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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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ORIGINS

The matter of origins … is absolutely critical to all human thinking.  It becomes critical to how we conduct our lives as human beings.  Without an understanding of origins, without a right understanding of origins, there is no way to comprehend ourselves.  There is no way to understand humanity, as to the purpose of our existence, and as to our destiny.  If we cannot believe what Genesis says about origins, we are lost as to our purpose and our destiny.  Whether this world and its life as we know it evolved by chance, without a cause, or was created by God, has immense comprehensive implications for all of human life.

(John MacArthur, Creation: Believe It or Not, Part 1)

 

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7 Responses

  1. There’s more than one origin story in the Bible; Psalm 74 refer to another origin story; one where God destroys the mighty sea serpents and feeds it to the creatures of the desert. If origins are so utterly important, why is this other origin story ignored entirely?

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    • In this Psalm the psalmist complains of God’s seeming desertion of His people, and appeals for aid, encouraging himself by recounting some of God’s mighty deeds, and prays on the ground of God’s covenant relation to His people, and the wickedness of His and their common enemy. It is not another creation story. It is an appeal to God’s power and glory for assistance in time of need.

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      • Or perhaps the Psalmist is recounting the origin story he was taught to believe – that God has slain a serpent in order to create the world.

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        • Very imaginative but very poor exegesis!

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          • Sometimes the simplest explanation is the most likely one, after all, Young Earth Creationists, Day-Age Creationists, Intelligent Designists, Guided Evolutionists, etc. weren’t around in his day and age. I sometimes wonder if they gave it any thought at all or if they never did has they had bigger fish to fry.

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            • May I suggest you read Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul?
              http://www.ligonier.org/store/knowing-scripture-paperback/
              It is a small but excellent book to assist in Bible study.

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              • I’m not really a fan of R.C. Sproul; he’s no Saint Paul.
                In the ancient world, there was no shortage of origin stories, some of these stories were co-opted by other religions, their details were changed around somewhat. There was one group, for example, who taught that God created Adam wife #1 in Genesis 1, and wife #2 in Genesis 2 when #1 had left the picture. There are some who point to the serpent as being the hero, rescuing people from a God who wanted to keep them child-like forever by keeping knowledge from them. Likewise, various religions had some version of a creation account as a battle between order and chaos; the latter was represented by some form of sea serpent with the deity representing order. Ignoring the cultural fingerprints of the Bible doesn’t serve us well; as it causes us to miss essential truths of God’s story; how he’s not just creator-God, but chaos-destroyer-God, too.

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