Applying Creation

We started our discussion about Creation and the Fall by naming some of the lies we can believe about this Universe. It is probably worth reminding ourselves of them.

–          That this world is just here by accident or chance. In earlier times, people saw this world as being the by-product of the wars and love affairs of gods. In modern times, we are more likely to see the world as it is resulting from atheistic evolution.

–          That the world around us and God are one and the same thing. This is sometimes called pantheism. This leads to people worshipping nature.

–          That God is distant from this world. He may have been the first cause, but he has just put the rules in place and left the Universe to get on with running itself. This is usually referred to as Deism.

–          That “matter” (physical creation) is evil and that only the spiritual world is good. This is known as Dualism and is particularly associated with Gnosticism.

–          That Creation is still completely good. That the Fall has not happened or is not that significant.

Belief in lies is central to the Fall. As Dan Strange puts it,

“the serpent entices Eve and Adam into disbelieving the truths about God that Genesis 1 and 2 have clearly established and that Adam and Eve had witnessed experientially since their creation.”[1]

This is a matter of false faith because,

“To have ‘False Faith’ is to believe lies about God, lies that are both rationally and ethically unjustified.”[2]

Just as with what we believe about God, a key part of the work of the Gospel is to replace these lies with truth. We can replace the lies we believe about creation with the following truths that God’s Word reveals:

  1. That this world is not here by accident but has been intentionally created by the Good God. This means it has order, beauty and purpose.
  2. That the Creator God is distinct from his creation.
  3. That God is intimately close to his Creation. Divine providence means that he does not simply set things in motion and step back.
  4. That matter is created by God and is good.
  5. That although created good, Creation is also subject to the Fall.

These truths have vital implications for life. What we believe affects how we live. We therefore want to think in terms of three areas where The Doctrine of Creation and the Fall has implications.

  1. Worship – including implications for our theology of religions. Under this heading, we may also want to consider the question “What is the mission of the Church?”
  2. Evangelism and Apologetics – how does what we know about the World around us affect our proclamation and defence of the Gospel?
  3. Ethics and pastoral care – how do we make good decisions about work, relationships, family life, the environment etc.?

 

 

[1] Strange, For their Rock is not as our Rock, 75.

[2] Strange, For their Rock is not as our Rock, 76.

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