In response to my most recent post in my series on “The Evangelical’s Creation Conundrum,” A friend asked my opinion about the Mohler-Collins conversation about Scripture’s teaching on the age of the universe that took place on February 1. Rather than an extensive response, I picked out one of Mohler’s statements that I think is representative of the way young earth creationists sometimes rhetorically distort the debate by forcing us to go all in on a lopsided bet.
Creation was meant to be a place of provision and protection. That’s what the ordering of the six days of creation communicates. But Genesis 1:1-2:3 sets in motion a big idea that drives the whole biblical story from beginning to end. The temple theme is rooted in the seven day structure of creation and opens up the possibility that the author did not use “days” to express length of time, but rather to set up the all important temple metaphor as the lens through which we understand the creation narrative.
During my research stint with The Creation Project I had the luxury of being contractually obliged to read in areas that I normally don’t have time to explore. One result is a deeper appreciation of the relationship between reading and living God’s story.
The Creation Project definitely dominated our 2016 and brought new opportunities for everyone in the family, including Elisabeth and Max, but there was plenty else going on with successful musicals at Narnia and other research milestones for Todd. All that good stuff and we’re still hoping for big things in 2017.
It’s finally time to turn to Scripture to see what Gen 1:1–2:3 teaches. At first glance the text seems to clearly teach that God created the world in six, twenty-four hour days. But if we look more closely we’ll see there is a very clear symmetry in the text that takes us in another direction. The primary teaching of this text has little to do with when God created and everything to do with why.
I always look forward to preaching opportunities. In Slovakia I get to preach on a pretty regular basis but I do enjoy the chance to preach in my native language every once in a while. Since I’m involved in the Creation Project at Trinity I was given the opportunity to preach on Gen 1 as a part of the Scripture and Ministry series at chapel. This sermon is on Gen 1 and it’s tied into the theme of sojourning that they have for this semester in chapel.
At the end of October I also had the chance to preach at our sending church in Davis, IL. There I preached a sermon on the Word of God from John 1:1-18. Click through to see a video of that message.
Here’s the sermon from Genesis 1, preached during chapel at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Now that we’ve got a good foothold in the Israelite wisdom worldview; that God created the universe to function in an orderly way, and that he created it as a way for us to experience the blessing of being in relationship with him, we can finally begin to triangulate science and Scripture from the vantage point of wisdom. In the end, we’ll discover that while there may sometimes be superficial conflict between science and Scripture, there will always be deep harmony when seen from the perspective of the wisdom worldview.
In the ANE wisdom worldview, god created the world to function in an orderly way. Now that we have that broad concept of wisdom, we can get more specific and look at Israel’s worldview. A great place to start is at the beginning. As we try to understand why “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,” we’ll discover that the whole purpose of the physical creation was to mediate our relationship with Yahweh. If we take the physical world out of this context, we’ll never be able to rightly and fully understand the universe.