God Spoke, And All Of Creation Began Its Existence

I’m often asked what I think of creationism, Genesis, evolution, and other hot-button topics involving science and theology as they relate to the origins of life. I’ve said before that if the Word of God is true, and scientific discoveries are true, and yet in my understanding they seem to contradict each other, the weak link of this chain is not the Bible nor science, but me — my own fallible, human intellect.

What I know from reading the first two chapters of Genesis is that God spoke, and when he spoke, all of creation leapt into existence. What I don’t know is if Genesis illustrates this in folklore, science, or in some combination of the both. By “folklore,” I mean an absolute truth taught in metaphor, poetry, or parable. The truth those represent is undeniable, whereas the methodology used in explaining that truth may be in story form. This makes sense to me. The first hearers and, later, the first readers of Genesis were an unsophisticated, subliterate, non-scientific people group whose existence and sustenance were largely land- and water-based. They had no understanding at all of physics, biology, geology or chemistry; the story God offered them of the origin of creation would have to be tailored to his first audience, even as it continues to be told throughout the generations and among many different people groups.

The story of creation, then, is much more likely to be like a parable than a treatise on biology, geology, and climatology. We read and come to apprehend the parables of Jesus with an understanding that it isn’t required that a real woman, one existing in time and personally acquainted with Jesus, actually lost a coin, swept the house until she found it, and rejoiced then with her neighbors. The truth the parable illustrates is literal; the story itself needn’t be.

With that in mind, here’s a wonderful quote from Christian geologist Keith B. Miller, explaining his and other evangelicals’ views on God’s creation and superintendency of everything that’s ever existed or will exist. I found it to be a refreshing change from the volatile argument existing between young-earth creationists and their brethren who understand Genesis less literally.

“The doctrine of creation really says nothing about ‘How’ God creates. It does not provide a basis for a testable theory of the mechanism of change. If it does not address this issue, then it does not contribute anything to a specifically scientific description of the history of life. I believe that all of creation is designed by God and has its being in God, but that does not give me any insights into the processes by which God brought that creation into existence . . .”

Dr. Keith B. Miller, “Perspectives on an Evolving Creation,” Eerdmans, 2003

Later, Miller speaks of the “concordist” view of evolution that he says depends on an understanding that “. . . the book of Scripture and the book of nature cannot conflict, since both have the same author . . .” (Miller, ibid.)

That view seems correct to me. We are all weak links in the chain of understanding just exactly how God created the universe and all that’s in it, especially when science demonstrates something that appears to be different from the Biblical narrative. But I’m not at all uncomfortable in that position. I worship the God of Scripture, revere his Word, and welcome open and robust scientific analysis of the world around me because all true things, no matter who the discoverer of that truth is, point to the One who is Truth in his very being.

His work in this world is not at all hampered by my inability to fully grasp it.

2 Responses to “God Spoke, And All Of Creation Began Its Existence”

  1. Ashwin says:

    “. . . the book of Scripture and the book of nature cannot conflict, since both have the same author . . .” (Miller, ibid.)

    Very lovely sentence.

  2. It is, isn’t it? And so true, to the glory of God.

    Thanks, Ashwin

    Keely

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