First Things
A Common Sense Approach to Origins

Purpose or Chance?

World Views and Purpose: If the natural causes community is right, our world and our universe came into existence by chance. That means there is no purpose to our world or our universe. Because the natural causes community has taken the lead in the study of origins, there is a tendency to filter everything we know about our world and our universe through the filter of meaninglessness.

If, however, the Genesis account of creation is factual, then purpose comes into the picture and purpose plays a significant role in our understanding of origins. If, for example, Bible dating is correct, then six thousand years ago God created a universe that scientists tell us is ninety-two billion light years in diameter. That means from earth to the edge of the universe is as far as we could get in forty-six billion years traveling if we could travel at the speed of light.

Capability: Does the God of the Bible have the capability to create a universe that large in six days? The Bible says that is what took place. If the God of the Bible has the ability to create so large a universe and do it in six days, why wouldn’t he do it in six days?

Suppose someone wanted to build a new twenty-five story office building. Someone not familiar with modern construction methods and equipment might say that would take many years to build. Someone who has been building using modern construction methods and equipment might say, I can build a better building in two years at a lower cost. Who will get hired to do the job? If the building can be built in two years (even though it looks like it must have taken longer to people unfamiliar with modern construction methods and equipment), why would the owner want to take any longer than two years.

The point of this illustration is that it all depends on God’s capability. If he can do it quicker, why take longer?

Why So Big? If God is really only interested in the earth and the human beings that live on it, why would God create something so vast as the universe. The answer is found in the first verse of the nineteenth chapter of the book of Psalms where we read: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament (expanse) shows his handiwork.” In other words, this is God making a display of his power and ability so that we can have a better understanding of who he is.

What about the fact that powerful telescopes reveal planets and suns that are billions of light years away? The light that we are seeing would have had to get its start billions of years ago, wouldn’t it? Not if God’s ability allows him to create a light wave from a planet billions of light years away in an instant. Impossible? Sure it is to us, but so are a lot of other things in the Bible.

Why not create everything to look six thousand years old? Wouldn’t that be more honest?

Why do some people build faux antiques that look much older than they really are? Isn’t that dishonest? Not if they reveal the actual age of the antiques. There was a report that one antique store had a sign that read, “Antiques made while you wait.” No one saw that sign and believed actual antiques could be made while you wait. They understood the furniture would be made to look older by being beaten with chains or some other method so that the pieces would look antique. Why did they do that? Because people buy faux antiques.

A Project for a Time: According to the Bible, our purpose is to bring glory to God by worshipping and serving our creator. Suppose God decided he would make a universe within which he would create a world suitable for sustaining the lives of human beings so that those who believed in him and worshipped and served him could be his children and live with him in heaven. Suppose further that he decided this would be a six thousand year project. If that were true and a part of his purpose was to impress us with his capabilities by creating a universe, then the vastness of the universe would make perfect sense as would the Genesis account of creation.

Lots of Questions: Is there such a thing as eternal life? It seems impossible, but if the Bible is telling the truth, there is. Can God take a handful of dirt and create a living human being in a matter of minutes (or less)? This also seems impossible to us, but the Bible says that is what happened.

Can the sun be made to stand still for several hours? The Bible says God did that for Joshua and the people of Israel so that they could complete their victory over the Amorites. (See Joshua 10:12-14) What would be required for the sun to stand still? Would God simply say, “Freeze” to everything in the universe except for the children of Israel and the Amorites? It doesn’t seem possible, but then most of what the Bible says God did does not seem possible. Could the waters of the Red Sea part so that the Israelites could walk across on dry land? Could fire come down from a clear sky to burn up Elijah’s sacrifice? Could Jesus feed five thousand with one light lunch?

In or Out: Coming to the end of his life, Joshua called all of the Israelites together and challenged them with these words:

14 "Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV

Pascal’s Wager: Philosopher Blaise Pascal came up with a wager to convince people it is better to believe in God than to deny him. His point was that those who believe in God have nothing to lose if they are wrong, while those who deny God have everything to lose if they are wrong. He makes a good point. If the Bible is false, when we die, we will never know it. If the Bible is true, when we die most people will be in big trouble. The few of which Christ spoke will be delirious with joy! Since it is eternity in the balance, why chance it?