God gave us the book of Genesis.

God Gave Us the Book of Genesis

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

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God has given us the book of Genesis as miraculously revealed truth that is informationally accurate, authoritative, reliable, infallible, and relevant to understanding our origins; in other words, God has told us understandable truth about our origins in the book of Genesis. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.] 

Details in Scripture, including many “high definition” details embedded in Hebrew words and phrases, repeatedly demonstrate God’s communicative perspicuity, reliability, and genius. [Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Psalm 139; etc.]

In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ endorsed the books of Moses (which include Genesis) as authoritative, and indicated that we ourselves will be judged by how seriously we respect those Scriptures. [John 3:12; John 5:44-47]

The Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 teaches us a lot about important facts about creation (which occurred “in the beginning” – not “in a beginning”)—Who, what, when, etc. [Genesis 1:1]

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God’s creative works include creating physical stuff form nothing, creating animal nephesh life from nothing, and human spirits (made uniquely in God’s image) from nothing, as well as His creative shaping of physical stuff into physical bodies of humans, animals, plants, and other object on Earth and in the heaven – as well as His redemptive work of regenerating sinners who trust in Christ for salvation.  [Genesis chapters 1 & 2; Psalm 102:18; 2nd Corinthians 5:17]

Creation Week consisted of God creatively working for 6 normal days [yôm in singular; yamîm in plural], followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath); therefore, the so-called “Day-Age” theory, “Gap” theory, and all other departures from the Genesis cosmogony (of 6 normal days) are errors. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.]  The Day-Age theory (which includes the “progressive creation” variant of that theory) is false.  Also, the Gap Theory is false. 

Theories that evade the historical narrative character of Genesis, such as those which mischaracterize Genesis as if it was “Hebrew poetry”, are false cosmogonies.

Why do many teach an origins story that departs from understanding Creation Week as 6 normal days, followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath)?   Sadly, this is done just to accommodate secular mythologies.

Yet chronological information provided within Genesis (e.g., Genesis chapter 5) establishes a recent creation history (within an absolute range of 6,000 to 7,000 years of age), regardless of whether genealogies in Genesis are “open” or closed”.  [ Genesis 1-11, analyzed in www.icr.org/article/4124 ]

Theories that impute personification to “nature” (e.g., Darwin’s notion of “natural selection”) clash with the creation account reported in Genesis, because Genesis excludes animistic powers to natural forces.  However, it was God Who did all the “selecting”, for each of us to be (pro)created!Psalm139.13-16-FamilyHistory-slide

Bottom line:   God gave us the Book of Genesis, so that we can know what really happened “in the beginning”, i.e., so we can truly know about origins — such as how all of the physical creation originated, how animal life originated, how human life originated, how human sin originated, how human death originated, how redemptive hope (in Christ, as the prophesied “Seed of Woman”) for humanity was originally promised, etc., etc., etc.

PERSONAL ORIGINS MATTER: Reason # 119

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect [i.e., uncompleted]; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!  (Psalm 139:16-17)

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Personal Origins  Matter:   Reason  # 119

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CPEE

At the personal level we care about where we came from – our origins matter! This is true even for those who, in this fallen world, grew up without the benefit of knowing which “Daddy” biologically begat them, such as Jim O’Connell.

My mother’s name is Kathy, and my father’s name is Reproductive Sample No. 119. I am the son of a loving single mother and an anonymous sperm donor. I always knew the truth about my [genealogical] situation, so I never experienced anger or feelings of neglect – more simply, confusion. Throughout my childhood, I would daydream. Is he a football star? An astronaut? Perhaps a senator? Eventually, the daydreams gave way to a new conclusion: my father’s identity would forever remain a mystery.(1)

Would Jim O’Connell ever learn the identity of his biological father? Would he ever meet him, face to face? Did he really “not care at all” who his biological father was?

In the middle of high school, my mom’s computer pinged. A database built for connecting anonymous [sperm] donors and offspring reported a match. Overnight, a donor number turned into a name — a name with a picture and a profession and a willingness to meet me. That is, if I [was] interested. I was not interested. At 16, my interests boiled down to friends, school and sports; no room on the list for some guy who sorta-kinda-maybe might mean something to me. So I shut the door. With little or no reflection, I told my mom I never wanted to meet him. And that was that.(1)

But “that” was not that. After graduating from Wake Forest University in AD2013, and returning home to Tampa, Jim O’Connell had changed his mind.

Within a week, at the urging of a handful of very special Wake Forest friends, I wrote my dad an email. Paraphrasing only a tad, it basically said: “Want to get coffee?” We did. We talked about school, sports, his kids (my half-siblings) and his passion for medicine. It turns out he isn’t a football star, astronaut or senator. He’s a surgeon. Donating [sperm], he told me, helped him defray the cost of college and medical school. After a little while, we said our good-byes and wished each other well. … I [had] feared meeting my [father/sperm] donor. For so many years, I let fear and doubt dictate my actions. … What if he doesn’t live up to my childhood dreams?(1)

Jim O’Connell faced his fear and made contact with his biological father. Why?

Because origins matter. And our personal origins matter personally.

Yet there is nothing more personal than God creating each of us, to be exactly the unique person whom each one of us is. God is personal. And God personally made each of us. God chose to use unique genealogical histories–a multi-generational recipe blending people, places, and times—to make us exactly who we are.(2),(3)

If we really understand how personal God is, as the One who designed and made us who we are, we can appreciate and thank God for making us “fearfully and wonderfully”,(3) with the precise family history we belong to—despite how much that family history may demonstrate ancestral fallenness and failures.

Why? Because we would never have any life, much less the exact lives we call our own, without God’s multi-generational providences, in many intertwined lives, in orchestrating the critical procreations leading to the exact conceptions needed for our safe arrivals on planet Earth.(2)

References

(1) Jim O’Connell, “Facing my Fear and Finding my Father”, Wake Forest University Magazine, 64(1):100 (fall 2016).

(2) James J. S. Johnson, “People Yet to Be Created”, Acts & Facts, 43 (11):20 (November 2014), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/people-yet-be-created . See also James J. S. Johnson, “Of Grackles and Gratitude”, Acts & Facts, 41 (7):8-10 (July 2014), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/grackles-gratitude .

(3) Compare Psalms 102:18 with Psalm 139:13-17. These Biblical realities have been repeatedly illustrated in the lives I have interacted with, professionally, due to being a post-doc paternity establishment officer (a “CPEE”, certified by the Texas Attorney General’s Office) and a family history specialist (a “CNHG”, certified by the Norwegian Society of Texas).

PHOTO CREDIT (of newborn baby boy):  Houston Press