Friday, October 25, 2019

Sermon Starters: Know Thy Frog DNA

Houghton College Chapel: 10/25/19

Text: Genesis 1:1-5

  • I used to have the role Dr. Sarah Derck has here. Every once and a while I would get a question from the parent of a prospective student. "What do you believe about evolution? What is your interpretation of Genesis 1?
  • I would usually answer two things: 1) God did it and 2) the Bible is true.
I. "All truth is God's truth."
  • When it comes to these sorts of issues, I strongly believe in an old saying: "All truth is God's truth." If you find something that is really true in one area (e.g., business), then it's going to fit with something that is really true in another area (e.g., music). Truth is what God thinks, and God thinks about a lot of things in every area.
  • So if something is true in science, it's going to fit with the truth of Scripture.
  • One big problem is that we always seem to assume that the problem is with the understanding of science and not with my understanding of Scripture.
  • We are inevitably a mixture of stuff that is really there and stuff that is really tradition, or culture, or just the fact that we are weird.
  • Matthew doesn't say there were just three wise men. Some people will get very upset with you if you tell them.
  • Jurassic Park - they mixed frog DNA with the real dinosaur DNA. We all inevitably have some frog DNA in our faith.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 - the foundation is Christ. We build stuff on him--some gold (Apostle's Creed) but also some grass (not least because you're weird).
2. Let's look at the Genesis text.
  • Genesis 1:1-2
  • I see three main take-aways: 1) God did it, 2) God did it alone, and 3) God brought order out of chaos.
  • Debate about the rest. For example, many think this is God creating out of pre-existent chaos like in the Enuma Elish or Greek Theognis.
  • I tend to read it with what I consider golden Christian glasses. Creation out of nothing (ex nihilo). Creation out of empty set! It implies that God is omnipotent and omniscient.
3. Beware of staking your faith on any one interpretation or conclusion of science.
  • Beware of the "God of the gaps."
  • Beware of the "evidence demands" approach of a certain apologetic. It is ultimately about faith and God is the one who gives us the power to have faith.
  • Having said that, it is fun to read these verses with a view to some modern science.
  • Big Bang - suggests there was a beginning. Many twentieth century scientists resisted this conclusion, including Einstein. Fred Hoyle.
  • Genesis 1:3 - author of Genesis didn't have anything like what I'm about to say in mind, but perhaps God smiled at the thought of CBR 13.8 billion years ago.
  • Fine tuning of universe: expansion just right not to rip or crunch. Just right for the right proportion of helium and hydrogen. Just the right asymmetry between matter and antimatter, just the right balance between the forces.
  • Francis Collins suggests this really only leaves two possibilities: creation or the multiverse. Both require faith.
Romans 11:33-36

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Well done. Thanks!