Review of Chapters 1-11 Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: July 8, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 1–11

  • Genesis 1-11
  • A Review
  • Application Points
  • Through a Dark Road

Genealogies are difficult!

Though there can be a decent amount of fascination with the generations

It is important for us to consider genealogies

The Scriptures give us examples of many things, and it does so for a purpose

Maybe to show us where it leads, or to show God’s faithfulness

Maybe the purpose is that we need to be reminded over and over again of many things the Scriptures teach

  • Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

  • Cosmological Argument (chapters 1-3, 5-9)
  • The Creator

From the beginning of Genesis we encounter two things…God the Creator, and the created order

Without God there would be no created order at all

This origin story is superior in comparison to other origin stories

Marduk killed the goddess Tiamet to create the world (Babylonian)

While there are similarities between creation accounts, it is the differences that are key

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (2)

In Egyptian mythology the gods come out of the matter

In Genesis God does not come out of anything, instead everything else comes from God

The different polytheistic religions held the gods connected to nature

Ra was associated with the sun (Egypt)

An was associated with the heavens, and Ki with the earth (Sumeria)

Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman) were associated with love and fertility

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (3)

In these pagan mythologies the gods were bound to nature

They worshipped the gods in their means

If you wanted children you would worship Aphrodite through intercourse at her temple

This was the same for good crops and safe travel

In this way one could receive a blessing while at the same time providing the god nourishment

It was a way to appease the gods, and help them remain strong

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (4)

In these pagan mythologies the gods were bound to nature

They worshipped the gods in their means

If you wanted children you would worship Aphrodite through intercourse at her temple

This was the same for good crops and safe travel

In this way one could receive a blessing while at the same time providing the god nourishment

It was a way to appease the gods, and help them remain nourished

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (5)

There is a stark contrast between the God of Genesis and the pagan deities found at the time

In Genesis there is not a multiplicity of gods, or God battling other gods, or a deity reliant upon anything

God is seen as self-sustaining, far above creation

He is sovereign over all the world

If we take the step the Scriptures take we find God doing the miraculous by creating ex nihilo (out of nothing)

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (6)

Likewise we notice the text informs us that the universe has a beginning

What agrees with this? Modern Science

Only Genesis’ account acknowledged that the universe had a beginning

Consider the following logic

Everything that begins to exist has a cause

If the universe began to exist, then it must have a cause

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (7)

The most logical explanation for that cause is God

Abstract concepts cannot cause anything, but God can

Why can’t the universe simply exist?

Everything that exists exists out of necessity of its nature or by an external cause/contingently

What exists out of necessity?

God and abstract ideas such as numbers and shapes

What exists contingently?

You, Me, Houses, Books, Phones

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (8)

Does the universe exist necessarily or contingently?

It does not exist necessarily

If gravity were a little higher or lower, if there was more or less carbon, if energy was slightly higher or lower

None of the necessary components of the known universe happen because they need to happen

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (9)

Thus, the universe exists contingently

It exists because something else caused it to exist

Only something timeless, necessary, not material, powerful, and not contingent on something else

The only possibility? God

Logic also teaches us that whatever caused the universe must be the first cause

The first Cause is God Himself, nothing caused God to exist, He exists necessarily

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (10)

What has science found?

Big Bang Cosmology argues that the universe does have a beginning

Prior to the Big Bang there was nothing

What scientists get wrong is assuming that the universe caused itself (which as we saw is not the case)

According to the second law of thermodynamics entropy occurs over time

We feel the effects of entropy…The same is true of the universe

The universe will run out of usable energy

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (11)

If the universe had existed for an infinite time then all energy in the universe would have been used up by now

Thus the universe must have a beginning

The expanding of the universe further shows the universe had a beginning

The universe is expanding outward and must have began somewhere

Thus, the universe had a beginning

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (12)

What isn’t surprised by all of this? The Bible

It all begins with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”

No ancient text affirms a similar statement, and no view past or present better offers an explanation for the universe

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (13)

  When there are those who argue for some other origin for the universe, consider what we’ve talked about

When they ask, “What makes the Bible different?”

Politely inform them how it speaks of God as creator not created (unlike the pagans)

It speaks of the cosmos having a beginning (which modern science agrees to)

It places God above the created order as the first Cause (which makes sense philosophically)

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (14)

The first verse of Scripture speaks to us in this regard

It should cause in us great wonder and awe

It should cause us to fall on our knees and worship

Thus, this should bring us to adoration, praise, and willingness to follow God

The whole universe was beckoned into existence and follows His decrees

We have been beckoned, and we too should seek to follow His decrees

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (15)

While we might be hard pressed to say that the Biblical authors thought about this all this way

We can be sure that the first verse of the Bible argues something remarkable and completely different

It gives us the foundation for the universe itself, of all reality, and that is God

In this verse we see the sovereignty of God on display

He who created all things has sought you and bought you and loves you through His Son Jesus

Praise His Name, for the Lord has brought forth the cosmos in all of its wonder, for His great glory

  • Genesis 1:3-5

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God

Genesis 1-3 gives us a lot of information

Information on creation and on the Creator

We find a God who distinguishes

God distinguishes light from darkness, waters above and waters below, waters and land, vegetation from vegetation

It reminds us our God is wise

Sometimes we couple wisdom with knowledge, but they are not exactly the same

 

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (2)

Knowledge is gaining in understanding

Wisdom is the ability to make judgments, to discern

God in the text discerns

But we also notice another aspect of His discernment, when He calls elements of the creation, “good”

He defines what is good, and therefore, what is bad

What we find from the beginning of Creation is wisdom

Consider what we read in Proverbs 8

22 The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,

the first of his acts of old.

23  Ages ago I was set up,

at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

24  When there were no depths I was brought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

25  Before the mountains had been shaped,

before the hills, I was brought forth,

26  before he had made the earth with its fields,

or the first of the dust of the world.

27  When he established the heavens, I was there;

when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

28  when he made firm the skies above,

when he established the fountains of the deep,

29  when he assigned to the sea its limit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

30  then I was beside him, like a master workman,

and I was daily his delight,

rejoicing before him always,

31  rejoicing in his inhabited world

and delighting in the children of man.

(Proverbs 8:22-31, ESV)

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (3)

It is with wisdom God created the heavens and the earth

The wisdom of God brings form out of formlessness

He discerned what the universe needed to be for His utmost glory

Science actually argues this point

Scientists have found that there are constants within our universe that if changed would not allow life to exist

Each one has to be so precise that to be changed it would mean the universe would not be able to be a habitat for any life

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (4)

Consider what we discussed about gravity

If the constant for gravity had been slightly altered the universe would not permit life

Imagine a dial that could be set anywhere within a 1060

If the dial was set to any other point on that dial, then the universe would of expanded too quickly or simply collapsed in on itself

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (5)

Imagine all the cells in your body that is 1014

Or imagine the number of seconds since the beginning of time 1020

Lets look at it another way

Imagine you have a radio

Let’s imagine that same radio had a dial that could be set to 1014 or 1020 or 1060

Let’s also imagine each part was a different station

It would look something like this…

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (6)

1014 = 100,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

1020 = 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

1060 = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (7)

Let’s then imagine that only one of the stations was playing the music you wanted to listen to

Or even better, imagine that only one station actually played music and the rest played static

In order to get to that station you needed to set the dial perfectly

 That’s what we’re talking about but with gravity

If the dial were set on any other number life would not be able to exist

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (8)

It’s not just gravity, however

We have also found that the expansion rate which is driven by the cosmological constant

If this constant had been changed, or had been set differently to one part in 10120 there could be no life

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (9)

10120 = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (10)

Is there more? Yes thanks to mathematician Dr. Roger Penrose

Consider that if the mass and energy of the universe (neutrinos, photons, atoms, dark matter) were not evenly distributed as they were there would be no life

Dr. Penrose postulated that it must be right in 1 part in 1010^123

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (10)

If we say the numbers earlier it was simply 1 with the number of zeroes behind it

This number…1010^123 has 1 plus 10123

Interestingly enough Dr. Penrose is still an atheist

Luckily we have Philosophers, such as Dr. William Lane Craig who say…wait a minute we need to ask something about this

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (11)

What could possibly cause these numbers to be dialed in so precisely for life? How is our universe so fine tuned?

There are three possibilities

First: Necessity. It is necessary for the universe to have the numbers dialed in as such

There is no evidence that it is necessary for the universe to have all these numbers perfectly in line

There is nothing that would say that it must be this way

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (12)

Second: Chance!

Scientists tend to believe this, but by doing so they leave the realm of science and propose the multiverse theory

The multiverse states that there is some machine that creates universes and ours just happens to be one of the good ones

The problems? There is no evidence this is the case

It also doesn’t explain the fact that the machine itself would have to be fine tuned to do what it is doing (hence ad infimum)

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (13)

Third: Design

Scientists even recognize that there is almost a design imprint on the universe

Someone, or something, set the boundaries on the universe in order to allow life to exist

Personally, I find this to be what we are seeing in the text we looked at today

We find in these five days a fine tuning of the universe

It may not describe everything we just talked about, but it does describe God creating the universe with a design plan

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (14)

This brings us back to the first point…

How wise is our God?!

Our God’s knowledge is vast and complete, but the fact that He knows just how much of everything for creation is a witness to His wisdom

He brought about the cosmos for His grand design

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (15)

If one were to study the history of science one would consider how many of the great scientists were theists

You would see them praising God because they recognized the great design

They see the design, the Telos, the ultimate purpose of each thing within creation

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (16)

When you plant corn do you expect barley?

Or if you planted apple seeds would you expect blueberries?

No! Because the objective of the seed, the telos, is to become an apple tree

The same with animals

A hammerhead shark mates with another will it produce a dolphin?

No! Because the objective, the telos, is buried within DNA itself, the source code brings forth a baby hammerhead

This is why so many early scientists would make observations and then pause to praise God in their notes

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (17)

Have we praised God for His wisdom in creating the universe?

Have we thanked God for the marvelous world which He created?

We find a God who is purposefully designing the universe

We find a God who is far greater than the universe itself

When He speaks, it listens

We find a God who we would expect as we reason with the universe

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (18)

How great and mighty is our God?

How wonderful are His ways?

God could have easily chosen to make Himself beyond our comprehension

Yet, He reaches down, and He saves us, redeems us, and teaches us about who He is in His personhood, His might, His glory

What else can we do with this beginning chapter thus far, other than to join the heavens as they declare the glory of God

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

 (Genesis 6:5-8)

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God

We see the ramifications of the fall in full effect

We were made in His image to enjoy Him in obedience, to the pain God has in His heart for creating us

What we find in these verses are a reflection of what we find in ourselves apart from God

We find humanity broken in its relationships

All of these broken things stem from a society, a people, who have no interest in God

They were a generation who lived for self

Is it so surprising that the end result of such a people was sin?

The way the text describes these individuals is poignant, they did evil continually

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (2)

How is this relevant to us?

As we see, there are many who would seek to push God away from the table

To bring God to the table of discussion is to be ridiculed, mocked

Where does such a culture, where does such a world end up?

Consider the words of Nietzsche in his, “parable of a madman”

“THE MADMAN----Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?

Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (3)

Nietzsche recognizes the repercussions of a world to exist without God

During his time he and others were trying to bring about a world in which God did not exist

He recognizes that it would lead to a detachment

Some believe it is this thought which led him to believe that the 20th century would be the bloodiest century of all time

He ended up being right as it became a world in which more individuals died through warfare and genocide than all others combined

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (4)

Despite foreseeing this reality, he had hope

One of his famous ideas, “Out of Chaos comes order.”

He believed out of the transformation would come a better world

Has it? No

These philosophers believed that the departure of God would bring a better world

The reason why it hasn’t is that once you cut of God it leads to a world unhinged

We see this in our own world when it comes to morality

Is it possible for people to do good without believing in God?

Yes.

But that’s not the real question…instead the question is, “Can you be good without God?”

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (5)

If there is no God, then there is no foundation for objective moral values

We know what is good, righteous, just, loving, etc. because these are part of God’s character

But what happens when God is taken out of the equation

Then that leads to subjective moral values

When something subjective it means that it is based upon the subjects preference

I enjoy Frosted Flakes (Yummy), you might enjoy Wheaties or Coco Crispies

We are the subject, and we have our preferences

This is the same with subjective morality

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (6)

Where does this lead?

If this is true then that means there is no absolute standard for right and wrong

It means that your preference is just as valid as mine

Example: If morality is subjective, we cannot say the Nazi regime was wrong

Example: We cannot say the shootings in the U.S. have been wrong

Example: We cannot say the sex slave trade is wrong

Why? Because if morality is subjective then those who commit such acts have their own morality and we have no right to say their actions, or their morality, is wrong

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (7)

But as it is, we recognize morality is objective

Morality has an absolute standard apart from us and that is God

Through His character and commands we learn what is morally good and right

The commands to love the Lord your God…to love your neighbor as yourself

They stem from the same place…God

We can then condemn as evil what does not reflect that command

If we hate our neighbor…cheat them…rob them…speak ill of them…then we know such acts are evil because they do not reflect loving ones neighbors

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (8)

Without God, however, there is no moral duties or standards

If we see an event which is evil we instinctually know it is evil

When we say, “This is an injustice!” We make a bold declaration that there is objective moral values

How does this relate to our text?

These people were not living morally

Because we know what is immoral is that which is against morality, we know morality because we know God and His commandments

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (9)

  In our own society, we deal with the same thing

We who are of the faith cannot boast or look down upon them, because in all truth we were once part of them as well

We once believed, “God does not exist, I can do whatever I want…”

But now that we are in Christ we can know that we are like Noah

We can live in a way which is in congruence with God’s own moral character

We can love, be merciful, kind, gracious, just etc.

We can because we have been redeemed by Christ

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (10)

Genesis has been fascinating so far as it keeps arguing for the existence of God

Genesis 1 we learn of creation having a beginning, and that it is designed

Now we find another argument, the existence of God based upon morality

The generation of Noah is not so different than our own

In the end, the generation of Noah merely shows us the reality of a people without God

Such generations reflect the evil there, because even if some good is there, they still take for themselves what belongs to God

We are all sinners at heart, and we all need a new heart

The Moral Argument (Chapters 3-4, 6-9, 11)

World without God (11)

So it is, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Japheth, the Babelites, even Abram are not so far

For now, we reflect on the sorrow of humanity from then until now

How we all share in the guilt, in the darkness, which is humanity outside of Eden

Indeed, a seeking to live in a world as though God did not exist

  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ

Origins

Fall

Redemption

Glorification

  • Genesis 1-11
  • A Review
  • Application Points
  • Through a Dark Road

Genealogies are difficult!

Though there can be a decent amount of fascination with the generations

It is important for us to consider genealogies

The Scriptures give us examples of many things, and it does so for a purpose

Maybe to show us where it leads, or to show God’s faithfulness

Maybe the purpose is that we need to be reminded over and over again of many things the Scriptures teach

  • Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

  • Cosmological Argument (chapters 1-3, 5-9)
  • The Creator

From the beginning of Genesis we encounter two things…God the Creator, and the created order

Without God there would be no created order at all

This origin story is superior in comparison to other origin stories

Marduk killed the goddess Tiamet to create the world (Babylonian)

While there are similarities between creation accounts, it is the differences that are key

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (2)

In Egyptian mythology the gods come out of the matter

In Genesis God does not come out of anything, instead everything else comes from God

The different polytheistic religions held the gods connected to nature

Ra was associated with the sun (Egypt)

An was associated with the heavens, and Ki with the earth (Sumeria)

Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman) were associated with love and fertility

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (3)

In these pagan mythologies the gods were bound to nature

They worshipped the gods in their means

If you wanted children you would worship Aphrodite through intercourse at her temple

This was the same for good crops and safe travel

In this way one could receive a blessing while at the same time providing the god nourishment

It was a way to appease the gods, and help them remain strong

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (4)

In these pagan mythologies the gods were bound to nature

They worshipped the gods in their means

If you wanted children you would worship Aphrodite through intercourse at her temple

This was the same for good crops and safe travel

In this way one could receive a blessing while at the same time providing the god nourishment

It was a way to appease the gods, and help them remain nourished

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (5)

There is a stark contrast between the God of Genesis and the pagan deities found at the time

In Genesis there is not a multiplicity of gods, or God battling other gods, or a deity reliant upon anything

God is seen as self-sustaining, far above creation

He is sovereign over all the world

If we take the step the Scriptures take we find God doing the miraculous by creating ex nihilo (out of nothing)

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (6)

Likewise we notice the text informs us that the universe has a beginning

What agrees with this? Modern Science

Only Genesis’ account acknowledged that the universe had a beginning

Consider the following logic

Everything that begins to exist has a cause

If the universe began to exist, then it must have a cause

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (7)

The most logical explanation for that cause is God

Abstract concepts cannot cause anything, but God can

Why can’t the universe simply exist?

Everything that exists exists out of necessity of its nature or by an external cause/contingently

What exists out of necessity?

God and abstract ideas such as numbers and shapes

What exists contingently?

You, Me, Houses, Books, Phones

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (8)

Does the universe exist necessarily or contingently?

It does not exist necessarily

If gravity were a little higher or lower, if there was more or less carbon, if energy was slightly higher or lower

None of the necessary components of the known universe happen because they need to happen

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (9)

Thus, the universe exists contingently

It exists because something else caused it to exist

Only something timeless, necessary, not material, powerful, and not contingent on something else

The only possibility? God

Logic also teaches us that whatever caused the universe must be the first cause

The first Cause is God Himself, nothing caused God to exist, He exists necessarily

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (10)

What has science found?

Big Bang Cosmology argues that the universe does have a beginning

Prior to the Big Bang there was nothing

What scientists get wrong is assuming that the universe caused itself (which as we saw is not the case)

According to the second law of thermodynamics entropy occurs over time

We feel the effects of entropy…The same is true of the universe

The universe will run out of usable energy

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (11)

If the universe had existed for an infinite time then all energy in the universe would have been used up by now

Thus the universe must have a beginning

The expanding of the universe further shows the universe had a beginning

The universe is expanding outward and must have began somewhere

Thus, the universe had a beginning

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (12)

What isn’t surprised by all of this? The Bible

It all begins with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”

No ancient text affirms a similar statement, and no view past or present better offers an explanation for the universe

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (13)

  When there are those who argue for some other origin for the universe, consider what we’ve talked about

When they ask, “What makes the Bible different?”

Politely inform them how it speaks of God as creator not created (unlike the pagans)

It speaks of the cosmos having a beginning (which modern science agrees to)

It places God above the created order as the first Cause (which makes sense philosophically)

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (14)

The first verse of Scripture speaks to us in this regard

It should cause in us great wonder and awe

It should cause us to fall on our knees and worship

Thus, this should bring us to adoration, praise, and willingness to follow God

The whole universe was beckoned into existence and follows His decrees

We have been beckoned, and we too should seek to follow His decrees

  • Cosmological Argument
  • The Creator (15)

While we might be hard pressed to say that the Biblical authors thought about this all this way

We can be sure that the first verse of the Bible argues something remarkable and completely different

It gives us the foundation for the universe itself, of all reality, and that is God

In this verse we see the sovereignty of God on display

He who created all things has sought you and bought you and loves you through His Son Jesus

Praise His Name, for the Lord has brought forth the cosmos in all of its wonder, for His great glory

  • Genesis 1:3-5

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God

Genesis 1-3 gives us a lot of information

Information on creation and on the Creator

We find a God who distinguishes

God distinguishes light from darkness, waters above and waters below, waters and land, vegetation from vegetation

It reminds us our God is wise

Sometimes we couple wisdom with knowledge, but they are not exactly the same

 

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (2)

Knowledge is gaining in understanding

Wisdom is the ability to make judgments, to discern

God in the text discerns

But we also notice another aspect of His discernment, when He calls elements of the creation, “good”

He defines what is good, and therefore, what is bad

What we find from the beginning of Creation is wisdom

Consider what we read in Proverbs 8

22 The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,

the first of his acts of old.

23  Ages ago I was set up,

at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

24  When there were no depths I was brought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

25  Before the mountains had been shaped,

before the hills, I was brought forth,

26  before he had made the earth with its fields,

or the first of the dust of the world.

27  When he established the heavens, I was there;

when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

28  when he made firm the skies above,

when he established the fountains of the deep,

29  when he assigned to the sea its limit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

30  then I was beside him, like a master workman,

and I was daily his delight,

rejoicing before him always,

31  rejoicing in his inhabited world

and delighting in the children of man.

(Proverbs 8:22-31, ESV)

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (3)

It is with wisdom God created the heavens and the earth

The wisdom of God brings form out of formlessness

He discerned what the universe needed to be for His utmost glory

Science actually argues this point

Scientists have found that there are constants within our universe that if changed would not allow life to exist

Each one has to be so precise that to be changed it would mean the universe would not be able to be a habitat for any life

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (4)

Consider what we discussed about gravity

If the constant for gravity had been slightly altered the universe would not permit life

Imagine a dial that could be set anywhere within a 1060

If the dial was set to any other point on that dial, then the universe would of expanded too quickly or simply collapsed in on itself

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (5)

Imagine all the cells in your body that is 1014

Or imagine the number of seconds since the beginning of time 1020

Lets look at it another way

Imagine you have a radio

Let’s imagine that same radio had a dial that could be set to 1014 or 1020 or 1060

Let’s also imagine each part was a different station

It would look something like this…

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (6)

1014 = 100,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

1020 = 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

1060 = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Stations)

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (7)

Let’s then imagine that only one of the stations was playing the music you wanted to listen to

Or even better, imagine that only one station actually played music and the rest played static

In order to get to that station you needed to set the dial perfectly

 That’s what we’re talking about but with gravity

If the dial were set on any other number life would not be able to exist

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (8)

It’s not just gravity, however

We have also found that the expansion rate which is driven by the cosmological constant

If this constant had been changed, or had been set differently to one part in 10120 there could be no life

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (chapters 1-3, 7-9)
  • The Wise God (9)

10120 = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  • Teleological/Design/Fine Tuning Argument (ch