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       September 2007

Maker of heaven and earth

The battle continues to rage. Some people believe biblical creation. Some people believe the theory of evolution. Some people concoct a hybrid of the two and call it theistic evolution – things happened in the evolutionary way and according to the evolutionary timescale, but God did it. Much is written. Much is said. There is much confusion.

Yet a most interesting thing (though rarely considered by opponents of biblical creation) is this: just as you cannot entertain evolution if you take the Bible seriously as the word of God, so also many scientists (both Christian and non-Christian ones: note that!) insist that you cannot entertain evolution if you take science seriously either. Why? Because as a ‘theory’ evolution does not proceed according to either Scripture or science.

What we need – from Scripture – are some straight answers to some straight questions. Here they are.

Who made the world? God did. The Bible allows no other answer. God is the subject of the very first sentence in the Bible, and rightly so. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1). He is the creator of the universe. Moreover, the word used there for ‘created’ only ever has God as its subject.

How did God make the world? By his command. ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made … For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast’ (Psalm 33:6,9). There is something beautiful here. Think of all that lies behind an invention of man: research, planning, testing, failure, re-testing etc – and sometimes the complete abandonment of the whole thing. Yet perfect creation only took a word from God. All he had to do was speak!

Out of what did God make the world? Out of nothing. This is stated categorically in Hebrews 11:3: ‘so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear’. Moreover, this divine and sovereign work of creation was finished in six days, and the earth is just a few thousand years old. The perfect creation was full of beauty, harmony, design, symmetry and order – just as we should expect the work of God to be.

How do we know that what the Bible says is true? By faith. ‘Through (by) faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God’ (Hebrews 11:3). God himself is true and cannot lie. We were not there ourselves at creation to behold it as it happened. But trustingly, believingly, humbly and adoringly we believe the record that God has given us in his true and faultless word. In other words: we take him at his word.