Obviously we cannot begin a thing in the middle or at the end. We must begin a thing at the beginning. This is where we should start if we are to study religion, particularly the Christian religion. In Genesis 1:1 we read: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then in John’s gospel we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (Jn. 1:1-3).
So we see that in the beginning there was God. There was also the Word of God or Logos as the Greek New Testament has it. We realize in reading John’s Gospel and many other passages in the New Testament that God is the Word, and the Word is God. Early in Christian theology and understanding the Word came to represent Christ, who is in fact the Son of God and the same in essence with God. Unlike us, God is never separated from his Word. They are one.
ALL THINGS ARE MADE AND MAINTAINED BY THE WORD
Here we learn how our world and universe originated. They were spoken into existence by God and thus they originated by his Word. God said “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). The Word (the Son of God) spoke the world and universe into existence. That is how it all began in the beginning. God made the universe through his Son
There is another very interesting fact in the first chapter of Hebrews. We also learn that the world and universe are sustained by the Son of God or by the Word. In Hebrews 1:3 we read: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (cf. Col. 1:17). The sun came up today because of the Word. The tides come in because of that same Word. So we do not live in a helio-centric universe as we suppose but we live in a huio-centric one. In the Greek language, huios means “son.”
WHEN GOD SPEAKS THINGS HAPPEN
In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament the root dbr means “word.” It is also the root for “thing.” In Hebrew devar means “word” but “devarim” means “things.” There continues to be a very close linguistic connection between the Word of God and all created things. Hebrew words are generally very closely associated with the root supporting them. For instance, the word for “wilderness” in Hebrew is midbar. It is taken from the same Hebrew root, dbr. It is easy to see that wilderness is closely associated with “word.” The word or Law of God was given in the wilderness through Moses. John the Baptist came proclaiming the word in the wilderness and Jesus after being tested in the wilderness came preaching the word or the Gospel.
Now today many learned people would dispute this whole idea. They do not feel that the world was created by the word of God and they would certainly dispute that it is maintained by the word. But learned people can be mistaken. Sometimes even scientists are mistaken, and that for hundreds of years. For instance, for many centuries scientists felt that the universe was static. It was Albert Einstein who proved that idea wrong, although he was unable to accept his own discovery. Later the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble confirmed Einstein’s theories and proved that the universe is dynamic and is actually flying apart at high speeds like cosmic shrapnel. In the 1960s scientists followed up on this discovery with the Big Bang Theory, claiming that somehow there was a massive explosion, resulting in our earth and universe. They concluded that all existing things are the result of that great explosion.
The very discoveries of Einstein should cause us to wonder at such a conclusion. We remember that Einstein came up with the famous theory E=mc2. The E in the formula represents “energy,” while the “m” represents “mass.” The “c” represents the speed of light, and we see that it is squared. This formula assures us that energy and mass are interchangeable. Mass is almost like frozen energy. Since the speed of light is a very large number we can realize that mass has an enormous amount of energy stored within it. It has been said that a kilo of mass can contain enough energy to launch the whole human race into space.* We can see this massive energy illustrated for us in the atomic and hydrogen bombs.
So the big question confronting physicists today is where this enormous energy came from— enough required to create a world and a whole universe. Men have known from Greek times that nothing comes from nothing. Physicists have come up with some very wild and “science fiction- like” ideas to explain this problem but all their theories seem to be lacking. We see that the answer to their dilemma lies in the Bible, the written word of God. Our world and universe were made by the spoken word of God and they are sustained by the same word. This helps us to see the incredible power of the word. We can say simply that when God speaks things happen.
THE WORD OF GOD BEST CORRESPONDS TO REALITY
Over the centuries the philosophers have come up with their ideas and formulas as to how we came about and how our world and universe also came to be. Both the philosophers and scientists have not really been able to answer the myriads of questions
The Bible and the Bible alone tells us where we came from. We were actually created by the loving God and we have the great distinction of being made in his image (Gen. 1:26). This information tells us that every human being is special and has an inestimable worth. Thus human life must be greatly respected. This idea is far removed from the current ideas of man’s origin. The scientists tell us that man simply came from slime. We are now beginning to see that postmodern humans are getting rather “slimy” in their relationships with one another.
Recently, Princeton professor and Darwinist, Peter Singer, expressed all this quite bluntly. He asserted that humanity has no uniqueness and that newborn humans are even of less worth than of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee.** Clearly, this reflects the great chasm that separates the Judeo/Christian viewpoint from evolutionary and other viewpoints regarding humankind.
In our society we are already beginning to reap a harvest from this cheapened view of humanity. Because humans are no longer looked upon as unique and as made in God’s image, we are beginning to see them exploited, abused and disposed of on a massive scale and in ways that were unthinkable just a few generations ago. In fact, the recent twentieth century was a sort of proving ground for many of these new humanistic and evolutionary ideas. In the last century while Communism, Nazism and other godless “isms” sought to prove themselves on countless battlefields, hundreds of millions of innocent human beings lost their lives in the process.
The Bible not only tells us where we came from, but it answers the other basic questions about who we are, what’s wrong with us, why we are here, and where we are going? The Bible assures us that while we were made in the image of God, we spurned that relationship and chose to live in our own selfish and sinful ways. Theologians call this the “fall of man” and they tell us that our “original sin” began here. The Bible tells us that all of us are now sinners (Rom. 3:23) and because of it we will die not only physically but spiritually (Rom. 6:23). The Bible tells us that we can only be saved and delivered by believing the word of God and by accepting his Son (Jesus) into our lives by faith and through the grace of God (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9).
So there is really something wrong with the human race after all. We have this constantly demonstrated to us by the many atrocities, mass murders, and other vile acts that are shown to us each day on television. This scenario regarding man corresponds perfectly with reality and with the word of God. The Bible tells us that this original sin of humankind also affected the earth and the very universe. We also have plenty of evidence of this in the many convulsions going on in the earth around us— things like storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes. We need healing and our world also needs healing. The Bible assures us that when we turn our lives back over to the Creator and believe his word we will be saved and healed. It also assures us that our world will be recreated and become a wonderful abode, a place of righteousness and peace (Rev. 21:1).
WHY ON EARTH HAVE WE SPURNED GOD’S WORD?
Why have we spurned God’s word? We have done so precisely because we are sinners. Today “sinner” is a bad word in our society. No one wants to be called a sinner, but the Bible tells us that’s exactly what we are. We have chosen our proud and selfish ways over God’s way. Even we Christians half-believe our philosophers and our evolutionary scientists. We are quasi-humanists in much of our thinking. We sort of believe that “man is the measure of all things” as the ancient Greek Protagoras said. We tend to believe our godless philosophers who tell us that there is no ultimate and eternal truth. Even our Christian young people are now trying to create their own “truth” and are deciding what is “right” for them wholly apart from the word of God.
Some of our theologians have cheapened the word, denied it and in some cases forsaken it entirely. What a mixed up mess we have come to be. It is time to return to the simple word of God, the Holy Bible. It is time to believe it, to love it, to meditate upon it, and to live it. It is not too late for we are still living in the age of grace. God says in his holy word; “…Return to me, and I will return to you…” (Mal. 3:7) God also says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
* Marcus Chown, The Quantum Zoo (Washington D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 2006).
** Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton IL, Crossway Books), 2004, p. 190.