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Lesson 9: Creation: Genesis as Foundation - Part 2 *

Introduction: Are Genesis and Science at odds with each other? If you say, "yes," it should not be that way. As we have previously discussed, Psalms 19:1 tells us that the heavens and the earth declare God's glory. Central to the glory of God is His Creation. So, where does the problem arise? Does it arise in a misunderstanding of the declaration in the heavens and earth? Does it arise in a misunderstanding of the Bible? Does it arise because the forces of evil want to make a conflict appear? Let's explore our Bible to see what we can learn!

  1. Simple Lies


    1. Read Isaiah 40:21-22. Have you heard that Christians of old argued that the earth was flat?


      1. If so, what is the purpose of reporting that argument? (To show that followers of God are ignorant and against science.)


      2. What does this text teach about the shape of the earth? (It calls it a "circle.")


    2. Read Job 26:10 in either the KJV or the ESV. The ESV says "inscribed a circle on the face of the waters." The KJV says "hath compassed the waters with bounds." What kind of shape do these describe? ("Compassed" is a reference to a compass - which describes a circle.)


      1. The text refers to "waters." Is this the same as describing the shape of the earth? ( Genesis 1:6-7 refers to a division of the waters above and below. This suggests a circle between the waters.)


      2. Is a circle the same as a sphere? (No. But it seems reasonable to understand the reference to a circle as being a sphere or a circular flat plane.)


    3. Read Revelation 20:7-8 and Revelation 7:1. Can a circle have corners? (Obviously not.)


      1. Do these texts form a basis for believing in a flat earth? (We still refer to "every corner of the earth," without assuming the shape of the earth actually has corners.)


    4. As you consider the texts we have just read about the shape of the earth, what should you conclude? (The Bible is not making an authoritative statement about the shape of the earth. You could argue a sphere, or a plane, or a table.)


      1. If someone claimed that God revealed that the earth was flat, how should that be viewed? (As a misstatement of the Bible.)


  2. Bible as Chronology


    1. Read Genesis 5:1-3 and Genesis 5:32. Then skim the verses in between. Would it seem reasonable to conclude that you could calculate the period of time from the creation of Adam to the flood? (That seems reasonable to me.)


    2. Read Genesis 11:10-11 and Genesis 11:24-26. Then skim the verses in between. What has happened to the longevity of humans?


      1. Why do you think that God put this detail in the Bible? (It shows that those who lived before the flood lived much longer than those after the flood.)


        1. What does this fact suggest to you? (The earth was quite different after the flood.)


      2. Do you think that we can use these chronologies to determine the age of the earth?


        1. If you say, "Yes," how do you reconcile the apparent conflict withe science? (Science tends to show that time in the heavens has been relatively uniform. But, the radical reduction in longevity after the flood suggests that conditions on earth were not uniform. Thus, dating things to a point before the flood involves assumptions that are unlikely warranted.)


  3. The New Testament and Creation


    1. Read Matthew 19:4-5. We recently examined this text to consider the Creation Account as the basis for settling theological disputes. Let's look at it in a different light. What does this tell us that Jesus thought about the accuracy of the Creation Account? (Jesus doe not treat it like a myth or an allegory. He treats it as a historical fact.)


      1. If humans evolved, what would be the implications of Jesus referring to the origin of men and women in this way?


    2. Read Luke 11:50-51. What other part of the Genesis account does Jesus specifically endorse? (He makes a general reference to the "beginning of the world." But, He then endorses the account of the murder of Abel after the fall. Jesus expresses no doubt about the way Genesis describes the Creation and the fall of humans.)


    3. Read John 1:1-3. We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. What do we learn here about the origin of humans and our Creator God? (The Old and New Testaments are consistent on the Creation Account. There is no hint of the theory of evolution.)


    4. Read Acts 14:15. On what is the superiority of our God based? (Unlike "worthless things" (other gods), our God created the heavens and earth.)


    5. Read Romans 1:18-20. What "truth" about God is being suppressed? (The truth of God arises from His creation.)


      1. This is just one of many texts in the Bible in which God bases His claim to worship on the fact of His creation of the heavens and earth. If we reject the Creation Account, what is left of our claim to believe in God?


      2. If you accept the theory of evolution, how would you argue the superiority of our God over other gods? What would be your approach?


    6. Read James 3:9. How does James use his belief in the Creation Account to build a teaching about how we should treat others? (Believing that humans are made in the image of God encourages us to treat them well.)


      1. If you believe in natural selection, how would that inform the way you treat other humans?


    7. Read Romans 5:12-14. How is our understanding of sin based on the Creation Account?


    8. Read Romans 5:15. How is our understanding of righteousness by faith alone based on the Creation Account?


      1. How much different would our faith be if we disbelieved that Genesis is an actual factual account, and thought that it was a myth or analogy?


    9. This week I was listening to a conversation between my wife and her brother. They agreed that almost every person that made up their neighborhood when they were growing up was now dead. Would it be more natural to believe in a God who has a vested interest in us, and who has promised us eternal life if we believe in Him?


      1. What motivation is there to believe that God has no special interest in humans or our future?


    10. Read Romans 1:21-23. What causes humans to deny God's claim as their Creator? Why would they deny Him that glory? (Because they are fools, claiming to be wise.)


      1. If you have done research on your family history, what did you hope to find? (That royalty or very successful people are your ancestors.)


      2. Would any reasonable person hope to find that their ancestors were apes?


        1. Consider the "sales" job that Satan has been able to accomplish by getting a large percentage of the population to believe that they descended from monkeys instead of being created in the image of God! (This belief is absolutely unnatural. It shows that there is an active agent arguing against the principles of the Bible.)


    11. Friend, does this study remind you that our belief in the Genesis Account is at the heart of most of our theology? Will you determine to retain your faith in the Bible, and look for a way to reconcile it and the claims of science?


  4. Next week: The Bible as History.


* Copr. 2020, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2020 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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