Why Study Creation? … Why Study Creation Now?
By James C. Rakestraw, PE, CFM
Why study the most controversial doctrine in the Christian Church? Wouldn’t it be easier and more fun to study something less controversial; something less divisive; something more relevant?
Here are a few reasons to study creation:
First, creation introduces us to God and to His attributes. God calls us to know Him and understand Him. We are not to glory in our own wisdom, strength, or riches. We are to glory in the fact that we know and understand the LORD (Jeremiah 9:23 & 24). His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8 & 9). In the account of creation, we are first introduced to God’s omnipotence. We are introduced to a God who speaks things into existence and pronounces His creation good. We continue, to see God speaking results and reality throughout the remainder of scripture. We learn that our God is a God of order; He created in six days and rested on the seventh day. This sets our pattern of work and rest.
Second, creation and the chapter succeeding it are the root many important doctrines including: human kind created by God in His image, the dominion mandate, marriage, original sin, the headship of Adam, and the promise of a Savior.
Third, creation is the cornerstone of Christian apologetics. When Christians are able to defend the first 11 chapters of Genesis as historical fact they are able to effectively defend the entire Bible.
Forth, creation is an important element of the reformed faith. Chapter 4 – “Of Creation” is one of 33 chapters of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF). This chapter was excerpted from the OPC website on 5/11/15 as follows:
- It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
- After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it: and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
Here are a few good reasons to study creation now:
First, creation is the most controversial doctrine in the Christian Church today. Every Christian needs to be conversant in doctrine. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it. All Christians need to be equipped to participate in the Creation discussion.
Second, the creation controversy is clearly defined. Within the Cristian community there are only two basic positions: one position is the traditional view of creation; the other position is theistic evolution. Intermediate positions such as the Gap-Theory, and Day-Age view were once popular but are now losing ground.
Third, tools for studying creation are plentiful and readily available. All views of creation have their spokespersons, websites, books, DVDs and other information. In addition the reports on creation that were prepared by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) show all accepted views of creation in a scholarly, and temperate manner.
Fourth, opting out of the creation discussion will cease to be a viable option for Christians. The groups that are promoting theistic evolution are very well organized and well financed. Theistic evolution controversy will be coming to your denomination and eventually to your particular church. This is why every Christian needs to be skilled in creation apologetics now!