Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Creation vs. Evolution

Before you read this devotional today, sit down and read Genesis 1. If you didn’t know anything about evolution, creation, or any science or history, what would you conclude the passage is trying to say? Is it allegory? How long did it take God to create everything? How did God create everything? Did God create everything? Does it even matter if God created everything?

If you are being honest, you would probably say that Genesis 1 shows God spoke everything into existence in six days. The first verse clearly states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The rest of the chapter repeats the same formula: God spoke and what he spoke happened. There was evening and there was morning, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth day. And God saw that it was good. At the end, after making man, He declares everything very good.

Now you may be wondering, does it even matter that God created everything? Why can’t Genesis 1 just be an allegory? A nice story that teaches some spiritual truth? There are a few issues with this idea. The first is that is not what a straightforward reading will tell you. We have several examples of poetry and allegory in the Bible (ie Psalms, Revelation) and that is not how Genesis 1 is written. It’s written like a simple historical account.

The second problem is that is not what Jesus or the rest of the Bible teaches. When Jesus is asked about divorce, he says “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning...” (Matthew 19:4). He points back to man being created at the beginning to explain marriage (which we will talk more about next week). If creation is just a nice, fictional story, how could Jesus use it as a basis for marriage? God is also often referred to as the creator (see Psalm 104 as just one example).
Another issue if creation wasn’t literal is that if there was not a literal Adam, that literal Adam never sinned, and death is not the consequence of sin. If death is not the consequence of sin, Jesus died for nothing and the whole Gospel gets thrown out the window (See 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 and Romans 5:12-21). Creation is not a secondary issue but is tied into the very idea of salvation. God cares about us and everything else because He created it all.

But what about evolution? Can an honest Christian believe that God used evolution? The short answer is no. Besides the fact that, as we have just covered, Genesis 1 doesn’t allow for this view, evolution would leave God using millions of years of death, disease, and suffering to create and then declaring it “very good.” In an evolutionary worldview, death is not the enemy, and we are the result of random and meaningless change. This is the antithesis of the Gospel message.

If God did create everything, we would expect reality to match up with that idea. There are plenty of Christian scientists and historians who believe in creation. These men and women use their talents to illustrate that the Biblical framework of history is a much better explanation for the evidence than evolution. If you would like to learn more, check out the following books and resources.

Books available in the Church Library:
        5 Things You Can Do to Appreciate Science and Love the Bible
        In the Beginning, God
        Life’s Big Questions, God’s Big Answers

Online resources:
        Answers in Genesis and the Creation Institute
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