Most Christians don’t see the importance of articulating a theology of biblical creation. While most Christians give an accepting nod to the premise that God created the heavens and the earth, it is not a doctrine many see as one of significance in comparison with more “important” Christian doctrines. However, one’s view of biblical creation is the foundation from which all other biblical doctrines find a sturdy foundation upon which to rest. The doctrine of creation is the necessary starting point for the Christian faith. Why is a biblical view of creation important?
First, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms God as Creator. The first verse of Genesis begins, “In the beginning God created…” Genesis 1:1 identifies God as the Source, Reason, Creator of all that exists. The Bible never seeks to argue the existence of God, but contends it is a fact established by creation itself and the conscience of man (Ps. 19, Rom. 1& 2, Rev. 4:11). The Bible clearly affirms that the universe, man and the existence of all things didn’t happen by accident or by some unknown cosmic event, but all was created by a holy God. It has often been said that if a person can embrace the first verse of Genesis, they will have no trouble with the rest of the Bible. Genesis identifies our Creator-God creating Ex Nihilo (out of nothing). He did not need matter or energy or have to use material which previously existed, but there was nothing and then there was! The theories of man to explain the existence of the universe have to begin with matter or energy or “material” which already existed. The God of Genesis created from “scratch” by the power of His Word (Genesis 1-2; John 1:1-3). All that exists didn’t happen by “accident” but was purposely created “in the beginning” by God who is the Source by which all things exist and continue to exist.
Second, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms Biblical Authority. One discovers from a careful reading of Scripture that the whole of divine revelation is held together by threads that are woven tightly to Genesis 1-3 as historical narrative. Old Testament authority rests upon the events and promises as found in Genesis 1-3 (Exod 31:17; Deut 4:32; Ps 33:6; 90:12; 136:5–9; 148:2–5; Isa 40:25–26; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Amos 4:13; Jer 10:12; Zech 12:1). The great biblical doctrines Paul sets forth in Romans regarding God, man, sin, the work of Christ, and God’s continued dealing with man and Israel, clearly rest on an understanding of Genesis 1-11 as historical. As well, when one turns to the New Testament, the theology and worldview of the NT writers had deep roots in the creation narratives, Jesus accepting the writings of Genesis as historical and authoritative (Matt 19:4–5; John 1:2–3; Rom 4:17; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; 1 Tim 2:13; Heb 1:2; 11:3; Rev 4:11; 10:6–7). If the recorded events in Genesis are not rooted in actuality this casts doubt on the entire biblical record. It is clear that the foundation of biblical authority cannot be separated from divine revelation as found in the beginning chapters of Genesis.
Third, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms Man as Created by the Creator. The Bible is clear that man didn’t come into existence through the “accident” of evolution, but that man was purposely created by God. The Bible teaches that man draws his worth from the truth that he was created as the crown of God’s creation. If there is no Creator then man has no worth or value other than what he himself creates or has imposed upon him. If there is no God which breathed into man the breath of life, then man has no soul which separates him from other beings. If there is no God and man is only a cosmic accident, saying life has meaning is a futile pursuit that becomes elusive in life and vanishes at death. Man, though, is more than a “just so happen” of atoms, molecules, or chemicals that came into being by natural processes, but man came into being by the direct creation of God who created man in His own image and breathed into man the breath of life, giving him value and worth. As one created in the image of God man is endowed with life, a soul, personality, creativity, mind and with the ability to communicate with his fellowman and his Creator.
Fourth, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms Man’s Disobedience before his Creator and the Entrance of Death. When one reads the first two chapters of Genesis, God states that all of creation is “good.” If one skips chapter 3 and begins reading with chapter 4, one has to confess something colossal happened — death entered the world. Where did it come from? Genesis 3 records that man deliberately disobeyed his Creator and as a result of sin, death, which was not part of the original creation, entered the world. If death and sin were a natural aspect of God’s creation then He would not have been able to declare all things “very good” (Gen. 1:31). While death is a natural component of the evolutionary process, in the Bible death is abnormal. Lee Anderson astutely observes that “death before the fall thus destroys everything that the Bible teaches about the goodness of God, the goodness of the original creation, and the prospect of goodness in the future creation” (Anderson, “The Relevance of Biblical Creationism,” JMAT 18:1 (Spring 2014), 106).
As the result of man’s disobedience, the Fall resulted in the fruit of sin birthing death into the world. Paul is clear in Romans 5:12 that as the result of sin death entered the world. Death was not part of God’s creation in Genesis 1-2, so what happened? Again, death entered the world as result of man’s mutiny to his Creator. To contend otherwise, is to say death was a natural part of creation. If death is not related to the fruit of sin as the Bible teaches, then the death of Christ was not necessary as death is not the curse of sin from which man needs deliverance and atonement. If death was initially a natural part of creation and not the consequence of sin, then there is no need for the atoning sacrifice of Christ as death would not be related to sin. However, the Bible teaches death is the consequences of sin which was not part of God’s “very good” creation; thus, because of one man’s sin bringing death in the world, another Man through his life, death and resurrection defeated death for humanity (Rom. 5:12-15).
Fifth, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms the Creator’s Initiative in Redeeming Man and Restoring His Creation. Because our first parents sinned against the Creator, their fellowship with Him was broken and the consequences of their sinful choice resulted in far-reaching ripples that affected all creation (Rom 8:22). How can man’s broken communion be restored? How can man pay the sin debt which he owes the holy Creator? One truth is certain, man is unable to restore the broken fellowship, nor can he pay the debt he owes for his sin offending a holy God. We find in Genesis 3:15 that God took the initiative by making a promise that One would come who would be the “seed of the woman” who would restore the broken fellowship between God and man and pay the sin debt that man was incapable of paying. The Old Testament is the history of God bringing to fulfillment the promise He made in Genesis 3:15 of a Redeemer and Restorer. All that came before Christ was fulfilled by Him and all that comes after Him is determined by Him.
Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled when God clothed Himself in human flesh, stepped into time, and as the Representative of humanity assumed the responsivity for our sin debt. The Good News is that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing (counting) their trespasses (sins) unto them” (2 Cor 5:19). In Christ man’s broken fellowship with His Creator is restored, in Christ’s resurrection we become partakers of His victory over death, and in His divine destiny creation awaits the day it will experience Paradise Restored (Rom. 8:22).
Sixth, a proper biblical view of creation Affirms that the Creator is directing His Creation toward a Divine Goal. Natural evolution is an purposeless ongoing process that has no destiny for which the creature or creation anticipates. The Bible teaches that in Christ all history is flowing toward a New Heaven and New Earth. Because of man’s disobedience, sin marred the first creation, but because of the obedience of one Man, the Man Christ Jesus, restoration of broken felllowship caused by sin can be found and the promise of the day when Christ makes all things new is the living hope of those who have in faith embraced the Creator who became the Redeemer in Jesus Christ. The cross is our assurance that sin and death will not win at last, for when man sought to do His worst to the Son of God, He came out victorious and in faith His victory is our victory.
More reasons could be given why a proper biblical view of creation is important, it is clear to see the doctrine of creation is the thread that is woven into the very fabric of the Christian faith. For one to contend that the doctrine of creation is not important is to deny the very truths that are foundational to biblical authority and the Gospel message of Christ’s atoning work. As David Noebel has excellently written, “When presenting the Christian worldview, then, we take the Bible at face value…. When the writer says, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ we understand him to say that there is a God, there was a beginning to creation, that heaven and earth exist, and that God made them. When the writer says, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life,’ we understand him to say that there is a God, that God loves, that God sent His Son, and that those who believe Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. It does not take a Ph.D. or a high IQ to comprehend the basic message of the Bible. God’s special revelation is open to everyone” (Noebel, Understanding the Times, 2015).
Yes, the biblical doctrine of creation is important. And the Creator desires to make you and me a new creation, “For if any man be in Christ they are a new creation, old things are passed away, behold all things become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).