A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 15


In this lesson, you will learn about the field of anthropology and its historical and biblical foundations. You will also explore the creation of human beings, including the image of God in humans and the theological implications of this. The lesson also delves into the topic of human nature and sin, discussing the fall and its consequences. Additionally, the lesson covers redemption and sanctification, exploring salvation, atonement, growth, and transformation. Finally, you will examine human destiny and eschatology, including biblical views on human destiny, heaven and hell, and the return of Christ and the end of the age.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 15
Watching Now

I. Introduction

A. Speaker's Background and Interest in Science

B. Mention of Einstein's Cosmological Constant and Steady-State Theory

C. Edwin Hubble's Discovery of an Expanding Universe

II. The Big Bang Theory

A. Einstein's Initial Reluctance to Accept It

B. Expansion of the Universe and Abandoning the Cosmological Constant

C. The Steady-State Theory and Its Decline

III. Dark Energy and Dark Matter

A. Discovery of the Increasing Rate of Expansion

B. Introduction of Dark Energy as a Force

C. The Challenge of Explaining the Universe with Limited Observable Matter

IV. Theological Perspective on Creation

A. Creation Ex Nihilo

B. God's Free Personal Act of Creation

C. Creation as a Declaration of God's Glory

V. Different Views on the Days of Creation

A. Young Earth Creationism

1. Six Sequential 24-Hour Days

2. Creation of Universe as It Exists Today

B. Historic Creationism

1. Six Sequential 24-Hour Days

2. Shaping a Place for Human Habitation

C. Evolutionary Creationism (Theistic Evolution)

1. Six Sequential 24-Hour Days

2. Providential Guidance of Evolutionary Processes

D. Old Earth Creation (Intelligent Design)

1. Days as Symbols of Geologic Ages

2. Analogies to God's Workday and Rest

VI. Emphasis on Common Ground

A. All Views Acknowledge God as the Creator

B. The Battle Against Secular Naturalism

C. The Need to Disagree Respectfully and Focus on Core Beliefs

VII. Perspectives on Multiverse

A. Multiverse as the Current Secular Explanation for the Universe's Beginning

B. Critique of Multiverse Theory

C. Discussion on the Limitations of Applying Scientific Method to Such Concepts

VIII. Conclusion

A. The Complex Nature of Exploring the Beginning of the Universe

B. Encouragement to Avoid Overly Simplistic Views and Keep Exploring

C. A Call to Approach Differences with Understanding and Respect in the Pursuit of Truth

Class Resources
  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Lesson Transcript

Genesis, Chapter 1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth." I mean, there's a lot we can do with that. But I did my undergraduate work in mathematics, minor in astrophysics. Had I not graduated from university in 1968 as the Vietnam War was ramping up, I probably would have done a master's degree in astrophysics. Much, much intrigued with it. Still am, and I follow, particularly, astronomy and those related things at a non-professional level. And one of the things I think is really funny is, the entire world, except for a few fundamentalist Christians said, "There's no beginning. [inaudible] universe. It's always been pretty much the way it is now." It's the steady-state theory. So a guy named Einstein, fairly bright guy, 1915, came up with his general theory of relativity, his equations, and those general theory of relativity equations predicted that the universe had a beginning.

And he said, "Well, that can't be true. Everybody knows the universe has been pretty much the way it always has been." So he added into his equations, the famous cosmological constant, and if you know integrative calculus, when you do an integration, there's a constant at the end that you can't get from the integration. So he put in a cosmological constant to balance out the equation. So you end up a steady-state universe.

And in 1930, a guy named Edwin Hubble polymer telescope, I mean to be a little sarcastic, was looking through his telescope and, "Huh? That star's moving away from me. Wow. I wonder what that's about. Huh? Huh? That star is moving away from me, huh? Huh? That star's moving away from me." I mean, the point is, every way he looked, the star was moving away from him. That says an expanding universe, because every direction, the stars are moving away. And that says, if you go backward, they're back somewhere. And this is meant to be in total dismissive sarcasm, it's some Big Bang. In that phrase, a mocking insult has now been, what kind of everybody believes. And so Einstein came along and said, "The cosmological constant was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have believed what my equation said." And the expanding universe. Well, Big Bang, hmm. That means the universe had a beginning and now everybody in the astrophysical world believes that this universe had a beginning, just like Genesis 1 says, isn't that amazing?

Except we don't like that. So as a university, the big thing was the oscillating universe. Bang out. But then gravity, bang, and you end up in an oscillating universe with your oscillation on the order of maybe a trillion years or something like that. And the thing is, is there enough mass to overcome the force of the explosion, again, speaking non-technically. And as they did observations, there's not nearly enough mass to slow down the explosion. And so the cover of Time magazine in like 1985, something like that, was Black Death. The universe is going to keep expanding into Black Death. Very dramatic. Very dramatic. Oh, my. Nihilists are having a heyday. "Yes, it means nothing. We're all going to Black Death." And a few fundamentalists Christians said, "No, I think there's a divine purpose." "Ah, you fundamentalist Christians."

And then, in oh, mid-nineties, late nineties, guys looking around and they did some measurements and they discovered, "Amazing," actually that the rate of expansion, the rate of expansion is not slowing down because of gravity is actually increasing.

So bang coming out, gravity pulls it back together. It's not slowing down, it's actually getting faster. We get the Big Bang, but what's pushing the universe apart? And the answer, if you follow things along, does anybody happen to know, here in the room, what they're now saying is forcing it to go faster? It's called dark energy and there's also dark matter. And ironically, the stuff we can see by direct or indirect observations, about 4% of what needs to be there for the theory of the universe to work. Now, if we can only see 4% of what has to be there for my theory to work, what's the immediate conclusion? Maybe my theory is not right, and I'm finding myself now looking at the same level as what was happening in the late 18 hundreds when the ether, the universe is full of ether and the waves work in the ether. It was an attempt to give an explanation of what they saw happening. And the ether explanation fell apart and was overcome and nobody believes it anymore.

I'm inclined to think the current inflationary Big Bang is a theory in crisis and it's going to fail, but we don't have anything to replace it yet unless you put God in the equation and suddenly, a lot of our problems disappear. So that's where I'm at.

What I want to do here is not so much the history of science, though I find it absolutely fascinating to think that experimental science keeps coming back to what the Bible says in a lot of ways. I just, I keep laughing.

So, notes. Genesis 1, the Bible, all things were created in a free personal act of God. Initial creation was ex nelo, fancy phrase, means, out of nothing. So there was no space time, no mass energy, no laws of nature, no nothing. And God brought out of nothing, the stuff of this universe. And He did it as a free personal act and as a declaration of His glory. And so we say creation is distinct from God, but dependent upon God. That's just basic theology. You can go into great detail on all of those propositions, but I won't here. The other basic worldview, and it's the worldview that's taught almost exclusively in our American academy, is what I'd call Evolutionism. And Evolutionism believes everything can be explained by random application of presently operating natural law. Again, I'm just reading what's in the notes here. If you don't have the notes, download them. Everything can be explained by random application of presently operating natural law.

There is no divine causality or anything like that. And when you use the term evolution, it always carries the connotation of naturalistic evolution. That is a denial of any divine causality involved. And that's the fundamental issue for us, as Christians, is the fact that God is involved in the process and actually, the scientific facts are way on our side. The origin of life, for example, go to any biologist, life never comes from non-life except it had to sometime in the ancient past 'cause we've got life today and we know nothing done it. It's actually a lot easier if God is there and He goes, and there's life. Now, exactly how that works out, I don't know. Is there a dissent? Certainly, God could use what we call Evolution to accomplish His purpose, I think, but you've got to have God providence involved or it just doesn't work.

I go into detail. What I want to do here is talk about Genesis 1. There's a lot we do with creation, but Genesis 1, how we understand that is an issue within Christianity and it's a very, very emotional issue. So what I want to do is, look at those, go back to Genesis chapter 1, and I think you know it. I'm not even going to read it to you. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And what it does there, it talks about days and there are a total of six days here. And in these days we find God doing some work. So the question here is, how long are these days?

And when I look at that, that's the question. Let's leave it for a minute here. In six days, God does something. Now the question is, what does He do? And there are three theories I want to look at. I've got them in order here in the notes. The first is called Young Earth Creationism and Young Earth Creationism says the days are six sequential 24 hour days and in those days, God created the universe. So it's six, 24 hour days that begins with nothing and at the end of the sixth day, we have humans walking around on the earth and all the other stuff around there. So it's six days, sequential, 24 hour days in which God creates the universe.

So that's the first one. Genesis says days are six sequential 24 hour days, stars, moons, earth, trees, animals are created, essentially, as we see them today. Adam and Eve were created as mature adults and in six days you go from nothing to humans walking on the planet. And that's a common theory answered in Genesis Institute for Creation Research, many others, [inaudible] and they say, "Well, that's what the Bible says." Well, we believe in six, 24 hour days. Okay?

There's another view, it's called Historic Creationism. Happens to be the view I think accounts for this both. And same thing, Genesis 1 and 2 is the record of God who creates everything. But here, and I say this, the days are six sequential 24 hour days, just like young Earth creationism. But in those six sequential 24 hour days, what God is doing, is shaping a place for human habitation. In Historic Creation, it's not Him creating the entire universe, it's Him in the beginning, the one in the period prior to our story, God does sun, moon stars, animals, all that kind of stuff has prior to our story. But the Genesis 1 story is talking about God creating a place for Him to dwell with human beings. So it's the shaping and preparation of Eden, Temple Mount for Him to dwell with His image bearing creatures. And it's six sequential, literal 24 days. That's Historic Creationism.

A third view, and again, I'm assuming you've got the notes here, is called Evolutionary Creationism. Used to be called Theistic Evolution, but that's not an accurate term at all because it's not an evolution view, it's a creationist view. And in this view, the days of Genesis 1 are six sequential, literal, 24 hour days. You notice that's common to all three of these views. And the argument from Young Earth Creationists, "We're the ones who believe in a six day creation." Actually, everybody believes in six days in Genesis 1, they just believe different things happen on those days. So in Young Earth Creationism, creation of the universe in those days, Historic Creationists, that's shaping the Eden for human habitation with God, in Historic Creation, the days are the literal sequential, 24 hour days of the Sabbath rhythm. This is Moses writing, who's telling the creation story using the pattern of Sabbath, seven days followed by a day of rest. And he's using that literary pattern to be a pattern to tell the story of creation.

So these are not days of creation. These are literary frame, the literary pattern, and God tells first, the forming and the filling of this world. So it's still six days of Genesis 1, but what happened in those days is very different. So six sequential, 24 hour days of the Sabbath rhythm, six days plus a day of Sabbath. And obviously, this finishes in Genesis 2 with God resting. So the literary structure gives a framework for telling the creation story. And the idea is here is that He providentially guides the natural processes of evolution to produce the universe, life, humanity as we see it today. And that's BioLogos of Francis Collins Human Genome project, the Language of God, the book. He's a committed evangelical and is a brilliant scientist and a committed Christian. Came up with this and formed Biologos as an organization. I know many Christians, Tim Keller would be a well-known Christian that's a BioLogos guy. They said that this is a literary pattern to tell the state of creation.

So in Young Earth Creationism, the six days, take us back to the nothing. So the entire universe is less than 10,000 years old. In Evolutionary Creationism, science gives us dates because the literary framework doesn't give us any timeframe at all. And they're going to say the Earth is four point billion years old and the universe is 13.6 billion years old. That's what science tells us. Knowing that those numbers may change as we learn more. Historic Creation, the view that I hold, says we actually don't know. The Bible doesn't tell us when sun, moon and stars were formed. It tells us when the beginning of God creating humans. So humans, as image bearing creatures are recent. The universe may have been created the day before humans were, we just don't know. Or it might be 13.8 billion years old. We just don't know. It doesn't tell us that. But it talks about God's shaping.

So a couple of things here I want to note. Young Earth Creationism begins with nothing. So formless and empty, there's just nothing there. God forms maybe energy floating, primordial chaos. And then darkness is there and God says, "Let there be light." And there was light. And then in verse five, God called the light day, the darkness He called night. There was evening, there was morning, the first day. So in the Young Earth Creationist view, when is the sun formed? When is the sun created in the Young Earth Creationist's view? When is the sun formed? When is the sun created according to Young earth Creationists? Well, it's done on day four.

The fourth day.

So the first three days, there's no sun. Can you have light without sun? Yeah, I suppose. What is, in verse five, what does the word evening mean? In ordinary Hebrew or ordinary English, what does evening mean? It means sundown. Now you can have light without sun, but you can't have evening without sun. And see, from my perspective, I want Young Earth Creationists to say, "Hmm, that's a problem." That's all I'm want. The view is not drop dead obvious. There's evening and there's no sun. How can that be? Well, there's various workarounds and such, but I want people to be able to say, "That's a problem." Because every view has some problems. And that's an annoying thing to me with people or Young Earth Creationists, they won't admit there's problems to their view or they're saying more than what the text sometimes says. So that's one of them. Now my view, Historic Creationism, what's the problem? Well, I look at this and I look at, oh, like the plants vegetation down in verse 11. What kind of vegetation is he talking about here? What kind of plants is he talking about here?


What kind of trees?

Seed bearing.

He's talking about orange trees. What kind of plants are you talking about? Barley. It's not saying all vegetation, it's saying, He let the land produce this kind of vegetation. Plants bearing seed, trees bearing fruit. Why do we put those in there? So we have plenty to eat. And again, I'm saying, and at verse one, you look at heaven and earth. Okay, so earth in verse one, we immediately think of the planet floating in space but if you come down to verse 10, you get the same word in verse 10, God called the dry ground, NIV translate is, land. It's the same word, [foreign language]. In verse 10, it's not the planet. It excludes atmosphere and ocean.

So in verse one, to say this is the entire planet... I mean this is the thing you do is, I want to read it. So I think this is talking about the land, means [foreign language], as you look, [foreign language] is the promised land, is it's normal meaning, it's Israel. I think Eden is Israel. I think that's where God did His thing. Is there a problem in my view? Absolutely. In verse 1:14, chapter 1, verse 14, it says, "Let there be lights in the vault of the sky. Let them serve." And what are those? Those two great lights, sun and moon. And that sure sounds like God is creating the sun on day four. And I'm saying no, the sun and planets were done back in the beginning before our story begins. And our story is creating a spot for humans to live and then creating humans to live there with God on a mission.

Now my Hebrew is rudimentary, let's say that. John Sailhamer, who's now with the Lord, but he is first rank, Hebrew expert and he syntactically, he said, if you read this properly, instead of, "Let there be lights in the sky," he said, you should translate this, "Let the lights in the sky be to separate days and night." And his point is, God is giving name and purpose to the existing sun, moon and stars. So they tell us when to do our religious rituals. So when do you do Passover? Passover begins at sundown and there's a certain spot in Jerusalem the Rabbi watches. And okay, the sun is now disappearing, Sabbath begins, quit working. And the sun and when does Passover... I meant Sabbath, not Passover. When does Passover happen? Well, it's the first full moon after the spring solstice. So these are determined by calendar sun, moon and stars. And he's saying, this gives us... Now we know that's true, because it says as much, but what he's saying is, it's not the creation of sun, moon and stars. It's rather, the purposing for humans to know when to do their religious rituals.

Now it's much more complex than that. The BioLogos interpretation is saying, the six days are the Sabbath rhythm and they focus on the seventh day and God rested and they say that's the important day, is when we rest with God. So these are different ways to look at it. And what I'd like to suggest... And there's actually, a fourth great group and I've got it on here. Old Earth Creation or Intelligent Design. And so, Discovery Institute in Seattle is the center of Intelligent Design, there's some great groups, Steven Meyer, and that crowd. Of the days of Genesis 1, our analogies of God's workday, setting a pattern for a rhythm of work and rest, they're understood in the same sense as in that day of Isaiah 11. And these are periods of time that are much longer than 24 hour days. And so the days are symbols of what we call geologic ages. So sometimes called the Day Age theory.

And they're not denying that the days literally are 24 hour days. But these are symbols of much larger things. And so, Hugh Ross at Answers in Genesis and Steven Meyer, Discovery Institute do that. My thing is, I think these are all good and godly people trying to figure out what's going on. I've got my preference. And actually, I think Historic Creation does a better job of dealing with the text than any of the others, but that isn't agreed. And what I'd like you to do, when you approach this particular creation, number one, and we've got to say it again and again, in the beginning, God is the creator of everything. Sun, moon, stars, planets, animals, all that stuff.

And He may have used evolutionary practices to do that. It doesn't say how He did it, but He is the creator. We've got to be creationists. And that's the issue against the secular godless, naturalistic, everything happens by random application of presently operating natural law. That's our enemy. Let's quit fighting each other viciously, which is done a lot. People in BioLogos just absolutely despise the science denying Young Earth Creationists and the Young Earth Creationists despise BioLogos people because they worship science, not God and His Bible. I mean, I'm overstating, but not really. Very, very, very, very strong language at this spot. Let's quit fighting each other. Let's disagree with each other but let's come back to the central point. We are creationists and could God have used what we call evolution, natural descent to accomplish His purposes?

Could be, my hesitations about evolutionary process are scientific, not biblical. And I actually think we're in the situation with ether of the late 1800s. I think the current theory is going to fall apart. We just don't have anything in its place yet. So that's where I come out on this stuff. Creation, yes. When you get into the meaning of Genesis 1, let's do it with Bible open. Let's all admit, "Yep, there's problems in my view. How do I deal with my problems?" Which view accounts for the most biblical data with the fewest difficulties, focus on what we agree on and then disagree with a smile, have, but passionately, about things we disagree on, but understand each other instead of caricaturize each other. So that's where I come out. Questions?

How do evolutionists account for the beginning?

They deny it. When I'm looking out in the secular world, the current theory is multiverse. Multiverse is, there are 10 to 480th universes bubbling around in the multiverse and we're in one of the 10 to 480th universes. And we are the one in which of all the random possibilities, life actually happens because life is so incredibly unlikely. And that's the idea is, there are 10 to 480th is a huge number and there's a scientific reason for that particular number. But we have no observational evidence whatsoever of any universe beyond this one. But they would say, "Well, no, we don't. It's indirect evidence." Just like there's no direct evidence for dark energy or dark matter, but indirect. And they just deny it. There's a beginning to this universe, but there's not a beginning to universes, the multiverse.

Same way, the pulsating, the oscillating, there's a beginning to this particular phase in the pulsating stuff, but it just keeps pulsing. So that's the answer is, multiverse currently. And to me it's constructing something in desperation to save my theory, there's no evidence for it whatsoever. That's philosophy, at best, that's not science. Science is when you can put it in a laboratory and experimentally show it to be true. My judgment.

Right. 'Cause would it be true that those kinds of conversations, you can't really apply the scientific method to?

You can't. No. There's nothing observational and certainly, nothing experimental about it. It's just how do you explain what's here in light of our present theory? And that's where it comes from. It's trying to explain the result and come up with a naturalistic cause for it. And to me, it's desperation because it's like life coming from non-life. It just doesn't happen. "But it had to happen. Life is here." But your causation doesn't work. So that's the problem, I think. At least admit, we're hypothesizing without evidence instead of, "Follow the science," which has now become a laugh line, of course.


Log in to take this quiz.