Posts

Showing posts with the label Creation

Male and Female: Eve vs. Artemis

Image
The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth .......
I think after nine parts to this series a little recap is in order. I’ll try to make it quick. If you’re one of those “SKIP RECAP” people on Netflix, feel free to scroll down a bit. But if you haven't read parts 1, 2, and 3 yet - do that now before continuing. Those posts will be referenced quite a bit.
In the beginning God created male and female in his image as equals. They were partners in bearing his image to the rest of creation. The relationship between man and woman was to reflect the divine, loving community within God’s own being. In Genesis 2, it was not good for the man to be alone, so woman was created as the man’s “helper,” a word which was nearly exclusively used for God himself. In other words, man w…

REST | 40 Days of Focus, Day 7

Image
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
(Genesis 2:1-3) When was the last time you rested? Like, really rested?

I'm sure we've all seen the statistics and research about how Americans are among the most overworked people in the world. Americans on average work longer hours per week than their European counterparts, and they receive fewer paid holidays. We have no guaranteed maternity leave, while other countries insist on granting mothers and fathers paid family leave while their children are young.

We go on fewer vacations, take fewer sick and personal days, and we work more overtime than we should. We buy into the lie that busyness equals productivity. But that couldn't be further from the truth.

I'm s…

IMAGE | 40 Days of Focus, Day 6

Image
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
(Genesis 1:24-25) Day Four (sun, moon, and stars) was about filling Day 1 (light and dark). Day 5 (fish and birds) was about filling Day 2 (waters and sky). Finally, Day 6 (land animals) is about filling Day 3 (land and vegetation).

One thing I find interesting about Days 5 and 6 is that God uses creation to do the creating. "Let the waters teem with life" and "let the land produce living creatures." Life comes from non-life. That's a statement that has sparked a lot of scientific debate over the years. Scientists are still trying to discover just how that happened. Wh…

rCQ: Questions from an atheist

Image
/r/Christianity Questions
Recently, I came across this series of of questions asked by a Reddit user:
1) Do you agree with everything in the bible, sometimes it can be really messed up (like those quotes atheists like to bring up when they are debating with christians for example "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. Numbers 31:17-18" 2) Is the Bible like your law or advice for better life? 3) How often do you question your beliefs? 4) Are creationists the majority of christians? Here are my answers:

1) It is my belief that if it can't be said about Christ, it can't be said about God (seeing as they are one and the same). I read about the violence of the nations in the Hebrew Scriptures in light of the cross of Christ. Jesus' violent death at the hands of the state reveals the evil of state-sanctioned killing. So no, I don…

Jonah: Who Are You?

Image
The storm at sea is threatening to kill them all. The waves are swelling and breaking over the boat. The wind is driving the rain like gravel into their faces. They are frantically hurling the cargo boxes overboard in an effort to lighten the ship.

In the midst of this fear and panic, they find someone who really couldn't be bothered by it all - Jonah, a prophet on the run.

After quite a rude awakening, Jonah is brought to meet with the rest of the crew. They've got to find out who is responsible for this storm - not necessarily what person, but what god/deity  is behind this. The most obvious god to pinpoint would be Ba'al, the Storm God of the Ancient Near-East. But Ba'al isn't responding right now (shocker!), so they have to figure this out.

They cast lots (think Yahtzee, but with higher stakes). The lot falls to Jonah (shocker again!). Check out the interaction that follows:
Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is respon…

3 Life Traps to Avoid

Image
Idolatry is a trap.

An idol, as we saw last time, is something that makes big promises, takes all it can, and gives nothing in return. This video from I Am Second featuring hit singer Tori Kelly does a fantastic job illustrating this point. Check it out:


Tori Kelly was promised the world. She was promised everything she could want - fame, fortune, success as a singer. But her "idol" deemed her not good/pretty/bubbly enough. So long, see you later. Next!

She had to learn not to tie her identity to anything other than Christ. Kelly had to learn to let go and gain her freedom (remember the Monkey Trap?).

THE THREE TRAPS

If idolatry is a trap, it's helpful to know what kind of traps to specifically be on the lookout for. The Bible identifies three main traps, and life has confirmed this to be true. Here's exactly what we need to watch for:
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For t…

6 Reasons Christians Should Care About Climate Change

Image
Recently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report on the state of global climate change. Things are not looking good to say the least. You can easily look up the report and read it for yourself. At the rate we're going, we have about 12 years to come together as a global community and turn things around.

It's almost time to hit the panic button.

Mike McHargue released an episode of his podcast "Ask Science Mike" this week discussing the report and what we can/should do about it. I highly recommend giving it a listen (begin at about the 5:38 mark). It's upsetting to me that we could be experiencing the catastrophic effects of global warming within our lifetime. We're not just talking about the distant future of our grandchildren's grandchildren. We are talking about a couple of decades from now.



When I was younger I remember hearing people in the church shrug off the warnings of global warming. I would hear things li…

Imago Dei, part 1

Image
Why are we here?

This is a fundamental worldview question with which mankind has wrestled since the beginning. Although we ourselves are mammals, and although we share many similar qualities with certain other mammals, when I look around, I can tell there is something unique about human beings. I have heard people say that the only characteristic separating us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our intelligence. Yet there are animals that are extremely intelligent and community oriented, just like us. (And according to others, humans are only the third smartest race on the planet...)

So what is it that really separates man from beast? I believe the answer to this question is also the answer to the original question: the Imago Dei, or the Image of God for you non-Latin speakers.

It is true that humanity is closely linked with the rest of the animal kingdom. Mammals and humans were created on the same day. Genesis 1:20 even says that all the animals have the "breath of life" …

On Creation

Image
Right from the start of Genesis, we see that God is a creator, a craftsman. He made the earth with purpose and intentionality. Therefore, everything He creates has meaning and value.

Next, we see that God does not rule from afar. He enters the darkness and faces the chaos head on. Redemption is embedded in the very fabric of creation.
___________________

Now it's time for a bit of a side note. If you were like me, you probably sang as a child some little song about the days of creation. "Day one, day one, God made light when there was none..."


But then something happened. As I grew older, I started learning more about the "science" behind "creation." Apparently, sometime in the last hundred years or so, believing in a young earth and the literal 24 hour days of creation became a major tenant of the Christian faith. For some, at least.

I was taught that the 6 days of creation were exactly 144 hours. No more. No less. To suggest otherwise was borderline…

Beginning, pt. 2

Image
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

So begins the creation story. From there, God goes on to create light and land and stars and everything else. As a child, and on into adulthood, when thinking about creation, I always pictured God sitting in his throne room which resembled something like the bridge on the Enterprise from Star Trek. I imagined God sitting atop his captain's chair, handing out marching orders to the angles around him, and watching it all take place before him on a 72" LCD screen.

But look what it says:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."


Formless. Empty. Dark. Deep. This sounds like a place I would never want to be. This sounds downright hellish. This sounds like the opposite of where God would be found, thus the made-up image in my mind of God creating from afar.

But God was right there. His Spirit was hanging out right in the midd…

Beginning

Image
It is my general understanding that almost everything we need to know about God can be discovered within the opening chapters of the Bible. Genesis 1-11 are some of the most controversial, most hotly debated chapters in Scripture. Are they literal 24 hour days during creation? Was there really a Garden in Eden? Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? How could Noah fit all the animals on the ark? Could there really have been a global flood?

Many of these narratives have been passed off as Sunday school flannel board stories. Rarely do we revisit these chapters as adults to try and figure out why are they in the Bible? Why did God choose to open the most important book in all of human history with such outrageous sounding stories? Or maybe they're not so outrageous if we just tweak our own modern/postmodern worldview a bit.

So let's begin in the beginning.

Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Thus begins the greatest story ever told.

N…

The heavens and the earth

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 The phrase "the heavens and the earth" is a prime example of a Hebrew literary device in which two opposites are mentioned but the implication is that everything in between is included. Another way of understanding that verse is to say, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...[and everything contained therein] or [and everything in between] or [and everything else we see]" A common question is raised, however: Why did God bother going to such great lengths to create a seemingly infinite universe when the small pebble called earth is all that really matters? It seems like God went a little overboard with the whole creation thing. But when you think about the purpose of the universe and all of creation, what seems like wasted space actually testifies to the awesomeness of God. The purpose of creation is to reflect the character and the glory of the Creator. Think abou…

Getting all Philosophical again

Here are some ideas that have been running through my head over the last few days. A lot of it is along the lines of Plato, who happens to be my favorite Greek philosopher. It's part philosophy, part theology, and a dash of psychology. I hope it doesn't come out too confusing.... There is a law in physics which says that everything which happens has a cause, and nothing which is caused to happen can be greater than the cause. Energy is (in a way) lost. There is also a law which I have observed (a more philosophical/subjective law) which says that nothing created can ever be as good as the creator. For example, a human will never create a robot which is as "good"/perfect (mentally, emotionally, socially, etc.) as the human creator. A poet can only create a poem that is limited by linguistics. The written or spoken words, however, will never be as "good"/perfect as the original ideas within the mind of the poet. The artist can only do so much under the limi…