Preaching Christ through Creation
Richard Johnston

Looking at the design of creation leads men to a creator, but often only to a Deistic creator - a powerful but distant creator who set everything going, but who plays no continuing role (i.e. material causes are responsible for every effect according to foreordained "laws of nature"). In practice, this outlook opens the way to Empiricism - the examination of the creation without reference to the creator - the modern scientific mindset. Evidences about God's creativity - the science of origins - do not necessarily lead men to Christ: Islam, for example, is creationist.

Science, a product of Greek thought, is inherently speculative (1 Cor 1:18-31) and deals in generalisations, but history deals with events which either did, or did not, occur. The Hebrews had no science, and they acknowledged no secondary causes - no "laws" by which God operates the creation. The Scriptures show their very strong sense that God continuously and actively controls human history. Unlike idealist philosophies, and religions based on myths and legends, the Old Testament emphasises the importance of particular, real, historical events, such as the Fall, and the Flood, the Exodus, and the Exile. God wants men to give attention to these events. He foretells distant, specific events in detail, and invites us to compare God's ability to do this - for the most unlikely scenarios - with the corresponding inability of men and false gods (Isaiah 44:24-45:7). In this way God proves that there are no chance events. He is involved from moment to moment: not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father (Matt 10:29). On the basis of His awesome judgements in the past, especially - but not exclusively - the Flood, God points forward to the certainty of the coming judgement (2 Peter 3:1-13).

The many terrifying events and judgements recorded in Biblical history are there to make men aware of impending judgement, and to provoke their hearts to seek for a Saviour. Christ's life and work - all real events of history (1 John 1:1-3) - was forecast in surprising detail by the prophets, so that we might be in no doubt that He had come. In particular, they foretold his Resurrection from the dead. The truth of Christianity entirely stands or falls upon the veracity of this single historical event (1 Cor 15:14-18). On that basis, God commands all men to repent because of the coming judgement (Acts 17:30-31; also Acts 2:32 etc.). The Resurrection event lies beyond the scrutiny of scientific investigation, but not beyond the testimony of history! True history, not science or moral philosophy, is the testimony that leads us to Christ.

God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, is not only Creator (John 1:3), but Sustainer, Saviour and Judge (Hebrews 1:2-3). These attributes are intimately related to each other, as wonderfully revealed in Isaiah chapters 44-48, and all are necessary parts of the gospel. Creationists have generally recognised the importance of seeing Christ as our creator, mainly because an attack on this undermines the credibility of the early chapters of Genesis. However Christ's role as Him who "upholds all things by His word of power", and the continuing acts of God as judge and saviour throughout Biblical history - not just at the Flood - have not been adequately emphasised. Yet once the on-going pattern of judgement and salvation in historical events throughout Scripture is recognised, it has enormous potential to make men recognise the enormity of sin and the inevitability of judgement - "As you sow, so shall you reap" - and so, hopefully, their need of Christ.

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© Richard Johnston, 1998.

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This page updated 1 March 2000

2nd Creation Activists Conference 1998
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