We humans spend our lives creating. Some of us dabble in drawing, painting and crafts, while for others it’s writing poetry, books or playing music. But even those of us without any special talent shape the world we live in, in rather more ordinary ways. We create homes, where we try new recipes, put up wallpaper and plant flowers. We start businesses. We discuss new ideas. We write letters. We apply creativity to our bodies with clothing, hairstyles and exercise, and shape our minds by what we watch and read. God even gave us the ability to create new little people, more or less in our image, and then over the course of years to shape their lives.
Our creativity comes from God, who, Scripture says, created us in His image (Genesis 1:26).
That God is our Creator is an unpopular belief right now. The scientific world advances evolution, for which a Creator isn’t required. And what makes it so hard to argue with is that science has been so incredibly successful: it has made possible computers, life-giving medicines and space travel, among other astonishing things.
But science is unable to assure us that someone bigger than you and me is responsible for us being here: that God is behind everything, existed before everything, and all that we see around us is because, in the beginning, God created it.
This is much more than a mere statement of belief. Everything in our existence depends on God being the Creator. And without that, we cannot begin to understand the purpose of our life.
The physical world
I’ve often heard people say something like, “I feel closest to God when I’m in a lovely outdoor setting, at the top of a mountain or by a river.” There’s a good reason for that: it’s because God created us alongside the natural world, and no matter how much time we may have to spend indoors or in a man-made world like a city, raw nature still speaks to our spirits.
When I was a child, I sang a song that went, “The rain comes down with a pitter, patter, pit / Showing God’s great love . . . ” It’s an elementary way of saying what the psalmist said in grander style: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
If God created the natural world, and continues to communicate to us through it, then it stands to reason that we shouldn’t destroy the work of His hand. God made this environment for us to enjoy and use, not to exploit and ruin. God gave our first parents the rulership over “the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26). He added the seventh-day Sabbath (Exodus 20:11) as a weekly reminder to us to take care of the earth He has given us.
Ponder the variety of people on the earth—their differing colours, languages, body sizes, intelligence, attire, political and religious beliefs, ages, genders, levels of income, talents and abilities. Think of all the possible misunderstandings that can (and too often do) come between us. Why are we so inclined to fighting over our differences?
I believe it’s because we forget that we were created as one family by God. Evolution claims that we got here by chance, by survival of the fittest, which would suggest that we go ahead and fight, with the strongest and smartest subduing the rest. But if you believe in a divine Creator, there is no excuse to treat other people badly, whether within a family or between nations. When God created us, He also created an ideal way for us to get along, and it is our responsibility to practice it. In Jesus’ words, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:41).
In Mere Christianity, C S Lewis points out that “human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way.”1 This natural law, Lewis believed, was not merely a human invention, but is in fact an immutable law of the universe as our Creator designed it.
Lewis wasn’t the originator of that idea. The apostle Paul reminded us that there is indeed a moral aspect to the universe. “When the Gentiles [heathens] who do not have the Law, do by nature what the Law requires, . . . they show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness,” (Romans 2:14, 15) he said.
It isn’t just in Genesis that we see God creating: it is through all of human history.
We cannot be truly good without God. I know quite a few “good” people who do not acknowledge God, but I have no doubt that God is the One who designed the moral/ethical principles that they follow, and who gave them the strength to be good people even should they refuse to believe in Him.
Evolution is essentially immoral. It says that the strong should consume the weak. The loving Creator says, “Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
Deism is the belief that at some point in the past, God created the world, and then walked away from it. It was like winding up a clock. It says: God made it, started the pendulum swinging, and then stepped back and paid no further attention to it. The Christian doctrine of God, however, says that God continues to act in the universe for its good. God through Christ is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3) so that “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Which means God powers the universe in every moment of its existence.
So it isn’t just in Genesis that we see God creating: it is through all of human history. The Bible is an account of how God intervenes to keep His created world and His people operational. He listens to prayers, He guides us, He provides for us, He keeps the sun and the planets turning in space.
A lovely gospel song says,
“My Father is omnipotent,
and that you can’t deny.
A God of might and miracles,
’Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place.
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace.”2
When C S Lewis observed that human beings have a built-in conviction that they ought to behave in a certain way, he added that “they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it.”3 We need God to save us when we break His laws and want to be restored to His image. And because God created us in the first place, He can also spiritually recreate us.
The beginning of the book of Genesis describes how Creation happened, and how it came to be the mess we find ourselves in today, but really, can any of us understand how the infinite God spoke things of such complexity into existence? No more can we understand God’s recreation. We can’t plumb the depths of His grace that saves us from that mess either. But we know that the One who created is present and powerful to recreate us. Not only in the present, but after our bodies are dead, God can recreate us without sin, without death. The God who created all of those we have loved, who died in Him, will recreate them both body and personality at the resurrection, so that we can be with them again.
You cannot prove scientifically to the sceptic, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that creation happened exactly the way the Bible describes it. (Very little that has to do with faith is ever proven to sceptics beyond a shadow of a doubt). The only evidence you can offer of a Creator is your own personal confession of the Creator’s guiding, teaching and saving presence in your life.
And in that, you can speak with authority.
1. C S Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Collier, 1952) p. 7.
2. John W Peterson, 1948.
3. Lewis, ibid.