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Read: Genesis 1

Those of us who look forward to a restored world, look back to Genesis 1 as the foundation of our hope.

Discussion themes and questions:

  1. Clarities. Though there are many issues about which one could quarrel in Genesis 1, what are the great truths that are important for us today, that are clear throughout Scripture, and were also important for the Bible writers themselves? What would you tell your children and grandchildren about Genesis 1?
    • God created: It didn’t just happen, i.e. it is not a “glorious accident.”
    • The seven-day creation week structures our life and gives us stability.
  2. Perfect world, marred world. In what crucial ways does the world as we see it now differ from the world described in Genesis 1? Were the Bible writers aware of the same problems that we might see? Did the “problems” in their world threaten their faith?
  3. The what versus the how. The Bible is absolutely clear about the “what” of creation, but not as clear about the “how.” How can we accomplish that same effect in our teaching today?

    “Just how God accomplished the work of creation He has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as His existence.” Patriarchs and Prophet, 113

  4. Similarities and differences. If one looks at other creation accounts in the Bible (e.g. Genesis 2, Psalm 104, Proverbs 8), are we on safe ground by focusing on what they have in common rather than attempting to “harmonize” where they may differ?

Thought-provoking quotes:

Bart Kosko, Fuzzy Thinking: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic (New York: Hyperion, 1993)

Opening line: “One day I learned that science was not true. I do not recall the day but I recall the moment. The God of the twentieth century was no longer God” (p. xv)

“There are just too many molecules involved in a `fact’ for a declarative sentence to cover them all. When you speak, you simplify. And when you simplify, you lie.” (p. 86)

C. S. Lewis, “On Obstinacy of Belief” (1955), in The World’s Last Night and Other Essays, 13-30.

To love involves trusting the beloved beyond the evidence, even against much evidence. No man is our friend who believes in our good intentions only when they are proved. No man is our friend who will not be very slow to accept evidence against them. Such confidence, between one man and another, is in fact almost universally praised as a moral beauty, not blamed as a logical error. And the suspicious man is blamed for a meanness of character, not admired for the excellence of his logic. — WLN 26

Our relation to those who trusted us only after we were proved innocent in court cannot be the same as our relation to those who trusted us all through. — WLN 29

Our opponents, then, have a perfect right to dispute with us about the grounds of our original assent. But they must not accuse us of sheer insanity if, after the assent has been given, our adherence to it is no longer proportioned to every fluctuation of the apparent evidence. They cannot of course be expected to know on what our assurance feeds, and how it revives and is always rising from its ashes. They cannot be expected to see how the quality of the object which we think we are beginning to know by acquaintance drives us to the view that if this were a delusion then we should have to say that the universe had produced no real thing of comparable value and that all explanations of the delusion seemed somehow less important than the thing explained. That is knowledge we cannot communicate. But they can see how the assent, of necessity, moves us [29/30] from the logic of speculative thought into what might perhaps be called the logic of personal relations. What would, up till then, have been variations simply of opinion become variations of conduct by a person to a Person. Credere Deum esse [believing that God exists] turns into Credere in Deum [believing in God]. And Deum here is this God, the increasingly knowable Lord. — WLN 29-30

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