~ Forward to Genesis ~
This Reflection does address the Theory of Evolution, but not its scientific validity verses the creation account. There is far more at stake here, like the Gospel of Christ.
Much of science has confirmed the record of the Bible. Where there are arguments regarding the age of the earth or the size of the universe, we can relax since these are non-essentials concerning the teachings and tenets of God's sovereignty, salvation, the incarnation of God in Christ and others. However, evolution is the prominent scientific ideology that threatens to destroy the faith of those who believe it.
There have been numerous direct attacks on the historical validity of the Bible in general and the incarnation and resurrection of Christ in particular. These have easily been countered by the internal evidence test, the external evidence test and the bibliographical test typically applied in the examination of any historical literature. As a result, they are not well known and our academic institutions either don't take these attacks seriously nor teach them rigorously. Evolutionary Theory, however is much different. It doesn't refer at all to the biblical accounts, it is clothed in science's white lab coats of prestige, and embraced as the secular religion of atheistic governments and authorities. Thus evolutionary ideology takes the treacherous back door assault. As the saying goes, watch your back!
The Bible isn't the sole account of God's creative act. The Ahhadian Atrahasis Epic, Gilgamesh Epic, and the Emuma Elish, all dated around 2000 BC, relate accounts similar to that of Genesis. When St. Paul preached the Gospel in Pisidian Antioch, he began laying the foundation with Exodus. (Acts 13) But when he addressed the people of Athens, he began with Genesis. (Acts 17) Why the change of delivery? Five hundred years before Paul was born, Athens was the capitol of art, literature, and philosophy, including the narcissistic schools of Epicureanism and Stoicism. Theirs was a polytheistic culture in which a monotheistic God did not create humankind or the universe. So Paul started at the very beginning, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth… He gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth…" (Acts 17:24-26, NIV)
Without first understanding and believing this declaration, the life and Gospel of Christ would not make sense. Evangelical and missionary efforts are fruitless unless the reality of Genesis is first believed. With no Creator there is no fallen state of sin and thus there is no need for a redeemer and so Jesus becomes just another "good man and teacher." Educate just one generation of children in this techno-scientifically enlightened age to embrace evolution as the basis of all life, and we will have a generation of adult leaders and citizens to whom the Gospel will not only be seen as unnecessary but unintelligible. “We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews (creation believers) and foolishness to Gentiles” (evolution believers). (1 Corinthians 1:23, NIV)
In God-centered families, parents would do well to ask the heavenly Father and Creator in the presence of their children for guidance in all family plans and decisions. They would, by example, instill a reverence for the Authority above them and use Genesis to teach why one man and one woman, cleaving together as one, is the basis of the family. Even the family structure is God's creation. Then when the child asks why he can't live with a woman until they get tired of each other, the parent need not argue about right and wrong, morals and modern practices, what is legal or not in society, or advantages or disadvantages. Parent and child can sit together and read what their Father and Creator has created for them to follow. They can study the issue of sibling rivalry, what led to Abel's murder, and how our Father responded. They can see how Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake and great shame resulted although nobody would own their mistake or sin. Parent and child could joke that if God created a lawyer instead of a gardener, he would have been sued for not putting a secure barrier around the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then parent and child could seriously consider how Genesis teaches us about life today.
It will also become clear how stuck and broken we human, creations of our Father have become and will remain without a radical re-creation that only the Creator can provide for us. This leads joyfully into the great mystery being made clear of how our Father's own infinitely loving Heart was made into the sacrificial and Sacred Heart of Jesus, God made flesh like us, to be made one with us, like He planned for Adam and Eve. Ah, doesn't Genesis just melt your love into the Father's?
Another strange thing is how we are so often told we are made in God's image. Genesis does teach: "When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them." (Geneses 5:1-2, NIV) Perhaps it's the flattery that makes most of us blind to the actual truth, "When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image." (Verse 3) How is it that we keep teaching verses 1 and 2 and don't own up to verse 3 right behind? Adam's son, Seth, and all the rest of us were not born in God's likeness and image. We are images of Adam! How disturbing. Wouldn't you rather be like God, our Father, than like shameful, other-blaming Adam? Jesus never said we are born in God's likeness or image. He said we are born spiritually dead. That doesn't sound like the image of God.
Of course, today we are further away from Adam and Seth's likeness. That distance from God's likeness will increase rapidly as we experiment with genetic engineering and manipulate the DNA structure that not just affects our bodies but souls as well. Our personalities and emotional dispositions are shaped by life experiences but are based on encoded DNA. So Genesis even has a say about 21st century genetic engineering. The issues of abortion, homosexuality, covenants, human pride and betrayal, faith, exercise of governmental power and justice and many more modern concerns are all there, laying the foundation for all time and generations. Interestingly, the issues of the first 3 chapters of Genesis are addressed in the last 3 chapters of Revelation. The Scriptures are not so much linear as circular. That’s why I suggest moving forward to our foundation and keeping Genesis forward in our education of our children. Jesus remarked, “If you do not believe Moses, how will you believe me?” (John 5:46 NIV)
Ultimately, our Creator and Father does not wish us to remain in the broken and fallen likeness of Adam. Genesis teaches us our original purpose, to be conformed to the image and likeness of God. While Christians endeavor to hold the line against the encroachment of abortion, injustice and immorality, the priests and ministers of the secular religions of atheism know right where to attack the Church, at the foundation beneath it, with the weapon of evolution. We must protect our foundation and proclaim its purpose: "Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:15-18, NIV) Our Father wants us to be Christ-like, not Adam-like. This means a new beginning, a new Genesis, a new creation, accomplished only by falling in total surrender, trust and love into the arms of our heavenly Abba, Dad, by Way of His Sacred Heart, our Redeemer and Beloved Christ, the Holy Spirit Who once hovered over the void and formless earth and said, "Let there be Light!"
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
Weekly Reflections © September 22, 2001
"God's Word" is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
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