It is the ultimate question of all questions: Where did the universe come from? Why does it exist? Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible plainly states that behind the entire creative order is God’s sustaining power. Furthermore, this means that nothing exists on its own accord. Nothing receives its nature or existence from any other source.
It comes as no surprise that most church folks would have little difficulty acknowledging God as creator of all that is. There could be some disagreement on HOW creation took place—some want to say it happened in six 24-hour days; others want to say the “days” of which we read in the Genesis account should be understood as meaning thousands or even millions of years; still others say it was the “Big Bang.” But, Christians agree that creation did not JUST HAPPEN. Something… or someone…is behind it.
It seems to me that any objective observer has to conclude that you have to have faith either way. It’s just this simple: if scientists can demonstrate, based on the evidence, that life has emerged purely through natural chemical processes, then the image of God as the Creator must be reconsidered. However, if the evidence points to a Divine Creator, then atheistic evolution collapses.
Dr. L. Harrison Matthews, who wrote the introduction to the 1971 edition of Charles Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of Species, said it best: “The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory—is it then a science or faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation—both are concepts which believers know to be true, but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof.”
Is this planet and the universe just accidental? Is it accidental that the earth is tilted so that we get four different seasons? Is it accidental that the sun’s fire does not generate so much heat that we fry, but just enough that we don’t freeze?
Must we believe that we are just a chance collection of atoms and molecules that just happened to come together by fate or chance? If this is the case, then in some sense we live without hope.
What if the creator God in whom we say we believe set this globe spinning on its 23-degree axis and then wandered off never to be heard from again? According to the message of scripture, this creator God was busy at the beginning and has been busy ever since. But where can we see the evidence of this?
How we answer these questions can make all the difference. Which is why this coming Sunday, April 29, as I continue our current sermon series, I will wrestle with the common assumption that modern scientific discovery, in particularly the Theory of Evolution, has disproven Christianity.
Don’t forget that on May 6 at the 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Traditions worship we will welcome our Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett, who will be preaching and leading us in the consecration of our new sanctuary! Please mark your calendar for this historic and sacred moment in the life of our congregation!
Last but not least, if you haven’t registered for the 2018 Summer Institute of Religious Studies, registration is now open. If you’ve ever wondered what these religious communities actually believe or how they compare with mainstream Christianity, these eight sessions this summer, beginning on Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m., will prove helpful to you.
I have no doubt that we are in for any exciting time together these next few months. Thank you for letting me be a part of it all!
See you Sunday!