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What we consider as being real determines how we live.
In the last newsletter I discussed the possible origins
of the book of Genesis. Next to the Gospels themselves, this is the
most important book in the Bible because Genesis lays the foundation for
the entire Bible.
For many years there has been an attack on Genesis in Western
culture. During the 16-, 17- and 1800s there was a growing questioning
of the Bible among some intellectuals, and this doubt became focused when
Darwin published The Origin of the
theory of evolution quickly became popular and directly challenged the
Biblical account of creation.
For the last forty years or so Christians have made a head-on
assault on the theory of evolution by citing many scientific evidences
that Darwinism cannot possibly work. In recent years the principle of
irreducible complexity has brought a new perspective and good
ammunition into the battle.
The issue, however, is much more than a scientific one. It goes to
the very heart of how we view reality. What we consider as being real
determines how we live. In this newsletter I want to briefly look at three
things that shape our view of reality.
Evolution and the Biblical account of creation are at complete odds with
one another. The two are contradictory and cannot be reconciled. To state
it simply, one is true, and the other is not. In order to conclude which
is true we need to understand the very nature of truth.
In the philosophy which has dominated our culture over the last 200
years, truth is defined purely empirically. That is, we cannot know
anything outside of our intellect applied to information collected by our
five senses. If that is the case, then there is nothing that can be known
outside of the material universe, and truth changes as our knowledge of
the universe changes.
The Bible, however, takes a completely different perspective. Truth
is not a thing. Jesus said, I am the way, and the truth,
(John 14:6) Truth is embodied in the person of Jesus, and since
Jesus is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever, (Heb. 13:8)
truth is both unchanging and eternal. Truth must be totally consistent
with the person and nature of Jesus. Thus, anything contradictory to the
nature of Jesus cannot be true.
In the same manner, knowledge is popularly considered to be
information that is collected and organized. Intelligence is thus measured
by how one can deal with knowledge; that is, how a person solves a problem
by applying systematic logic to an array of related facts.
When God created man and woman and placed them in the garden, His
one command was that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil. Gods design was that He would reveal to man that
which he needed to know in order to avoid mistakes.
The reality is that knowledge
comes from revelation, and there is nothing we know or can know except
that God has revealed it to us. Consider the words of Moses:
secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong
to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this
believe this extends to all knowledge. In the history of science, for
example, virtually every new concept, from gravity to quantum mechanics,
seemed to come out of the blue. Not one thing has been discovered
that God meant to keep secret.
This is especially true of Himself. We can only know God to the
extent that He has chosen to reveal Himself. God has revealed Himself in
many ways, including His creation and the Bible.
Although we can know something of God in many ways and from
different sources, He has chosen to make the most complete revelation of
Himself in Jesus. The highest level of the knowledge of God is to walk in
intimate fellowship with Him as one would a father. It is to converse with
Him, revealing our thoughts and feelings to Him, and having Him reveal His
thoughts and feelings to us.
This type of the knowledge of God can only happen through Jesus. At
one point Jesus said to the Pharisees, I and the Father are one.
(John 10:30) Later He said to the disciples, no one comes to the
Father but through Me. (John 14:6) Notice that Jesus refers not simply
to God, but to God as Father. When one is in Jesus, he goes from being a
son of disobedience to adoption as the son of God.
Just as the truth is totally embodied in Jesus, so also is
Not many of us consider history to be a particularly
spiritual subject. Yet there is a massive distinction between the way
history is popularly presented and the view given in the Bible. For
example, how would you answer the questions: How old is the earth? How
long has mankind lived on the earth?
The conventional answers to these questions are that the
earth/universe is many billions of years old, and mankind evolved at least
a million years ago. Even if we claim we do not believe in evolution,
there are several implications of this perspective of history that are
deeply ingrained and that profoundly affect our thinking.
These implications have made deep inroads in our thinking, but they
stand contrary to the Bible.
Thinking in terms of millions and billions of years leads to a perception that things are permanent and will never change. At least the change in our lifetime will be so small that it is inconsequential. The Bible specifically warns about this very thing in II Peter 3:3-7:
The apostle Peter writes that we will in fact become
complacent and comfortable since time seems to march on unchanged forever.
However, the Biblical perspective of time and history is that all
of human history has taken place in a few thousand years. I have included
a chart (click on this
link to see it) that shows the Biblical time line starting from the sin of Adam
until the birth of Jesus. The Bible is very specific as to years, and it
is not difficult to work this out.
Notice that the major part of the history of the world, from
Adams fall until the birth of Jesus in 4 BC covers only about 4000
years, and to our time is a little over 2000 additional years.
This leads to the second implication. Given the short span of
mans history, individual lives are very important. To give some
perspective, I am currently 62 years old and have lived for 1% of the
entire history of the world. God has entrusted very important jobs to each
one of us, and if we do not do our job, it may not get done at all.
Furthermore, we do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to do it.
Finally, the rapid increase in technology over the last two
centuries has led to a popular idea that mankind is advancing. But it is a
mistake to think that because our lifestyle is more comfortable that we
are somehow getting better.
Notice in the Old Testament Time Line chart that before the Great
Flood lifetimes were very long, averaging over 900 years. God had created
a world that was an ideal place in which to live, far superior to what we
know today. Yet sin still had its way, and God had to bring judgment. The
Great Flood did more than bring a lot of rain; it destroyed this ideal
place, and the result was a dramatic drop in the length and quality of
What if our technology and comfortable lifestyle are in fact
setting the stage for Gods final judgment?
This little article is a challenge to change our way of thinking.
We need to see history in an entirely new way. It is not random events and
circumstances that just happen. Rather, as someone has said, it is
His-story. God is in total control and is working out His purposes. We
dare not sit on the sidelines and watch dispassionately like a spectator.
Rather, we need to get into the flow of what God is doing, even as Ezekiel
described in chapter 47. Not just ankle or knee deep, but in over our