The Created Creation
God spoke all of creation into existence — from land and waters to plants and animals (Gen. 1:3 – 25) — that is, all of creation except for man. Both man and woman were created by God’s very hands and received life from God’s very breath (Gen. 2:7, 22). This intimate, special creation is one sign of the special place God designed human beings to have within his creation. In addition, human beings are the only ones that God made “in his own image” (Gen. 1:27). To be in God’s image means to be like God and to represent God. As God’s image, man is the pinnacle of all creation, more like God than any other creature, and the only one appointed to rule over the rest of creation as God’s representative (Gen. 1:28 – 31).
There are many scientific theories that directly conflict with a biblical view of creation, such as the theory that all living things came into being as a result of random mutations over a long period of time, rather than as a result of God’s intelligent design and infinite power. Scientific theories that do not see God as the Creator fail to give us the dignity that is given by the biblical account. The Bible teaches that although God did not need to create anything, he chose to create us and chose to create us in his image.
On the other hand, sometimes scientific observations of the world can correct people’s misunderstandings. At one time many Christians thought that the Bible taught that the sun goes around the earth. They opposed the theories of Galileo, whose astronomical observations led him to believe that the earth rotates and also orbits the sun. Eventually the whole church recognized that the Bible never teaches that the sun goes around the earth, so they could accept Galileo’s observations. We should exercise care, then, in speaking to issues that the Bible does not clearly speak to. And when our observations of the natural world seem to conflict with our understanding of Scripture, we should look again at both, seeking to find where our limited understanding and imperfect knowledge of either could be wrong. Ultimately, a proper understanding of science and a proper understanding of Scripture will not be in conflict.
The Bible is clear: God created the earth and all that is in and on it from nothing. He created man from the dust of the world he created. Before creation, nothing existed but God. Therefore, nothing but God is eternal. Nothing but God can ultimately rule over that which he made. Therefore, nothing but God is worthy of our worship. Because we are special products of God’s creation, this fact should create great humility in us. In addition, because God created the universe from nothing, and because he didn’t need to create it, he must have created it for some purpose. Because we are special products of God’s creation, this should give us great dignity.
Professors: Request an exam copy of Grudem's Systematic Theology, Second Edition, here.
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash.
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