In preparing for Genesis 1 I have been reading John Lennox’s book - Seven Days that divide the world. Lennox is a professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and an apologist for the Christian faith. He is an excellent communicator and has debated with Richard Dawkins who is a renowned atheist. He says of Dawkins :- “One of Richard Dawkin’s main God Delusion arguments is that if God created everything, we would have to ask who created God. But the very asking of this question reveals at once that Dawkins has in mind a created God. However, the God revealed in Genesis is uncreated so that the “who created argument falls to the ground. Dawkin’s difficulty must be that he cannot believe in something eternal. Why not? Science certainly does not tell us that there is nothing eternal. Furthermore if Dawkins question is valid, it can be turned back on him. He believes that the universe created him. Therefore we are justified in asking him: who created your creator…. Thus for the atheist the ultimate reality is the universe and for the theist the ultimate reality is God.” Pg 95
As with any Bible passage we have to first understand the intention of the author to understand the original meaning and context and then interpret it correctly. Genesis was not written to answer our contemporary science questions though there are many implications for science. We see in chapter 1 a God who creates the world out of nothing and there is an order and pattern to the world. In fact this order in creation gives rise to science because the material world can be explored because it is not random but is created to a design and is predictable. Scholars have long pointed out that the world in which Genesis was written had many other explanations of how and why the world was created. We believe that Moses wrote Genesis (John 5:45-47) and Israel had just escaped the polytheistic world of Egypt and was moving towards Canaan and it’s neighbours with their mythologies of how their gods had love affairs and warfare and these interactions led to the creation of heaven and earth. Genesis against this background says that there is one God and He made everything from nothing and that He is separate from his creation and He has a good purpose for it. Within pagan mythology the creation of humans was for the purpose of being servants of the gods but the God of Genesis has a grand purpose for people. He has provided the world for us so we can be fruitful and multiply and care for it and also have a relationship with God because we have been created in His image. Our God is wonderful and the teaching of Genesis that we are created in His image gives purpose and dignity to our lives. We should be uplifted that being made in God’s image means that life with God is meaningful. God’s Blessings.
Rev David O’Mara