Presentation on theme: "Exploring God through the lens of the first things said about Him… GOD IS…"— Presentation transcript:
Exploring God through the lens of the first things said about Him… GOD IS…
How is God seen, described, and generally dealt with in our culture? Angry? Old man? Hateful? Loving? Uncaring? Not real? A lie? 5 minutes… WHO IS GOD?
Let’s start at the beginning… Genesis 1 Genesis means “beginning” What can we learn about God and who God is from this text? What does it say about His character? What does it tell us about life? What does it not tell us? Read Genesis 1 in your groups… Discuss for about 8 minutes… WHO IS GOD ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE?
Let’s talk about the obvious first… To evolve or not to evolve? No conflict between Christianity and science itself Christian worldview: God created with orderliness…this undergirds the entire scientific enterprise… BUT… The Bible is NOT a scientific textbook! Theological narrative written to reveal the God of creation and His relationship with humanity…Most go too far or not far enough… One’s view of creation per this argument should NEVER be a litmus test for faithfulness… Open and Closed hands WHO IS GOD ACCORDING TO GENESIS 1?
When? 1400 BC by Moses? Oral tradition passed down through Moses and written down later? Not exhaustive, but theologically selective (Satan? Angels?) Cultural or Biblical Issue? “Throughout the entire Bible, there is not a single instance in which God revealed to Israel a science beyond their culture.”—John Walton What does this say about God? Reread Genesis 1 through the eyes of a recently freed slave of Egypt… Take 5-7 minutes to discuss… WHO IS GOD ACCORDING TO GENESIS 1 ACCORDING TO THE ISRAELITES?
Every other creation story at the time was full of violence and conflict… Often, a battle occurs, a god defeats a primeval monster, splits it into and that becomes land and sky… Enuma Elish, Marduk, Tiamat, oh my! Always starts with something material… In Genesis 1, God creates BARA (from nothing) with WORDS Creates something from nothing, then He orders it (Hebrews 11:3)…He gives it purpose and meaning… If you were a Israelite, what does this tell you about God? WHO IS GOD ACCORDING TO GENESIS 1 ACCORDING TO THE CULTURE AT THE TIME?
Material vs. functional understandings of creation Material: Something “created” exists when it is created…like a chair Functional: Something “created” exists when it has a function in a system: like a grocery store only becoming a grocery store when it has groceries in it, when it serves its meant purpose… This is how they would have understood the creation narrative… And God “RESTING” would have meant that God was in His temple… Not to “rest,” but to take His place from which He would rule… Think back to KINGDOM last week and what Jesus will say later… WHO IS GOD ACCORDING TO GENESIS 1 ACCORDING TO THE CULTURE AT THE TIME?
God makes something out of nothing (slaves become kings, the poor become prophets, death becomes life) God is ultimately CREATIVE, not destructive God uses words (Jer. 1:9-10) Creation RESPONDS to God’s words Humans are the only things in the story that don’t (Jonah, Balaam’s donkey) God creates a space for things, gives them meaning and purpose It’s good! SO WHAT?!
If God makes things out of nothing, there is ALWAYS hope (2 Cor. 1, Romans 5) If God is ULTIMATELY creative, He wants what is good (Psalm 136:1) and we are primarily meant to create, not consume… If God is uses words to create, words are important…(James 1:26, 3, all of Proverbs) If Creation responds to God’s words, why don’t we? If God creates a space for things, gives them meaning and purpose, we will never be truly “exist” until we step into that (Acts 17) Jesus points the way (Col. 1, Eph. 1) and God is still creating… It’s good! It’s new! It’s blessing (Eph 1) Things work best when God is on the throne, reality works better! IMPLICATIONS…