Genesis

King & Kingdom in Genesis

This was written as an excursus for a chapter in the book The Words of the Covenant.

I am well aware of the view held by many respected scholars who believe that “the Kingdom of God” is the main theme of the Bible.1 But it must be admitted that it has not been an overarching theme of Genesis, and therefore of the first several thousand years of history. Though it may be rightly intimated from the image of God of Genesis 1:26-27, and the creation mandate of Genesis 1:28f., that man was to rule over the world for His Maker,2 the idea of a kingdom of God had not yet taken clear shape in the biblical text, especially from the time of the Fall.3

What we see, rather, is the story of fallen humanity moving away from their Creator and His program, and a providential counter-movement through Noah to Abram finalizing at some future point in a coming potentate from Judah. Hence, the kingdom theme emerges very gradually from the Hebrew narrative. Surely a more prominent theme has been the figure of the coming “Deliverer King”4 who is promised at the beginning and the end of the Book (Gen. 3:15; 49:8-10).

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From the Archives: A Wonderful Creationist Heritage

It is so important that we focus on God’s perspective concerning ultimate origins. Human theories, hypotheses, speculations and opinions come and go. But the God “who cannot lie” (NKJV, Tit. 1:2), who was there when the world began, has written a perfect book—the Bible—which He requires that we read and believe (Rom. 10:17).

Let us think, then, about the vital and blessed heritage that Christians enjoy as we understand the truths of creationism.

The Bible, God’s unique, inerrant, inspired, infallible written revelation, informs us that the world was not the product of some vague designer (to say nothing of time through chance by mindless evolution), but was the creative work of the Second Person of the triune God, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through Christ, the eternal Son of God,

all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers [different ranks of angelic beings]. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [hold together]. (Col. 1:16-17)

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The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis

In order to arrive at a Scriptural approach for interpreting Scriptures, the interpretive method must be exegetically derived from within the Scriptural text. Otherwise, there can be no claim to hermeneutical certainty, because any externally derived interpretive method can be preferred and applied simply by exerting presuppositions upon the text. In the case of an externally derived hermeneutic, presuppositions leading to that hermeneutical conclusion create a pre-understanding that predetermines meaning independent of the author’s intentions. The outcome, in such a case, can be wildly different than what the author had in mind.

If the Bible is merely a collection of ancient stories, legends, and myth, interspersed with mildly historical accounts, then the stakes are not particularly high. The greatest damage we can inflict by a faulty hermeneutical method is of the same weight as misunderstanding the motivations and activities of Mark Twain’s adventurous character, Tom Sawyer, for example. In such an instance we would simply fail to recognize the aesthetic virtues of a creative work.

However, if the Bible constitutes an actual revelation from God, then it bears the very authority of the Author, Himself – an authority that extends to every aspect of life and conduct. These are high stakes, indeed. If we fail to engage the text with the interpretive approach intended by its Author, then we fail not just to appreciate aesthetic qualities, but we fail to grasp who God is, and what He intends for us to do.

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New Year Thoughts on the Meaning of Life

A study by LifeWay Research several years ago found that 75% of the general population agreed with the statement, “There is an ultimate purpose and plan for every person’s life.” That number still seems surprisingly high to me. The same study found that 50% of those who never attend church services said there is no purpose or plan for human lives.

Though Christians are usually clear that there is purpose and meaning in life, many seem confused as to what exactly that purpose is. So my aim here is to answer what is really a pretty simple question:

What is the meaning of life?

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 1)

Creation & Communication

Without the creation of Adam and Eve the whole sequence of days which preceded them would be a rather futile exercise. If the sequence found in the Bible’s very first chapter is to signify anything as a sequence, it had to be an actual seven day sequence. Otherwise it is hard to see why ordinal numbers would be used to describe the process.

Also, without observers capable of recognizing and wondering after God’s wonders around them, God’s disclosure, and with it what we call theology, would be a moot: and so would everything else beyond the Divine Eternity.

God did not have to create to satisfy any longing within Himself. Although the ideas within the mind of the Creator which led up to Him becoming a Creator are not vouchsafed to us, we must realize that since love is communicative at its core, any creation by the God of love would be language-based. This is why the creative days lead up to man and God’s speaking to man. Man is communicative through language for the main purpose of talking back to God in love. A loving Creator will make a talking creature; someone to converse with and who will talk to Him. This is what human beings are. This is our status, our purpose in the world. Without mankind the world is just a great museum.

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Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 3

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

9. The days in Genesis do not have to be 24-hour days.

Why It Sounds Good

In passages like Zechariah 14:20, which talks of the day of the Lord, and 2 Peter 3:8, the word “day” is used for more than a twenty-four-hour time period and 2 Peter 3:8 teaches that, for God, a “day is like a thousand years.” Therefore, the Bible student is not tied to interpreting the Genesis account of “day” in a twenty-four-hour fashion.

Why It Is Annoying

It is true that the Bible uses the word “day” in many different ways. It speaks of day as twenty-four hours, as signifying a time period, as describing the difference between day and night. So, how would one know which use is being used? Context, always context. When Genesis 1 and 2 are examined, it can readily be seen that even it uses the word day in different fashions. But this is actually an argument against playing fast and loose with the word. For if the context itself indicates that it is using day in a different sense, then it will determine its own meaning. So how is day used in the passage?

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