I made the case that: 1) most professing Christians do not have a thoroughly biblical worldview, and 2) that Christians are engaged in a battle for their minds—will be seek to develop the Mind of Christ or will we be held captive by the philosophy and empty deceptions that other worldviews offer?
Developing a Biblical Worldview is of extreme importance if we are going to live righteously and advance the Kingdom of God in this world. As we discovered last week, only about 4% of professing Christians in America actually have a Biblical Worldview. The church’s singular failure in recent decades has been the failure to see Christianity as a lifestyle that governs every area of existence and speaks to both the moral and the physical order of the universe. My goal in this sermon series is to help you begin the process of developing a worldview that is based on the Scriptures and not popular culture.
Christians, in my humble opinion, are going to have to become radical counter-culturalists. I believe that, because we are living in a society that is becoming increasingly hostile to public displays of or expressions of faith—especially the Christian faith. In other words, we’re going to have to become Biblical Christians with a worldview permeated by the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul was beheaded because his worldview of Christ-is-Lord came crashing headlong into Rome’s worldview that Caesar-is-Lord. In the early 21st century the biblical worldview that Christ-is-still-Lord is crashing headlong into the worldview that Secularism-is-Lord.
Secularism is the natural consequence of Naturalism. Naturalism, as you’ll remember from last week, is the worldview that “the world is all there is”—that there is no such thing as the supernatural. The naturalist worldview maintains, therefore, that the culture must be thoroughly secular—devoid of any religious influence. The result of the ever increasing secularization of America is expressed by the Prophet Isaiah when he writes: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20, NIV84)
The result is that secularism has become the predominant way of thinking in most of the power centers of society including our educational system, official government thinking, our judicial system, and our mass media outlets. Secularism is the worldview of the cultural elites of our society who are attempting to mold our culture into their perverted and godless image. Today almost every major magazine, newspaper, television network, secular book publisher, and movie producer is a committed secularist, surrounding himself or herself with editors and newscasters and associates who seldom permit anything to be presented that contradicts their viewpoint. This has resulted in the exorcism of God from virtually every sphere of public life.
- ILLUS. Just two weeks ago, NBC caused a flap by editing out the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of golf's U.S. Open. They not only omitted it once, but twice! The second omission went even further, editing out "one nation" as well. NBC is claiming it was “inadvertent” and not done to upset anyone. I am convinced that this was just one more example of the arrogance of a thoroughly secular media in their promotion of radical Secularism. The mass media industry, our judicial system, and to a large degree, our nation’s public universities, are laying siege to the minds of Americans. This siege upon the American mind and culture will only be broken as Christians develop a biblical worldview, and learn how to defend that worldview in the marketplace of ideas. Such a worldview will always run counter to the culture we now find ourselves living in. I think this is one of the most exciting times in our history to be a bible-believing Christian!
This morning, I want to look at the first question that every worldview must answer: Where did we come from and who are we? In answering that question, I want to lay the foundation for every doctrine found in the Scriptures. It is the belief that God spoke the universe into existence, created life and providentially rules over His creation.
I. A FLAWED VIEW OF CREATION LEADS TO A SECULARIZED WORLDVIEW
- the first fundamental question that any worldview must answer is: “Where did we come from, and who are we?”
- for the first 1,700 years of western culture the Bible gave us that answer
- the Genesis account of creation was pretty much unquestioned
- the Bible said it, that settled it
- for those of you who may be wondering, that still settles it for me
- I am an unapologetic Creationist
- no, that does not mean I’m stupid
A. A SCIENTIFIC ENLIGHTENMENT THAT BROUGHT SPIRITUAL DARKNESS
- with the dawning of the 18th century came an intellectual movement that we’ve come to call, The Enlightenment
- The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that emphasized the use of reason and logic to scrutinize previously accepted doctrines and traditions
- during the Enlightenment, there was a tremendous growth in knowledge and the dissemination of that knowledge that continues to this day
- scientific inquiry and rational thought became the dual standards by which all knowledge and experience was tested
- one of the products of The Enlightenment was a man by the name of Charles Darwin
- after a trip to the Galapagos Islands, he wrote a book entitled The Origin of the Species which was published in 1859
- he postulated that all species have gradually evolved into the forms they are today—including man—through the process of natural selection
- enter the Theory of Evolution
- his work fundamentally changed the way we look at the world and seemed to present a serious challenge to the truthfulness of the Genesis account of creation
- the Theory of Evolution is a theory that most scientists and researches have elevated to unquestionable fact
- to accept any other interpretation of Earth’s palenotological history is to risk being labeled a rank heretic, a crank, or just plain stupid
- the result of Darwinian Evolution is a Naturalistic Worldview
- the Naturalistic worldview teaches that nature is all that exists—there is no such thing as the supernatural
- this worldview is the dominant philosophy being taught in academia
- it’s even crept into the books your children read
- ILLUS. Many of you are familiar with the Berenstain Bear book series for children. In one book, the Bear family invites the reader to join them for a nature walk. We start out on a sunny morning, and after running into a few spider webs, we read in capitol letter spread across a beautiful sunrise, these words: Nature is all there IS, or WAS or EVER WILL BE. (This is a paraphrase of astronomer Carl Sagan’s, “The cosmos is all there is, or was or ever will be." While Sagan denied that he was an Atheist, his writings and speech betray him).
- ILLUS. Charles Coleson writes in his book, How Now Shall We Live, “If nature is all there is, there is no transcendent source of truth or morality. Truth is relative, and we are left to construct morality on our own. Every principle is reduced to a personal preference. If we are animals and have no intrinsic value, then how is killing another human different from killing a cow or chicken?”
B. THE CONSEQUENCES OF REJECTING THE GENESIS ACCOUNT
- some argue that as long as Christians believe in God, does it make any difference whether we believe in a God who created the world in six literal days, or slowly over six billion years?
- most do so without ever contemplating the consequences of doing so
- let me quickly share with you four theological consequences when you reject the Biblical account of creation
- First, if you deny the accuracy and the authenticity of the creation account than you deny the authority and inerrancy of the Scriptures
- that is dangerous
- 1 Tim. 3:16 "All Scripture is given be inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
- 2 Pet. 1:19-21 “We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto light that shineth in a dark place, until the dawn , and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
- it's story and message are utterly fantastic and is predicated on the presupposition that God is almighty and can and does intervene in the course of history and the lives of men
- we believe the stories because we have a God who cannot lie and who would not ask us to put faith in myth
- that is dangerous
- Jesus believed in the historical accuracy of the Scriptures
- He believed that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch the first five books of the Bible
- John 5:46 "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe in my words?"
- ILLUS. I actually remember one of my more liberal professors in college claim that, as the Son of God, Jesus knew that Moses really didn't write the Pentateuch and that the Creation account really wasn’t true, but he pretended that they were so as to accommodate the ignorance of the common man of his day.
- that is dangerous
- I’ve got a question for the evolutionist—if everything is evolving upward then why after 10,000 years of recorded human history have we not eradicated hunger, greed, hatred, war, malice, poverty, etc., etc., etc.?
- most evolutionists deny the existence of a real Adam and Eve
- they scoff at the story of their creation and subsequent fall from grace
- if they are correct, then how do you explain the depravity of man’s nature?
- if Genesis isn't accurate, then what is the cause of man's pain, unhappiness, and suffering? And why doesn't the Bible clearly reveal the true source?
- and if sin is not the source of man's problems, then why do we need a Savior?
- that is dangerous
- the result is a popular worldview called Secular Humanism
- Secular Humanism maintains that this life is the only one you're going to get, so enjoy it while you can – do what makes you happy
- Secular Humanism says why worry about trying to figure out what is right and wrong if there is no ultimate, eternal meaning to life anyway—do what makes you happy
- Secular Humanism maintains we have a right to make out own rules and guidelines about living in this world—do what you can get away with
- Secular Humanism says there is no reason to feel guilty about anything done with our sexual drive—there is nothing morally wrong with homosexuality, adultery, or promiscuity—do what makes you happy
- Secular Humanism maintains there are no moral absolutes—if it feels good or feels right, do it
- Secular Humanism believes that because we are just animals anyway, what's wrong with aborting unwanted babies?—if it’s an inconvenience, kill it
- Secular Humanism says you have a right to decide how to live, and you have a right to put your own interests first even if it harms other—do what is best for you
- these seven consequences to rejecting the Biblical Creation account pretty much paint a picture of where Western Culture is
II. A BIBLICAL VIEW OF CREATION IS THE FOUNDATION OF A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW
- the basis for a biblical worldview is God’s revelation
- here is where we must begin, and in the beginning we’re told that God created the heavens and the earth
- if we cannot trust what the Bible tells us about the creation of man and the universe, then what part of the Bible can we believe?
- where does the Bible stop being myth, and begin being truth?
- was there really a world-wide flood?
- did Abraham really live and begat the Jewish people?
- did Moses really lead a million Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promised Land?
- was Jesus really born of a virgin?
- did Jesus really perform miracles?
- did Jesus really raise from the dead?
- if the Genesis account of creation is a myth, whose to say that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a myth?
- it you start picking and choosing what parts of the Bible you are going to believe, how do you go about determining what parts are true and what parts are false?
- so we face a dilemma
- on the one hand, the Christian Worldview has historically believed in ...
- a literal six-day creation
- a literal created-from-dust Adam
- that man is the pinnacle of God’s created order, made in His image and charged with being stewards of His creation
- there are objective moral standards established by God for men to follow
- on the other hand, the Naturalistic Worldview insist that the earth ...
- is billions of years old
- that life spontaneously generated and has evolved into its various forms over
- eons of time
- that man, though a highly evolved creature, is no more significant than any other creature, who deserve the same rights that we do
- there are no moral standards except for the ones we establish as a society or for ourselves
- how do we rectify this conflict?
- you can’t!
- one must be true and the other false
A. ACCEPTING A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW OF CREATION DOES NOT MEAN YOUR STUPID
- “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.” (Job 37:5, NIV84)
- ILLUS. In 2001, noted British biologist Brian Goodwin shocked the academic world of naturalists with his book How the Leopard Changed His Spots: The Evolution of Complexity. In it he maintained that the Theory of Evolution has failed to explain living things, and how they got to be what they are. Goodwin is not a professing Christian, but he is one of a growing number of biologists who are questioning Darwinian orthodoxy.
- Darwin, as you may remember from High School biology class, developed much of his theory by studying the endless varieties of domesticated pigeons, horses, pigs and dogs produced by farmers as the cross-bred various forms of livestock
- Darwin postulated that if the same small changes were to accumulate over long periods of time, they might add up to produce larger changes
- the kind that separate fish and reptiles, and birds and mammals
- this assumption is the essence of evolutionary theory: that small-scale changes over long periods of time are the source of large-scale change
- to use the language of the Naturalist—microevolution is the mechanism for macroevolution
- i.e. one day you have a shrew and through countless mutations and natural selection, a couple of million years later you have a horse!
- according to Goodwin and a growing number of other biologists, however, the biological links between one species and another simply do not exist
- ILLUS. Goodwin writes, “Look at all the variety of dogs ... they’re still dogs. You never go beyond canine characteristics. No breed of dog ever leads gradually to another kind of animal.”
- this is exactly what Genesis proclaims
- when God created living creatures on the earth, he commanded that they reproduce after their own kind
- “And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.” (Genesis 1:24, NIV84)
- what nature does not give us, is a ladder to new and different life-forms
- he recognized that the Theory of Evolution depended on inference, grounded primarily on analogy
- in other words, it was a theory that made sense, yet could not be proved
- I use Brian Goodwin as an example because he explodes the myth that the only dissenters from Darwinian Evolution are Creationists and religious fundamentalists
- Goodwin—and similar scientists—reveal that the case against Darwinism is not simply a matter of religious prejudice
- good scientific arguments can be raised against the theory
B. DARWINIAN EVOLUTION IS NOT MERELY A “NEUTRAL” BIOLOGICAL THEORY
- “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV84)
- evolutionary theory attempts to smuggle in a philosophy of naturalism that is implacably opposed to any idea of purpose or design—especially God wrought purpose or design
- throughout history, many scientists were Christians with a thoroughly biblical worldview
- they studied the finely engineered structures in living creatures and the orbits of the planets in order to reveal the wisdom—yes and even glory—of the Creator
- ILLUS. In the 15th century Nicolaus Copernicus rocked the European world by postulating that the planets—including Earth—actually revolved around the Sun. When he suggested this, he had no empirical evidence. Without telescopes, observations of the planets fit equally well with an earth-centered solar system. But Copernicus believed that God had made the world with mathematical precision. His sole reason for favoring a Sun-centered solar system was that it was simpler mathematically! Less than one-hundred years later, Johannes Kepler noticed a slight flaw in Copernicus’ math. Copernicus believed that the planets traveled in perfect circles around the Sun. Kepler noticed a slight mismatch between the mathematical calculations of Mar’s orbit and actual observations. The difference was so slight that others had simply missed it. But, like Copernicus, Kepler believed that God had devised a universes with mathematical preciseness. In time, he discovered that the orbits of most of the planets are not circular, but elliptical.
- for Darwin, random changes and blind sifting of natural selection explained the biological diversity in the world
- naturalism is simply atheism in scientific garb
- God is simply not needed
- and if, by some chance, a supernatural being were behind the process of natural selection, then natural selection would actually be superfluous
- Darwin, instead, chose to make God superfluous
- it postulates a theory, but that theory requires just as much faith, if not more, than the biblical revelation
Conclusion: Does life have a purpose? Is there meaning to existence? These are among the most significant questions human beings face over their lifetime. I submit that Naturalism does not give us any answers. It is a totally purposeless, uncaring process.
A biblical worldview, however, answers both parts of the question: God spoke the universe into existence, created life, making man the pinnacle of his creation, and providentially rules over His creation. It’s a worldview worth holding and it’s a worldview worth defending.