Creation, Evolution, and The New Birth

Had some musings today about evolution and whether God “could have used it”, or “might have used it”, or “did use it” in bringing our world and our race into existence.

I have a new response next time that comes up in discussion.

The Bible tells us that this physical world is an extension of a spiritual realm, and that the physical is patterned after the spiritual and the temporal after the eternal.

Examples of this: marriage. Though marriage came before Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians, we read there that the marriage institution was patterned after the relationship Christ would have with his church: from the start, the physical relationship was patterned after the spiritual one.

We see the same thing in the tabernacle and temple of the OT. Concerning the tabernacle, Moses was told sixteen times to make it according to the pattern given him. God’s concern in this regard is understood when we consider that there were important spiritual realities that God wished to communicate through that physical construct; some of which can be seen in the book of Hebrews, where we read that there is a “tabernacle not built with hands, not of this creation” (Heb 9:11) that is greater than the physical one.

These are two of just a few that could be pointed out.

So if the physical is patterned after the spiritual, then wherever in our bible we see a spiritual reality connected to a physical one, we ought to consider the physical as an extension of the spiritual and not the other way around.

This is where creation comes in.

I’ve understood for a while that the Bible uses creation language when it comes to the new birth. 2 Corinthians 4:6 is foremost in my mind at the moment: “God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Paul is plainly referencing salvation, or the new birth, to creation. It was back in Genesis 1:3 that God said “Let there be light”. Here Paul uses it to describe the Christian conversion, where the heart is opened to see with the eyes of faith the glory of God in the person and work of Jesus. This is an act of God upon a person described elsewhere as a transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13), being made alive from the dead (Col 2:13-15), being once darkness and now light (Eph 5:8). This is just to name a few.

A common thread between all the analogies used to reference salvation is that it is an instantaneous event. There is a stark contrast. You were this, now you are this. Notice there is no mention of a journey or process in between. Crossing from death, from condemnation to justification, from death to life happens in a moment, and that is the consistent testimony of the New Testament.

So then. If there is indeed a scriptural precedent for connecting God’s action in the physical creation to the spiritual reality of the new birth; then we ought to consider the spiritual birth as the precedent for the creation event, and when we do so, we are left with no room for anything other than a spontaneous creative act.

No process. God said, and it was.

There was no light, then there was light.

And if the first “and God said…” was a spontaneous creative act; then there is no reason to believe any of the others were any different. Land, sea, fish, birds, plants.

I hope I can look further into this connection in the future. I want to divide scripture rightly, and so at this point I am just hypothesizing, but it is worth digging here because I think this is legitimate. Looking forward to spring break, maybe I’ll get to chew on this more then…

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About kalebpenner

Romans 1:16 - I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe! Oh Lord, give me the right to speak that verse with a clear conscience like Paul could. View all posts by kalebpenner

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