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Genesis and Science

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  1. Genesis and Science

  2. What does science say about the origins of the world? 4KU

  3. Recap • Outline the creation story. 4KU

  4. How did the world come to exist? • Christians say God created the world and everything in it. The story of Creation is found in Genesis which means ‘Beginning.’ • According to Genesis God created humans as the final part of Creation. He created them in his own image – imago dei. • On the other hand some scientists continue to look for totally scientific explanations of how the universe began which does not rely on a belief in God.

  5. Chapter 1 of Genesis also teaches us that God’s creation was good. • What are the implications of this? • Anything wrong with our world is the result of what human beings have done. God gave people free will and at times they have used that free will to act in a harmful way.

  6. The Theological point of Genesis • God is the Sole creator. Genesis says that God is the only creator of the universe. God is the foundation of everything that goes on in the universe and his creative activity is seen in every part of the universe. • The universe depends on God. God not only created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing), but is continuously involved in its creation. • The Universe is designed by God. The Universe is not chaotic but orderly. God orders time as well as the life forms.. It is therefore God that is the source of meaning in the universe.

  7. A Personal God. Both creation stories in Genesis show that God is a personal God . • He is described anthropomorphically as walking in the Garden and speaking to Adam (Gen 2). • He is also a God of relationships: He created human beings to be in a relationship with Himself, and each other. • Humans are made in the image and likeness of God . (imago dei) Furthermore God’s putting humans in charge of His Creation implies that humans are God’s stewards- they have the power and the responsibility to maintain and control God’s created order.

  8. The Biblical Picture • Until the 18th century CE it was believed that Genesis 1 and 2 were scientific historical accounts of the origins of the Universe. It is now argued by many that these theological documents , were written at a particular time for a particular group of people. We need to understand the intellectual environment of these writers and the purpose for which they were writing.

  9. Are Christians and scientist in conflict Those Christians who see the Genesis story as a myth written for primitive people , have no problem accepting big bang theory. s V’ For them the big bang was God’s method of bringing the world into being. They agree with scientist that the big bang created the universes out of nothing.

  10. Can these Differences be reconciled? • Fundamentalist (Creationists) • NO! • Supporters of Creationism hold that since the Bible is the inerrant WORD OF GOD, its account of the Origins must be upheld and the evolutionary picture offered by science repudiated. • The account in the Book of Genesis is to be taken literally. Planet earth does stand at the centre of a comparatively young universe.

  11. Science • NO! • Scientists have developed their own theories to explain the origin of the universe (Big Bang Theory) and the origin of life (evolution). • This means that many would regard Genesis 1 and 2 as a piece of primitive literature containing ancient myths explaining creation.

  12. Liberal Christians • Yes! • Liberalists suggests that both scripture and science answer different questions and should be treated with respect, and interpreted with care.

  13. What do Christians say? • Some take the bible completely literally so… • The world is 6000 years old • God made it in 6 days • There is no evolution • There was no big bang • There were no dinosaurs

  14. What do Christians say? • Some say the Bible has some truth but was written a long time ago so… • There may have been millions of years between each day. • God did make the world. • There is no evolution or big bang

  15. What do Christians say? • Some say the Bible has to be accepted in line with science so… • God started the Big Bang • God works through Evolution.

  16. scs scs scs What do Christians believe about the origins of the universe? Millions of years old 6 days 6 very long days Bible completely true Some Science is true God works through Science World 6000 years old No Evolution

  17. Concordism • Some religious people have tried to make peace with science by suggesting that the Bible anticipates scientific discoveries • Gerald Schroeder a physicist and theologian says that they are “identical realities…described in vastly different terms” • Primacy of light (Gen 1:3) = reference to Big Bang? • Formless chaos = original gaseous state? • Creation of Adam from soil (humanity) = evolution from matter? • Six days of creation = six great geological eras

  18. Some say Concordism is both anachronistic and inaccurate • Anachronistic because it would suggest a scientific understanding for the biblical authors which none of the readers would have understood until the 20th century. • Inaccurate because it ignores the texts which are discordant with science. E.g. • Light and dark before sun and moon are created.

  19. God of Gaps • Some religious people try to make room for science by acknowledging its discoveries, but suggesting that there are still areas which remain a mystery. As science develops, these areas become fewer (earthquakes, volcanoes, storms etc are now seen to be natural not supernatural) but there will always be a gap between what we actually know and all that there is to be known. • This Gap is where God lives.

  20. Alternatives • Some Christians argue that there is no relationship between science and religion. They deal with different types of truth. • According to this approach science is not in the business of dealing with ultimate questions of life. It attempts to answer the “how” questions not the “why” questions.

  21. Homework - Tuesday Research the famous fundamental atheist Richard Dawkins, who protests that creationism should not be taught in schools. Why does he say this? Do you agree or disagree? What would a Christian say? 300 words please. Be prepared to read your work to the class.