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Transcending Eden | Part 3
2 weeks into our series: TRANSCENDING EDEN
- Transcend = to go beyond the historical space and time in which an event occurs
- What happened in Eden did not stay in Eden
What we learn from the first three chapters of Genesis – the Epic of Eden – is FOUNDATIONAL TO THE WAY WE APPROACH THE WORLD.
Foundational to the way we understand
- who God is,
- our beginning,
- why we are here,
- what’s wrong,
- and what’s the cure.
Let’s Summarize the 2 Big Ideas from the Last 2 Weeks
Week 1.) Before there was time, there was God
- God was, God is, and God is to come
- And God is complete – He lacked nothing before creation and He lacks nothing now
- He is totally self-sufficient and needs nothing more than Himself in order to exist or to act.[i]
- It was not out of His need that God created, God created out of His glory
- We are NOT THE POINT of God’s creative works
We ARE THE PRODUCT of God’s creative work for His glory
- Therefore, we have a divine purpose
- God created us to reveal and reflect His glory
- Before the foundation of the world.. before there was time.. God had a purpose for you – to be His image bearer
- Therefore, we have a divine purpose
- God DIDN’T say to Himself, “Let us create and see what happens.”
- God KNEW what would happen
- God knew that Adam and Eve would fall
- God knew that Adam and Eve would get distracted from their divine purpose to reflect His glory, instead desiring their own glory that they would be god-like (Gen 3)
- And God knew that the same thing would happen to us too
- God knew – before the foundation of the world – that we would get distracted from our purpose to reflect His glory and instead choose to turn from Him toward our own desires
- God knew that we would sin and fall short of His glory (Rom 3:23)
- And in so doing, we choose death over life
(Rom 6:23) For the wages of sin is death…
- But God did not create us for death. God created us for life and life eternally with Him
- And so – before the foundation of the world – God also extended grace through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:4)
- So just as God existed before time, Purpose and Grace existed before time in the mind of God
Week 2.) God is our Creator – He is the origin of all things
- That GOD CREATED is the principle claim of not only the first verse of Scripture and the first two chapters, but this truth also permeates all of Scripture
- Elōhîm — perfect in honor, majesty, power — the One True Trinitarian God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — is who spoke and when He spoke creation came to be
- At the word of God, there was
- Light and life
That God created according to Scripture is not a bold claim here, but it is a bold claim in our schools, our colleges, and our culture.
And the most prolific counter claim is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
Micro-evolution vs. Macro-evolution
Micro-evolution – small successive changes over time as an adaptation to the environment is well documented and easily observable (e.g. climate acclimation, Darwin’s finches, ethnicities)
But scripture rejects macro-evolution
Macro-evolution – Darwin’s claim that everything comes from a common ancestor – a cosmic goo that over billions of years through natural processes some how produced every living thing that you see today
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man):
“I have given the evidence to the best of my ability; and we must acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”[ii]
Implication of Evolutionary Theory: If life can emerge unassisted as the product of impersonal forces and natural selection then you don’t need God as the Creator of life. You are not created in the image of God. You are just a slightly higher class of animal evolved from an accidental, uncaused, purposeless nothing. Therefore, you don’t need God, the Bible, or redemption. You just need the Origin of Species.[iii]
NC’s Biology Book (Biology, The Dynamics of Life, p392)[iv]
Evolution is the key concept for understanding biology. Evolution explains the diversity of species and predicts changes.
Do we have to leave Science behind?
We are not leaving science outside of the church, as though there is some sort of conflict and you have to choose: Science or Scripture
Rather we have to distinguish science from science fiction.
With the scientific method: propose a question, make a hypothesis, experiment, analyze, THEN make a conclusion.. GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE TAKES YOU NOT WHERE YOU WANT IT TO GO
Evolutionists assume evolution and fit the data to their assumption – Fallacy of Circular Reasoning – Begging the Question
1.) Dismantle Darwin by refuting the claims most broadly associated the affirmation of this theory
2.) If Evolution isn’t true, is there another option?
3.) Why does it matter?
1.) The Miller Experiment
Found on p 382 of the NC Biology Book
Set out to test Oparin’s (Russian scientist) claim that oceans were on the earth, energy (lightening, sun) created molecules from the atmosphere, rain carried these molecules into the oceans creating a primordial soup in which life emerged
Miller and Urey tried to simulate this and when they did amino acids and sugars were created
Problem: Miller and Urey did not use an atmosphere that accurately simulated what scientists now believe the environment of the early earth was like
Miller and Urey devised an atmosphere that was conducive for their experiment to work
Since the 60s there has been significant scientific push back to the validity of Miller & Urey and in 1995, Science magazine dismisses Miller & Urey altogether
In fact, if you repeat their experiment with today’s hypothesis of early earth atmosphere you get Formaldehyde and Cyanide! AND THAT KILLS![v]
The conditions for sustainable life are so particular that accidental creation is mathematically a virtually impossible scenario
Laws and Constants of Physics conspire together to sustain a habitable universe
Astronomers agree that it would take a star with the right mass, light, age, distance, orbit, galaxy, location to nurture living organisms on a circular planet[vi]
The moon is not just for star gazing (1993) – but it keeps the earth at just the right tilt for the right seasons[vii]
Found on p 400-402 of the NC Biology Book
Claim: that if something looks like each other then they must have a common ancestor
Haeckel Embryos – showed 8 different vertebrate embryos and claimed that because they looked similar they must be from the same ancestor
Problem: In 1860 his scientific colleagues accused him of fraud and the drawings were determined to be a fake.. drawn to support the fore drawn conclusion[viii]
In the biology book there a four pictures but each has its clear distinctions.
Wings, flippers, leg, hand – Homologous structures – claims that if something looks like each other then they must have a common ancestor
Groups of animals that have a more similar (not same) DNA sequence must have a common ancestor
Similar in anatomy means similar DNA but it does not mean same ancestor
Similarity does not mean same ancestor
Similarity could mean same Creator
Although there similarities there are significant peculiarities
These peculiarities are not explained by natural processes (evolution)
DNA – 6 feet of DNA coiled inside everyone of our body’s 100 trillion cells contains a 4-letter chemical alphabet with precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made[ix]
No hypothesis to explain how that information got there without an intelligent source
3.) The Fossil Record
Found on p 428 of the NC Biology Book
Hominoid – 2-legged primates gorillas, chimps, humans that somewhere along the way separated
“There are relatively few fossils to support this hypothesis, but DNA studies of modern hominoids provide data that support the idea.” (p428)
We have already cast significant doubt on the DNA hypothesis
There is NO fossil record to support a missing link[x]
Raymond Dart (p429, Taung child – ape-human crossover – 1924) completely debunked 1970, 73, 86 by anatomist, geologist, fellow evolutionists[xi]
Archaeopteryx (ar-key-OPT-er-icks) – claim to be half bird and half reptile. Debunked in 1985 by paleontologists. It’s just a bird.[xii]
Fabricated out of desperation
There is NO fossil record to support a missing link
Paleontologists have recognized what they call as a Cambrian Explosion – sudden appearance of most of the major animal phyla that still remain today with no precursor ancestors[xiii]
“Kind” – 10x “after their kind” – “in Our image” another kind
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Speicies)
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”[xiv]
But Biochemist Behe did, published 1996.
Let me introduce you to bacteria flagella – motor like propeller system that is irreducibly complex because each part depends on the others for its viability[xv]
So natural processes cannot explain this phenomenon
For the last 21 years no one has come up with a valid counter argument
Therefore there must be another way: A Divine Designer
Who is this Divine Designer: The Identity of Our Designer
Creation reveals the character of its Creator[xvi]
1.) Capable Creator:
Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
2.) Uncaused and timeless Creator
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3.) Powerful Creator
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power…
4.) Caring Creator
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
5.) Creative Creator
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
6.) Unique Creator
To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
7.) Intelligent Creator
O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions/creatures.
8.) Purpose-giving Creator
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Why does any of this matter?
Evolution or Creation
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin)
My faith slowly faded away and now… “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”[xvii]
9.) Conscious-giving Creator
Stars flung draw us to find out more and find Him
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
Draws out the eternal, which is placed in every soul
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart…
“Damnable doctrine” does not begin with judgment but with the refusal of Love – the refusal of God Himself
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
For God provides for life after death with Him forever
He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.
[i] Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Basic. “Be” Commentary Series. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1998.
[iii] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004) 28.
[iv] Alton Biggs, et. al. Biology, The Dynamics of Life (Columbus, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005).
[v] Ibid, 43-44.
[vi] Ibid, 351.
[vii] Ibid, 221.
[viii] Ibid, 57; Also Casey Luskin, “Darwin Lobbyists Defend Using Fraudulent Embryo Drawings in the Classroom” (Evolution News & Science Today, 2012). Accessed from https://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/darwin_lobbyist_1/
[ix] Ibid, 352; Also “The Physics Factbook” accessed from http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1998/StevenChen.shtml
[x] Carl Wieland, “The evolutionary parade of ‘missing links’” (Creation Ministries International, May 2012). Accessed from http://creation.com/missing-links-parade. Also Casey Luskin, “Problem 5: Abrupt Appearance of Species in the Fossil Record Does not Support Darwinian Evolution” (Evolution News & Science Today, January 2015). Accessed from https://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/problem_5_abrup/.
[xi] Russell Grigg, “Raymond Dart and the ‘missing link,’” Creation Volume 28, Issue 4 (Creation Ministries International, September 2006). Accessed from http://creation.com/raymond-dart-and-the-missing-link.
[xii] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004) 68; Also Joseph Castro, “Archaeopteryx: The Transitional Fossil” (Live Science, 2016). Accessed from http://www.livescience.com/24745-archaeopteryx.html
[xiii] Ibid, 49-52.
[xv] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 253-257.
[xvi] Ibid, 355.