Posted in Authentic Christianity

The Theology of Creation by Dr. John MacArthur

On Sunday nights here at Grace Church for many months, we have been dealing with very important matters of theology, great doctrines that are critical for our understanding of the Christian faith, and therefore our service to the Lord. And tonight I want to embrace one that is certainly foundational, I want to call it, “The Theology of Creation…The Theology of Creation.” Creation is a theological issue, not a scientific issue. Theology is the only source from which we have any information about creation. Any study of creation must come in the framework of theology because it is a word from God.

Theology, by the way, used to be called the queen of the sciences. It was called the queen of the sciences because in the final analysis the ultimate reigning truth is theology. Biblical theology, the revelation of God in Scripture, trumps all other sources of information and knowledge. And so, for centuries creation was a theological issue, not a scientific one. And then came Darwin and Darwin confiscated the subject of creation out of the realm of theology and tried to put into the realm of human knowledge and did no service to mankind.

If we want to understand creation, if we want to understand origins, if we want to understand how the universe came into existence and everything that is in it, we have to look at theology, not science. And the source of theology is the Word of God in which God speaks. The Bible is not theory, the Bible is fact. The Bible is reality. The Bible is truth no matter what subject it addresses, but particularly with regard to origins since no one was here when God created, we have only His eyewitness account.
And when the Bible speaks with regard to creation, or when it speaks with regard to origins, it speaks truly, it speaks factually. And Scripture begins in Genesis 1 and 2 with a very straightforward account of the origin of the universe and the earth and everything on the earth. Scripture opens with one very clear unmistakable statement, it is this, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That is not an ambiguous statement. That is not an unclear statement. That is frankly not a statement that needs any explanation. Pre-Darwin, no one was confused by it. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” From there the first chapter of Genesis proceeds to tell us that in six twenty-four hour days God created everything that exists. It is so simple and so clear and so unmistakable that even a small child can understand Genesis 1.

But as simple as even the first statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” is, it is at the same time an illustration of the profundity with which God speaks in simple language. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, a child can understand it. And yet in those simple, clear, unmistakable words there is massive, massive, profound data.

Herbert Spencer, a non-Christian scientist, hailed as one worthy of many prizes in science, died in 1903. His greatest achievement, Herbert Spencer, was that he discovered the categories of the knowable. That is to say he determined that everything that exists fits into one of five categories. This was hailed as a massive, massive cataloging of realities. Spencer said, “Everything fits into one of these categories, time, force, action, space, matter,” and was hailed by the scientific community.

Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning,” that’s time, “God,” that’s force, “created,” that’s action, “the heavens,” that’s space, “the earth,” that’s matter. Everything that Herbert Spencer discovered in 1903, or before that, was in the first verse of Scripture. The Bible says that God created everything, and in saying that, the Bible gives us all the categories that exist. And He did this out of and from nothing, that is with no preexisting material, and He did it in six days.

Now, because the Bible is so clear about this in Genesis 1, and then giving us an even further and more detailed look at this creation, rehearsing its elements in a broader way in chapter 2, you face a test at the very outset of the Bible. You’re not going to get past the first verses of the Bible, you’re not going to get past the first verse in the Bible, the first chapter in the Bible, the first two chapters in the Bible without facing a test. And the test is this, do you believe the Scripture? Do you believe the Scripture? That is the test. No one gets past the opening verses of the Bible without having to face the test of whether or not that person believes the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God. Do you submit to Scripture? Genesis 1 is your first test.

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