Gospel For Life

Training and building disciples for Christ

The Role of Creation in Christian Worldview

A. The Creator’s self-identification establishes the very purpose of the universe

1.) Nothing in the created universe can be equated with God (yet only the God of Scripture is both transcendent and immanent). 

2.) The universe was created ex nihilo (out of nothing)—it is upheld by God every moment. 

3.) The universe is utterly dependent upon God; it is not self-existent nor is it self-interpreting.

4.) God’s Word is the ordering principle in creation.

5.) The universe exists as a ‘stage’ for God’s glory.

B. The Creator’s relationship to the creation is the foundation for all reality

1.) Ultimate reality is God Himself and His blueprint for His creation.

2.) God structures all reality (truth and meaning have no existence independent of God).

3.) Man cannot set up his own rationality apart from God. God is the ‘reference point’ for all reality.  Human sin and angelic sin do not produce a new reality.

4.) God controls the way knowledge is apprehended; because God knows every fact and gives every fact its meaning; there are no ‘brute’ (un-interpreted) facts.

C. The Creator’s relationship to the creation is the context for the Gospel

1.) The doctrine of God and creation is the only starting point for a unified view of reality.          

2.) Paul established the identity of the Creator as the essential framework for the Gospel.  We ought to follow Paul’s example of setting the Gospel in the context of ultimate reality—i.e. the Creator’s relationship to the creation.

3.)  The message of redemption is best communicated in the context of divine restoration of a fallen creation. 

D. Creation is the ‘first chapter’ in the story of the revelation of God’s glory

1.) The creation is a general revelation about God.

2.) God has a supreme regard for the things that make Him known.

3.) The object of all knowledge is the glory of God.

4.) No part of the creation can be truly known apart from its role in God’s plan to bring glory to Himself.

5.) The order found in the universe is constantly bearing witness to the majesty of the Creator.

 

II. Mankind created in the image of God distinguishes man from everything else in creation. 

A. The Creator-creature distinction is the starting point for understanding man’s accountability to God and for understanding the moral government of God.

1.) As Creator, God has the right to tell the creatures made in His image what to believe; and       what He requires of them.

2.) As creatures made in God’s image—our only true freedom is living according to our created purpose. God’s moral requirements constitute true freedom.

3.) Every worldview that undermines God’s revelation about Creation; Fall, andRedemption is hostile to freedom.

B. The image of God defines what it means to be human

1.) The image of God sets forth man’s purpose: to know his Creator; to live for His Creator’s glory; to operate in covenant relation with God; to interpret all of God’s works truthfully.

2.) The image of God sets forth man as morally accountable to God.

3.) The image of God is the basis of our moral free agency.

4.) The image of God is foundation for man’s dignity.

5.) The image of God means that man’s faculties were designed to receive divine revelation.

6.) The image of God defines man as both the crown of creation and steward of God’s works.

C. The doctrine of the Trinity has profound implications for all our social relationships.

1.) The Trinity implies that relationships are not created by sheer choice; but are built into the very essence of human nature created in the image of God.

2.) Trinitarian worldview is the only coherent basis for social theory.  The alternative is social contract which has ushered in countless social ills.

3.) The Trinity forms the pattern for relationships of diversity with perfect equality; a pattern for relationships in which the members are different, yet without inferiority.

 

III.  Darwinian evolution is a bankrupt theory void of scientific evidence.

A.  Evolution is a religious philosophy; not a scientific theory.

1.) Evolutionary theory is driven by naturalistic presuppositions; not by empirical science.

2.) Philosophic naturalism is a religious philosophy not a scientific theory.  Naturalism states that ‘nature is all there is’—and prime reality is but matter, motion, and natural processes.

3.) Although naturalism is a religious philosophy; it masquerades as empirical science—it pretends to operate in a philosophy-free zone (Darwinists dogmatically assert their belief that materialism is more scientific than theism).

B.  Evolutionary theory is bereft of solid scientific evidence.

1.) Evolutionary theory depends upon gradualism.  The fossil record is bankrupt of gradualism.

2.) A testament to evolution’s lack of evidence: the ‘icons of evolution’, long since debunked by empirical science still appear in the latest textbooks (i.e. Darwin’s beaks; dysfunctional fruit flies; doctored moths; Haeckel’s embryos).

3.) Because Darwinism’s foundation is abiogenesis (life arising spontaneously from non-life)evolution is not true science; but it lethal ‘anti-science’.

 

IV.  Evolutionary theory has proven to be destructive to society.

A. Evolution is ‘open war’ upon the biblical doctrine of man as the image of God.

1.) Darwinism destroys moral free agency (by suggesting man is determined and not free and responsible).

2.) Darwinism is nihilistic; it destroys the sacredness of life and the meaning of life. 

3.) Darwinism normalizes death, victimization, suffering, war, and evil—thus removing the need for man’s redemption through Christ.

4.) Darwinism destroys the divine basis for ethics.

5.) Darwinism was regarded as a “scientific” rationale for the despotic purges conducted by Hitler and Stalin (Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler expressed gratitude to Darwin for an ideology that justified oppression in the interest of ‘progress’).

B. Evolution is an exercise in irrationality.

1.) Darwinism is radical reductionism; suggesting that man is a mere ‘biological machine’.

2.) Darwinism functions like a ‘universal acid’; eating up all competing truth claims.

3.) Darwinism suggests that the Bible’s truth claims have no basis in fact.

4.) Darwinism suggests that chance and chaos are more sophisticated designers than God.

5.) Darwinism suggests that all of our thoughts are merely mental mutations—ultimately traceable to our genes’ attempts at survival.

 

V. God’s inescapable self-revelation in the creation makes all men culpable.

A. Romans 1:18-23 is the record of the universal corruption of human reason.

1.) God’s wrath is revealed against those who suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness.

2.) God’s attributes of power, wisdom, and goodness are clearly seen in what has been made.

3.) That which is known about God is evident in man and in the physical creation; therefore all men are without excuse.

4.) All men have chosen not to honor God; and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie—and have worshipped and served the creature and the creation.

5.) The approval of sexual immorality and deviant sexual behavior result from a willful loss of the knowledge of God.

6.) God’s judgment upon those who reject the knowledge of God is giving them over to their lusts and to a depraved mind.  

B. Intellectual rebellion, folly, and futility are the result of placing human reason ahead of divine revelation.

1.) The satanic lie in the Garden of Eden was an invitation to place reason ahead of revelation.

2.) The Edenic lie believed resulted in the ‘Eve theory of knowledge’ (Eve’s consequent epistemology of reason ahead of revelation is duplicated by every non-theistic philosophy).

3.) When Eve believed the lie; she placed herself and God on the same level of being.

4.) The Edenic lie was a solicitation to Eve to erase the Creator-creature distinction.

5.) Unregenerate men have an affinity for the Lie.

 

VI. Scripture gives us numerous reasons why evolution is a lie.

A. Evolution deifies natural processes.  Biblical creation glorifies God.

1.) The wicked have no regard for the works of God’s hands (Ps 28:5).

2.) God is exceedingly jealous His reputation as Almighty Creator (Is 45:5-10ff.).

3.) Evolution attributes to chance what only Almighty God can do.

4.) Evolution cannot explain the nearly infinite examples of design in the creation.

B.  Evolution cannot be harmonized with the record of events in creation week (Gen 1-2).

1.) Light before luminaries baffles evolutionists (1:3-5).

2.) Life on land before life in the sea refutes the evolutionary order of events (1:11-13).

3.) Flowering fruit trees created before pollinating insects refutes evolutionary order (1:11-13).

C.  The term, “after their kind” (used 10 times in Genesis one) speaks of animals remaining within their kind and not evolving into another kind.

1.) The study of taxonomy is only possible because of the existence of systematic gaps between kinds of plants and kinds of animals.

2.) The fossil record bears witness to the fact that there are genetic barriers between the kinds. The fossil record is not a continuum of one kind becoming another kind.

D.  Man comes directly from the hand of God and not from some other species.

1.) The doctrine of man created in the image of God is preserved by the Genesis record of the creation of mankind.

2.) Fallen man has intentionally corrupted the doctrine of the image of God because sinful man finds the doctrine to be restrictive (Ps 2:1-3).

3.) Evolutionary theory has been used to justify man’s autonomy and to cast off moral accountability to God.

E.   Sin is the cause of death and suffering; sin and death are necessarily joined.  Scripture states that death entered in because of man’s sin (Rom 5:12).

1.) Evolution redefines death—completely removing death from its moral context.

2.) Evolution views death as a creative force (natural selection being ‘non-random death’).

3.) Evolutionary theory places death before sin.

4.) By contrast, Scripture states that death reigns because sin reigns (Rom 5:12-21).

5.) Scripture unfolds death as the sinner’s great enemy (1 Cor 15:56).

F.   While on earth, Christ demonstrated His absolute power over the natural laws He created.

1.) Jesus set aside natural laws when he multiplied one boy’s lunch to feed thousands.

2.) Many of Jesus’ miracles were creative supernatural acts which demonstrated His omnipotent power as Creator.

3.) Jesus has power over death; He reversed death and decay when he raised Lazarus.  Jesus claimed that He would one day raise all the dead to appear before Him (Jn 5:28-29).

G.  The fossil record bears witness--not to the origin of life; but to God’s universal judgment of the earth by water (the Genesis flood).

1.) Billions of fossils are found all over the earth buried in water-borne sediment. 

2.) Geology is filled with evidences of catastrophism (global catastrophic upheaval).

3.) Twisted strata; quickly buried fossils; immense deposits of sandstone and lava; vast fossil fuel deposits; and ocean fossils on the highest mountain peaks all attest to a global flood.

 

VII. The record of the Genesis flood is not allegorical. 2 Peter 3 sites the global flood of Genesis as concrete proof of coming judgment at Christ’s return.

A.  Peter’s ‘flood theology’ is the proof for his argument of certain coming judgment.

1.) Christ cautioned His followers to be ready for His return (3:1-2).

2.) Peter warns that in the last days ‘mockers’ will abound (3:3).

3.) The mockers (in order to deny the second coming of Christ) argue for a uniformitarian view of history—a view which denies the judgment of God in the Genesis flood (3:4).

4.) 2 Peter 3 sites the universality of the Genesis flood as proof that the mockers are wrong about the glorious return of Christ (3:5-6).

5.) Peter affirms that the present heavens and earth were changed by Noah’s flood (3:5-7).

6.) The present heavens and earth are not immutable; but are reserved for a second global judgment; this time by fire (3:5-7).

B.  In view of the coming judgment believers are to maintain a disposition of readiness.

1.) Take notice of the reason for God’s apparent delay in Christ’s return (3:8-9).

2.) Look for the Day of the Lord with eagerness (3:10-13).

3.) Be diligent in your readiness for the Day of the Lord (3:14-16).

4.) Be on guard against the danger of the mockers (3:16-18).

 

VIII. Christ is Creator of the universe, Upholder of all things, and eternal Utterance of God—He stands at the center of our epistemology.

A. Christ unifies all reality. 

1.) Christ does what no philosopher has been able to do: He links the transcendent to the immanent; He links the universal to the particular; He links the material and to the immaterial; He links the temporal with the eternal; He links physical to the spiritual. 

2.) The eternal Son of God connects the realms of being (permanence) and the realm of becoming (change). 

B.  Christ as the “Logos” is the source of all rationality in the universe.

1.) God’s revelation in Christ closes the gap between fact and value; and between science and theology, thus eliminating the dualistic view of truth that dominates our culture. 

2.) Christ is the source of creation’s order, rationality, uniformity, and information.

3.) Christ is the source of the correlation that exists between the mind of man and the facts and experience of creation.

4.) The Logos doctrine states that the existence and determinate nature of the universe as well as the very principle of purpose, meaning, and rationality reside in the character of God Himself as He is made manifest in Christ who is the Agent of creation.

5.) Because Christ, the Logos, made the world, it is characterized by reasonability, rationality, and meaningfulness.  

C.  Christ is epistemic Lord—He is God’s authoritative infallible Word to man (Heb 1:1-3).

1.) Christ’s epistemic authority is anchored in His self-attesting identity (Jn 5:18; 10:33-36; 12:48-50).

2.) The Bible begins with a declaration of God; not a defense of God.  In Scripture, “Being” is placed ahead of “knowing” (ontology ahead of epistemology).

3.) The only God-approved point of access to knowing is the fear of God (Prov 1:7).

4.) Man was created for certainty; but it is certainty resting upon God’s self revelation; it is not certainty resting primarily upon human reason.

5.) Christ’s epistemic authority as the Living Word is the source of His authority in the written Word.  Jesus validated His testimony upon an appeal to His own knowledge of Himself (Jn 8:14).

D.      Christ’s Lordship is both personal and cosmic. 

1.) Christ is supreme and preeminent; He has first place in everything.

2.) All things in creation exist for Him and unto Him.  Christ is the goal of all creation.

3.) Cosmic reconciliation is needed because heaven and earth are not now united: kingdoms are in conflict.

4.) “Cosmic” reconciliation has as its cause the spiritual reconciliation accomplished at the cross of Jesus Christ.

5.) Christ is the consummation of all things (Eph 1:7-11). All things in both spheres  (physical and spiritual) will be summed up in Him.

6.) The permanence and continuance of the universe rest far more upon Christ than upon physical laws—this is a Christo-centric universe.

 

IX.  Biblical creation, biblical worldview, and apologetic method function together.

A. Our pre-evangelism must go beyond a critique of evolution.

1.)    Christianity does make truth claims about the nature of reality; the origin of the cosmos; the character of human nature; and the events of history—therefore it is unfair to place Christianity’s truth claims in an ‘upper story’ non-cognitive realm.

2.)    We must boldly proclaim God as Creator; and we must boldly state His design for the universe; the world; and for mankind.

B. In the beginning was information.  God is the ‘Fashioner’ of all created order.

1.) God’s ‘fingerprints’ are everywhere in creation (Ps 19).

2.) The argument from intelligent design is powerfully set forth in concept of “irreducible complexity” (the term describes the vast amount of complexity that must be present before a tightly integrated system can function.  The common mouse trap is a simple illustration).

C. Christian apologists would do well to construct a case for intelligent design in origins.

1.) Information does not arise from natural forces within matter but has to be imposed from outside by an intelligent agent.

2.) God claims to have designed the creatures; the animal behavior; and the creation systems spoken of in Job 38-41.

3.) Christian apologists can learn to present a view of the cosmos through the lens of Christian worldview (Ps 36:9).  Biblical creation takes Christianity immediately into the realm of objective truth.

4.) Naturalism is a failed worldview; it cannot explain the nearly infinite examples of       design in the world; and it cannot give understanding of God, the world or man (1 Cor 1:21).

D. In our pre-evangelism we tear down the strongholds raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:3-5).

1.) By raising and answering ultimate questions it is possible to do an internal critique of the unbeliever’s faulty worldview.

2.) By means of the critique it can help the unbeliever see the gross inconsistency between what he professes to believe, and actual reality.

3.) There can be no agreement with the unbeliever regarding the truth claims of Scripture until there is agreement on the fact that man is the image of God. 

4.) The biblical apologist will employ antithesis in an evangelistic encounter.  He will confront the unbeliever’s inescapable sense of deity.  He will seek to bring to the surface what the unbeliever knows of God; but seeks to suppress (i.e. the knowledge of God from creation).

5.) Effective evangelism today increasingly involves a worldview clash—a fundamental clash between epistemologies (there are only two epistemological starting points: God or self).

6.) Once the unbeliever’s worldview is brought to the surface; it may be discussed. The biblical apologist will then expose the unbeliever’s working epistemology as hostile to the knowledge of the Creator and hostile to the Creator’s claims upon His creatures.

7.) Christian worldview is the only “key” that fits the lock of human experience. Christian apologists can go forth with the confidence that Christian truth encompasses all reality.