First and foremost the Christian faith affirms the
existence of God: ‘he who comes to God must believe that He is’ (Heb 11:6).
Moreover we believe in his eternal existence. ‘From everlasting to
everlasting, You are God’ (Ps 90:2). He created everything ex nihilo
(‘from nothing’), that is, not from pre-existing material: ‘The things which are
seen were not made of things which are visible’ (Heb 11:3). Though we now
experience disorder, sufferings and death, we believe that the creation was
originally perfect: ‘Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed
it was very good’ (Gen 1:31).
For what purpose did God make the universe? God created all
things for the manifestation of his own glory. ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to
receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will
they exist and were created’ (Rev 4:11).
The Bible’s teaching on creation contradicts the false
philosophies by which Satan deceives the world. Just consider the very first
sentence of Genesis: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’
This statement denies atheism (there is no God), because the universe was
created by God. It also denies pantheism (nature and God are the same),
because God is distinct from his creation. It denies polytheism (there
are many gods), because one God created all things. It denies materialism
(reality consists only of material things and forces), because God is before
creation. Finally it denies humanism (man is sovereign and human destiny
depends upon himself), since God, not man, is the first and highest reality.
The theory of evolution attempts to give an alternative
explanation to all existence. It is grounded upon a materialistic philosophy,
presupposing that reality consists only of physical things and forces. The
evolutionist cannot even consider the possibility of a supernatural
Creator. Because of his philosophical prejudice, he has no alternative but to
give an explanation of the universe and life in terms of physical forces, in
spite of all evidence to the contrary.
The problems evolution faces are colossal. If the universe
had a beginning, there was a point when it did not exist. How then can nothing
become something? We cannot escape the problem by saying that the universe is
eternal. Since its energy is being spent and becoming increasingly disorganized,
if the universe had been in existence from eternity past, it cannot exist still
in an organized form.
Besides, life shows unmistakable signs of intelligent design
far more intricate than anything written or created by human intelligence. How
can blind forces create the complicated mechanisms in plants and animals, and
especially of the human body and mind? If I consider a painting, a house or a
novel, is it not reasonable to infer the existence of a painter, a builder and a
writer, even though I may have never met them? By the same token, when I behold
the creation around me, is it equally logical to infer the existence of an
intelligent and powerful Creator.
Evolution is the philosophical foundation of today’s secular
society. Excluding the Creator from his thinking, man has usurped the place of
God. Modern man reasons: ‘Since everything happened by natural means, I am
accountable to no
one but myself.’ If there is no Creator, there is no Lord. Man becomes
autonomous, his own master. ‘What feels good to me’ takes the place of what God
commands in his Law.
The evolutionary mindset degrades human dignity because man
is considered as just another animal – more developed than others perhaps – but
essentially an animal. Evolution destroys the significance and hope of human
existence. It can offer nothing to the individual, except his return to the dust
to be recycled! The Christian worldview is altogether different. It views human
life as having dignity and everlasting value: man was created in the image of
God in order to know, love and enjoy his Creator forever.
The Image of God
We are God’s special creation. God created the world for us
and gave us dominion over it. Moreover God gave us the privilege to look upwards
to him, our Creator, in whose image we are formed. ‘Let Us make man in Our
image, according to Our likeness ... So God created man in His own image; in the
image of God He created him; male and female He created them’ (Gen 1:26, 27).
Naturally ‘God’s image’ does not mean a physical resemblance,
since God is spirit. Man resembles God because he was created wise, righteous
and holy. Though sin has wrought havoc in the beauty of this similarity, every
human being still retains something of God’s image in him (James 3:9). The full
glory of the likeness of God reappears in the restorative work that God performs
in his children. ‘Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true
righteousness and holiness ... put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge
according to the image of Him who created him’ (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10).
Body And Soul
We are made up of a material aspect and a spiritual aspect.
‘The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, (the body, the material
part), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (the spirit, the
non-material part); and man became a living being’ (Gen 2:7).
The Lord Jesus makes a distinction between the physical body
and the spiritual soul: ‘And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those
who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show
you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast
into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him’ (Luke 12:4, 5). If we consisted only of
a material body, nobody could do anything more to us after death. But since
after death God is able ‘to cast into hell’, it is evident that death is not the
complete destruction of man. The part that cannot be destroyed by physical death
is the soul, as Jesus informed us elsewhere: ‘do not fear those who kill the
body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell’ (Matt 10:28).
The theory of evolution considers man as a material animal
and nothing else. Because of the fundamental error, modern man must always
remain frustrated in his attempts to find fulfillment solely in material things.
Admittedly, we need bread to live, but it is equally true that ‘man does not
live by bread alone’.
God created us moral beings. We have the power of originating
action and voluntary moral choice. This differentiates us from inanimate matter
that is merely governed by the laws of nature, and from animals that are
controlled by their instincts. God created us with innate sense of right and
wrong. His moral law is written on our hearts. Our conscience bears witness
whether our actions are right or wrong. Therefore we are accountable to God for
all our decisions and actions.
Just as God commanded Adam (Gen 2:16) from the beginning of
creation, we are all duty-bound to obey his law. We must reject any theory,
whether religious or psychological, that views man as a mere puppet. We make our
choices in the light of conscience and reason, and though our decisions may be
wrong and sinful, we remain accountable for our choices.
We were not created to live in solitude. ‘It is not good that
man should be alone,’ God said (Gen 2:18). The second greatest commandment --
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matt 22:39) – highlights our social
dimension. Man was given a heart with which to love; a heart that yearns for
love. Of all social relations, marriage is the most natural and intimate (Gen
2:24; Matt 19:9); it is a reflection of the relationship between the Lord and
his bride, the church (Eph 5).
Fellowship with other people is important; of greater
significance still is our relationship with our Creator. The first and great
commandment reflects the essential purpose of our being: ‘You shall love the
LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
We were created to know, glorify and enjoy God forever. ‘As the deer pants for
the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for
the living God’ (Ps 42:1, 2). Augustine expressed this truth beautifully: ‘You
have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.’