Step 7: Glorify God by Choosing to Believe in Biblical Creation
Imagine being an artist of a remarkably beautiful painting which is a self-portrait. The signed image amazingly provides details of your most inward qualities. You are surprised by how many people view your painting with a disinterested glance, maybe a nod, and move on unchanged. But you are dismayed, even a bit shocked, as person after person gazes upon your painting and comments, “I wonder how this happened?”
Some viewers even criticize certain supposed imperfections. Many loudly question to all who will listen how this painting could have “arisen” with no purpose or meaning from the material canvas. You stand nearby but out of sight, listening and watching.
You discover from overhearing some murmurers that many people suspect that your signature is real but will not acknowledge your genius because they do not like you! Worse, because they think they know you—based on what others say —they hate you. And their loathing of you forces them to willingly entertain and loudly proclaim false ideas about the origin of your painting.
Despite the beauty of the image that should lead to admiration of the artist, most viewers seem convinced by the loud naysayers. You empathize with those who believe false ideas pressed upon them by those who knowingly suppress the truth. Sadly, though, you conclude all people are without excuse for not standing in awe at the creation of this painting. Your invisible qualities, your very nature, stands exposed, being understood from what has been made.
Now consider the living, creator God—the Artist of Life—who created human beings in his image to be fruitful throughout the earth. According to the Bible’s account of human creation, human beings were meant to live in a mutual loving relationship with their creator—and each other—reflecting his nature on earth.
Because of the rebellious transgression by the first image-bearing humans against the Artist of Life, all of creation was plunged into the bondage of corruption. As a result, many of The Artist of Life’s special creations today neither glorify him nor give thanks to him. For some their thinking has become futile and their foolish hearts are darkened. They claim to be wise, but they have become fools, exchanging the glory of their immortal being for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles. In fact, many the world over by following their own impure thoughts have exchanged the truth about their creator for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than God.
Our human tendency, it appears, is to exchange God’s truth for a lie. From the first chapters of Genesis to the last chapters of Revelation, we see in the Bible the results of one person after another exchanging God’s truth for a lie. And each time the exchange leads human beings to revere and serve created things, instead of God.
Exchanging the glory of their immortal being for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles. Revering and serving created things. This characterization of fallen man comes directly from the Bible and uncannily describes modern naturalists, especially evolutionists. Should Bible-believers be among them?
As an academic question, considering all the evidence at hand, it is entirely reasonable to reject evolution and to believe the creation account in the Bible is historically and literally true. But there is a more important reason for doing so than merely the result of a fact-based, scientific pursuit. A proper recognition of our creation before a living God—the Artist of Life—demands more than mere intellectual assent to the truth of our creation. Being convinced of our true creation by God in his image should drive us to glorify him and give thanks to him, worshipping him as the creator who is forever praised.
The Glory of God—how should we think about it? The Gospel Coalition provides this apt description:
The glory of God is the magnificence, worth, loveliness, and grandeur of his many perfections, which he displays in his creative and redemptive acts in order to make his glory known to those in his presence.
Creative and redemptive acts. Both truths exist as key pillars of the Gospel and both get obliterated by the theory of evolution. The former because evolution involves no intelligent creator, the latter because evolution lacks any concept of sin. It is impossible to believe in evolution as the explanation for the creation and existence of human beings and also to glorify God.
Creation and redemption lie at the heart of the Gospel, and remain crucial to any concept of the glory of God. The Gospel Coalition article continues:
The glory of God is interwoven throughout the biblical story and forms the origin, content, and goal of the entire cosmic narrative. God’s glory is the magnificence, worth, loveliness, and grandeur of his many perfections. God communicates his glory through his creation, image-bearers, providence, and redemptive acts. God’s people respond by glorifying him. God receives glory and, through uniting his people to Christ, shares his glory with them. And all of this contributes to his glory, as God in his manifold perfections is exhibited, known, rejoiced in, and prized.
A proper posture before God as our creator should evoke the response of the Psalmist in Psalm 139:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Words cannot capture the wide-ranging nature of God’s glory. Words like magnificence, worth, loveliness, and grandeur help. Despite Darwin invoking “grandeur in [his] view of life," anyone soberly contemplating the evolutionary narrative of death-driven change among meaningless life forms never gets close to words evoking the glory of God. Can we agree that bringing glory to God requires using the language of Scripture in celebrating God’s special creation?
We may question God’s workings, his decisions, his priorities, and even what appear to us to be unreasonable actions. After all, human beings are the only earthly beings who can question their own existence, including the nature of God. In fact, we find the narrative of the Scriptures shows a history of the creator God inviting his cherished image-bearers into a covenant conversation of identity and purpose. Questions, even what appear to be intractable questions, are merely part of this fascinating conversation.
Purpose, dignity, hope, contentment, true freedom, and life more abundantly: God desires we fully experience each of these aspects of what it means to be his image bearers on earth. In fact, each of these are gifts available to human beings to be realized in a full, personal relationship with our maker.
Are we not without excuse?
Let us not waste another moment entertaining any ideas that reduce our God-created, image-bearing human experience to a purposeless, dignity-denying, hopeless, discontented, un-free, and lifeless existence.
Let God have his glory.