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The Creation of the World

By Joe Boot/ January 25, 2015

Series  Genesis 1-11: Creation, Covenant and Culture

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Apologetics

Scripture  Genesis 1

The creation account is foundational to Christian theology. The literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is supported by the rest of the Bible, linguistic analysis, the testimony of historic Christian orthodoxy, and science itself.

Scripture:  Genesis 1

Sermon Notes:

  1. Genesis 1 forces us to examine our unexamined assumptions and challenges our cultural idols.
  2. Many interpretations of creation attempt to get around the historical or traditional readings of Genesis.
  3. Gnostic influence in the church seeks to de-historicize Christianity, replacing historic facts with ideas, dismissing the historical creation account and chronology of the Bible.
  4. Genesis 1 is written with a plain simplicity and beauty that makes it accessible to a child in any era while occupying the minds of theologians and scholars over the centuries.
  5. As God’s inspired Word the Bible transcends the modern idea of genre.   Modern literary ideas cannot unlock novel truths which God supposedly hid in past eras.
  6. In Genesis 1 the Hebrew word for day (yom) is defined as the period governed by the sun; in 190 biblical uses, yom always means a 24 hour day; and in Exodus 20:11 God patterns the 6 day work week after the creation week.
  7. If the creation account is non-literal, then why isn’t the account of Jesus’ resurrection in John 20:1-10 also a non-literal, non-historical literary device.
  8. But if Christ didn't raise from the dead then we haven't received mercy.  If we deny the history of creation, we likewise lose the doctrines of sin and salvation. 
  9. Where ideas are abstracted from history, they can be accommodated to almost anything. There is no logical stopping point. 
  10. Many of the church fathers and many great scientists held the creation account to be real history.
  11. As God's image bearers we occupy a linguistic world. We need God's linguistic interpretation in His Word to explain the meaning of the facts of creation.
  12. Man theorizes and imposes his ideas upon creation; as a sinner he usually lies to himself and others.
  13. Science is totally fallible in all of its pronouncements.  Scientific theories and models of origins are constantly being falsified, rejected and replaced.
  14. We need to distinguish science as a construct or theory and science as the discipline of observing facts and evidence.
  15. In the Bible God has given us linguistic truth and we need to accept that Word and be ready to defend that God created the heavens and the earth. 

Application Questions:

  1. What are some root causes of modern challenges to the literal 6-day creation account of Genesis 1?
  2. What are the presuppositions or biases that unbelievers bring to the enterprise of science?
  3. Why must we accept that the Bible’s plain meaning is accessible to non-scholars from all eras of history?
  4. What is the importance of Genesis 1 for Christian theology?
  5. How is God’s special revelation in the Bible necessary for scientific endeavour?