‘Facts do not “speak for themselves”; they are read in the light of theory. Creative thought, in science as much as in the arts, is the motor of changing opinion. Science is a quintessentially human activity, not a mechanized, robot-like accumulation of objective information, leading by laws of logic to inescapable interpretation.’
Stephen Jay Gould (Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University)
‘For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible.’
Charles Darwin, 1859, Introduction to Origin of Species, p. 2. Also quoted in ‘John Lofton’s Journal’, The Washington Times, 8 February 1984.
I live in Cape Breton, which is one of the most scenic places in the world. Mountains, beaches, valleys, waterfalls, and the ocean surrounds us. As I get older I am enjoying spending more and more time in nature. It is here I spend time in ‘awe’ of the incredible world we live in.
Over the years I have read and heard so much on creation, and for many people it seems to end in debate as we search for ‘exactly’ where we came from, and ulitmately, ‘why we are here?’ I want to throw out the idea that we may be missing the point completely. In our quest to be right we may have missed the heart of the issue
This blog is not about creationism, nor is it about evolution. These are topics which have divided people into two, or more, camps. The Christians and the atheists. The literalists and the figurative. The conservations against the liberals. Those who live by faith and those who believe in science. All this has led some to think that to be a Christian means you have to leave your brains behind, or can’t be rational. It has also led to believers putting up road blocks to critical thinking and the wonder of science. The belief of many has been that to embrace the sciences I must abandon faith.
Usually when there is such a dispute neither side is one hundred percent accurate. It is hard to even have an unbiased discussion because we all bring our own baggage, beliefs, and perspectives. The divide between groups may seem to large to cross.
For the younger generations growing up in Churches this topics has made them question all of the Bible. If we were taught that the world is only a few thousands of years old in sunday school and then in school we are given all the evidence that says differently it leads to great confusion. It has caused the present generation to consider that perhaps the Bible may be a good book for morals, stories, and ideals but it is not an accurate telling of history or creation.
The church has almost completely failed give adequate answers to the questions people have about this. For the most part the discussion has been based on the interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis. It is amazing to see how such a brief and short description of creation, which may have never be intended to answer all the questions, has led to such confusion and questions about faith.
In all honestly, I have more questions than answers. I cannot say with certainty exactly how old the earth is. I don’t know how long one of God’s days is. Is intelligent design a reasonable argument? I have my opinions as many do. However, our handling of our interpretations has caused confusion and doubt. Also, the argument that you must agree one hundred percent with a certain interpretation of the creation story or you might as well throw away your faith in God is completely wrong.
All of this debate, questioning, and dividing may be causing us to miss the mark about all the scriptures are teaching about creation. The Genesis account are not the only scriptures which talk about the origins of life. Instead I don’t believe we can have an honest discussion about creation without understanding who Jesus is. The one who claimed, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6) The fact that Jesus is beautiful has a bigger connection with creation than most have been told.
I must confess I love the sciences. I have watched show after show discussing the wonders of the universe. Whether you go big and look into the heavens at the vastness of time and space, or you go small to see how energy and particles make up all matter, there is no end to size, complexity, and things to learn. No matter where we look, there is ‘wonder’.
We must appreciate the sciences because they have put the complexity, order, incredibleness of the universe on display for us to see. Things we did not know existed are now known. We understand how more and more things work and exist. In the midst of such gained knowledge we must still admit there is so much more to know and search for.
Just as I have this understanding that there is much to learn about creation, the universe, about energy, the same is true of Jesus. There is so much left for me to discover. There are lessons, experiences, and encounters I will still step into which will reveal more and more about him. Until I see Him face to face I will never know all there is to know. I now believe these two, the quest for knowledge and quest for Jesus are far more tied together than anyone believes. It is time for all sides take off their blinders.
Nature itself is overwhelming. Everything from it’s destructive power to it’s beauty draws people. Whether it be standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, or standing on a beach while the waves crash. The world we live in is full of scenes to be in awe of. The beauty and diversity of creation is almost limitless. Countless species, colors, landscapes, and actions.
This is the point all humanity has to agree on. The world in which we live, the universe of which we are just a spec, goes beyond description. It is absolutely amazing. No words can fully describe the beauty of space seen through the Hubble telescope. There is no way to adequately explain the beauty of life coming into existence, and when you hold your newborn child for the first time. The space we share, this creation, is awesome.
What does this all point to? The age of the earth, science, wonder, questions, things we don’t understand, these aren’t things that are meant to push us away from faith. This lie needs to be broken. All of these are all meant to draw us to Jesus. Science does not work contrary to faith in Jesus. Rather it should expands it. Questions and wonder are needed.
There are those who say their most ‘spiritual’ experiences are in nature. People, with and without faith in Christ, have all claimed the same thing. Is this just caused by some ‘New Age’ movement or strange thoughts? Or does nature and universe have a voice? Is it possible people are connecting to something though nature?
Yes they are. Nature does indeed have a voice. In Psalm 19:1-4, we read, ‘The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.
It is time to let people know nature speaks about God. Creation has a voice that is proclaiming something. To be in awe and amazement about time, the stars, the complexity of living organisms is not anti-faith. Instead they are a voice to listen to. They have a message to tell us. God is great.
If any group should be encouraging learning, understanding, and exploration it should be people of faith. These are not things to hide from, we need to want to hear what message is being spoken. There are secrets hidden in creation. Nothing in nature will contradict Jesus. It is impossible. If someone even mentions Christians are anti-science they are telling a lie to further their own agenda. It is simply not true.
The scriptures express more of Jesus’ role in creation. John 1:1-5 says, ‘In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him,and nothing was created except through him.The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.’ The more people take look into life, it will ultimately point them more and more to Jesus. If nature, creation, the universe is beyond description it is because Christ is beyond description. Life comes from, and through, Christ. His Life is the building blocks on the universe.
It has been said that those who claim all of creation was made for man show how egotistical Christians can be. Even some believers have made these claims, saying God made this all for me. These comments for those outside of faith are an appropriate response. However, both sides again may be missing the point completely.
When we think of what the term God means. All powerful, all knowing, everywhere. It may scare some. Comfort others. We may not comprehend all the implications of such a being. The vastness or creation shows us that if there is a God how big He must really be. The universe may not exist as it does to display the greatness of man, but rather to display the greatness of God. In Romans11:36 we read, ‘For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.’
Even now the universe is expanding, moving, and evolving. Stars are dying, others are being birthed. Just as Jesus can not be contained by the limits we try and put on Him, the universe cannot contain itself. There is always more to learn, ways to grow, and experiences yet to be had.
This may be uncomfortable for some but God himself made creation with the ability to create, to grow, to improve. God gave man dominion over the earth to work out creation. To build, to grow, to expand. A creative God, created us in His image. We now pull the potential out of creation which God already implanted there.
Jesus role goes beyond beginning creation. In Colossians 1:15-17, we read, ‘Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.’ He is not only the creator of life but He is the sustainer of life.
When we see Jesus for who He is we must stand in awe of His beauty. His purity. His power. His vastness. This is also, why when we look at nature it stirs up these same emotions. It is all by Him, beauty creates beauty. It is all through Him, and He is in, and hidden in every part. It is for Him. All glory belongs to Him.
Creation is speaking to us. It is saying, ‘beautiful Jesus.’