**This is the first of two posts in response to some questions a cousin of mine asked . These were about; my Position on the first chapters of Genesis, the truth of evolution, big bang cosmology, time as it relates to God and which kind of hell awaits sinners.
I’ve split my response into two posts. This post deals with Genesis, Big Bang, and Evolution as they are all related to creation.
In terms of Genesis and Evolution, the one thing to always keep in mind is that every system or account of the origin of the world has its own internal logic. I think the scientific understanding or theory of creation even though can be proven to be true is still incredibly insufficient on its lonesome for understanding creation. One other thing is, it just simply doesn’t care at all about purpose or any other deep questions about the Cosmos. Science only cares about describing the world and no more. I’m deeply sceptical about Evolution just because of the chanciness of the whole of thing, it unreflectively rules out the world as a created entity right from the start, which in itself (I think) is anti-scientific. When debating with Atheists one of the things they don’t seem to get is that Genesis is not a Science textbook and does not care to conform to scientific descriptions of creation, the main aim of the book is theological:
- It establishes that the world was created, rather than self-existing against Pantheism or Ancient Greece.
- There is a created order to the world and humans are the pinnacle. Notice that before the creation work of God begun, the world was in chaos and empty (Gen 1:2).
- It also establishes humans as vice-regents (second in command) over creation; being made in the image of God, humans have a pre-eminent position. Genesis is unashamed about specism, although there is responsibility associated with this position as well.
- Genesis also works as an argument against the surrounding culture of the original The argument being; the sun, the moon and every created thing are not gods. This why Genesis 1 calls the Sun and Moon “greater and lesser lights”.
When it comes to scientific theories, I don’t really ever rule one way or another, although I find fewer problems with the ‘Big Bang’ than I do Darwin. The ‘Intelligent Design’ movement as an alternative has been found somewhat wanting but has also exposed an entrenched anti-God bias in the scientific community. I find Kuhn’s theory of ‘Paradigm shift’ helpful here – what’s taken as a given today can become irrelevant tomorrow. Also, the Galileo affair is a warning to the church to not be too hasty in ruling, especially when Science is not its main remit (although I still think Christians should care about Science).
With all that said, I’d like to add that as a Christian, I will always take God and his revelation as axiomatic in my thinking whereas a secular understanding will always take personal reason as a starting point and I think the Bible rejects that. My reasoning here being the description of ‘the fall’ as the answer to the question, “what is wrong with the world”. I think this neatly ties with the second question…