This is a multi-part series from our friend Brian Hudson of The Clapham Circle. Over the next few weeks, Brian shares how our view of Creation impacts how we see everything in life, including our daily work. You can learn more about Brian and Clapham at https://engageclapham.org.
Most Christians have read Genesis chapter one. God created the world in six days and rested from is work. Some have read it so many times it can seem there is nothing left to learn. We’ve exhausted all the avenues of knowledge. In fact, we have a tendency to take for granted all of creation and often miss the glories and wonders to be found.
Science has given us many things, including a better understanding of how creation works. The concern is that it has often works to demystify the world. Everything has a name and a category. Science may teach us many things but it cannot help us understand its meaning, elegance, and glory. We have become adept at dissecting the world but do we know what it really is? Have we become so busy in this life that we know longer realize that God is declaring his glory to us?
John Calvin once said, ““Wherever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of his glory. You cannot in one glance survey this most vast and beautiful system of the universe, in its wide expanse, without being completely overwhelmed by the boundless force of its brightness.”
The splendor of creation is not hidden, it’s everywhere and just ignored. Understanding just a little of the theology of creation can change lives. It is a central part of the Gospel message, and if ignored rejects much of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must look, see, attend!
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Counterfeit World Views Christians Hold About Creation
We are confronted daily with messages and ideas about the world that are subtle and insidious. We are often unaware that as time passes, we are deceived by world views that are counterfeits to the Christian faith. We don’t even realize it is happening.
We confess the doctrines of the faith but we often live in ways contrary to those beliefs. There are three counterfeit world views many Christian’s hold unawares. They are:
Deism:The belief that God created the world, wound it like a clock and sits back to see what will happen. God exists but He has no impact on our daily lives or decisions. This is how many Christians live. They pay lip service to God but live as if they were on their own.
Platonism: This is the belief that there are two realities, the spiritual world and the material world. The material world is not important or even corrupted. The spiritual world is reality. The eternal is the only thing of importance. This worldview brings about two beliefs:
- The material world is evil and should be avoided
- The material world is unimportant so it doesn’t matter what we do in it or to it.
Again, many believers reject the these ideas but sadly live their lives following them. Many Christians separate life into the material, which is less important, and the spiritual, which is most important. Consequently they treat the rest of life as a necessary evil or unimportant to faith.
Materialism: This is the belief that matter is all there is. There is no God, no moral universe. Everything in the universe is based on chance. Christian’s would never hold to such a view and certainly wouldn’t confess it. Yet, if a person confesses Christ on Sunday but lives the rest of the week as if he doesn’t exist, isn’t this a “Practical Atheist?” B.B. Warfield once said, “Formal atheism denies God; practical atheism is guilty of the possibly even more astounding sin–of forgetting the God it confesses.”
These three world views may be strange to most people’s minds, but the unfortunate truth is that many Christian believers live out these beliefs everyday of their lives. They do so unconsciously and without a second thought. Therefore, it is crucial to test our world views against what the Scripture reveals about the world.
Look for Part 2 in this Divine Fingerprints series in the coming weeks.