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Genesis and Truth

Rector's Blog

Genesis and Truth

ross.hathway@stnicholasgoulburn.org

 

Here is a picture taken from the Hubble telescope. I find the universe mindboggling when I read about it and contemplate it. The fuss about Mars at the moment with the discovery of water and the forthcoming Ridley Scott movie are literally so miniscule in comparison to the size of the _known _universe.

Curiosity about our beginnings continues to haunt the human race. Quite rightly we feel we cannot find our bearings for life today without having light shed on our origins. For generations the Book of Genesis was the undisputed reply. The great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther described the openings chapters as 'certainly the foundation of the whole of Scripture'. But does the Bible still have anything to say about this? My answer is a resounding yes! That is why I am about to preach on Genesis s 1-4 in October and November.

As we study these chapters let us remember that God’s word is designed to make us Christians, not scientists and to lead us to eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Science is of course important and a case can be made for the Bible as the foundation for modern scientific method and discovery. But it was not God’s intention to reveal in Scripture what human beings could discover by their own investigations and experiments.

The first three chapters of Genesis reveal in particular four spiritual truths, which could never be discovered by the scientific method.

Firstly that God made everything.

Secondly that he made it out of nothing. There was no original raw material as eternal as himself on which he could work.

Thirdly that he made humanity male and female in His own image.

Fourthly that everything which he made was ‘very good’. When it left his hand is was perfect. Sin and suffering were foreign invasions into his lovely world and spoiled it.

Other visions of Humanity's earliest days have now come to the fore and varying interpretations of the text of Genesis cause controversy in the church. My hope is that we will profit in our faith as we renew our trust these chapters. My own view is that we must not mistreat the text in equal proportions by ‘veering too far to the right’ in excessive literalism or by ‘veering too far to the left’, taking as symbolic what is not. To put it another way; the fact that the primary purpose of Genesis is not to instruct us in geology, does not exclude the possibility that it says something of relevance to the subject. After all, the Bible does not make an absolute separation between the physical and the spiritual. The Christian religion is to do with every aspect of reality because everything is created by God and continues to depend on Him.