#186 (19/06/05)
Once Upon All Time: Creation – Part 4

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

Gracia Burnham and her husband Martin were kidnapped in the Philippines by a terrorist group and held hostage for 376 days. On June 7th, 2002, Gracia was released but sadly without her husband. His life had been taken in a gun battle. Today, Gracia reflects on how she is rebuilding her life by God’s grace in her new book “To Fly Again: Surviving the Tail Spins of Life.”

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Sing to the Lord Creator "
" Yes, God is Good "

CCA CHILDREN’S CHORUS - "This is My Father’s World"
“The Heaven’s are Telling”
" Behold, God is My Salvation "

ALLEN ASBURY – “We Will Stand”

The Message

I am sure you've noticed that there is a lot of attention today in the media; on television, and in magazines about the conflict between creationism and evolution. And in this series of messages on Creation, I want to address this issue here and now, however briefly.

There does not need to be a conflict between intelligent people who endorse the process of evolution and intelligent Christians who endorse the Holy Scripture's account of creationism in Genesis 1. The key is to avoid extreme positions. Now I will be getting some criticisms for this message, but I know in advance that it is going to come from the extremists. Any time there is an issue; there are those who are the moderates in the middle. There are those who take an extreme position for the right and on the left are the extremists who take a position far to the left. Yes, there are extremists on both the right and the left. That's the problem in the conflict between evolution and creation.

I was taught in college and seminary there is a reality called evolution, and that's okay if you see evolution as a process but don't ever turn it into a philosophy.

And the extremists on the left choose to turn the process of evolution into a philosophy in order to support their agenda, which is atheism. Meanwhile, the extremists on the radical right take every verse and every word of Genesis 1, in the Bible and interpret it extremely literally when it was meant to be allegoric or figurative.

Science and Religion Both Search for Truth

Taught to be moderate, I am thankful for the great education I have had. When I was a student at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, it was listed among the top ten colleges and universities in America, along side Princeton and Harvard. And when it came to the subject of science and religion there was never a problem at Hope College, because both groups were in the same business of searching for truth, and then applying the truth to life. So I've always seen intelligent, humble scientists as partners in ministry, as together we seek to understand life and what it is all about. And so if you have studied in a liberal arts college, you are taught to respect not just your specialty, turning it into a god, but you are taught to respect all of life's realities in the departments of the humanities and the arts, as well as in science.

Live is Made Up of Facts, Mysteries and Faith

So philosophy, religion, psychology and tradition in history are reviewed very carefully and very respectfully. We never had a conflict at Hope College between science and religion. When something came up that was refreshing or new or presented as a new idea, it was reviewed carefully. I came through Hope College with an understanding that life is made up of facts, that you don't debate them (two times two is four). There are the facts, but also there are the mysteries, and the purpose of intelligent living is to discover the meaning of life¡¦s mysteries. And that is where faith comes in, facts, mysteries, and faith.

What we do know beyond a doubt, whether you are coming out of science, or the humanities, which is my tract, we have a world on our hands and we can't get rid of the argument. It is a world made of dirt, stone and sky. We have a world on our hands! We have a cosmos on our hands! We have a universe on our hands!

We have LIFE on our hands ¡K Where did it all come from?

Well, that's a good question, be humble as you listen to the answers. We have life on our hands! We're not just living on a universe made up of mud, sky, stone and planets. But in this mix there is a thing called life, miniature life, microscopic life, and human life, where human beings have the capacity to think, argue, debate, and make judgments and decisions. And when you bring all of life down to its beginning, it starts in a realm called "spirit." Ultimately it is spirit. Out of spirit comes life. It is true for humans. Yes, we have a world on our hands! We have life on our hands! We have a lot of mysteries on our hands, and we are living in an arena called "process." Life is a process and that is where evolution comes in. There is no doubt about that because you can see evolution in how a mixture of breeds can produce variations of live creatures. It can be evolution or devolution.

Evolution is a process. That is the way it was planned to be, but don't ever turn the process of evolution into a philosophy. Many of the extremists in the evolutionary camp lose their appreciable intelligence when they become dogmatic. Captured by an intellectual arrogance they lose their humility. Even as those in the extreme right in creationism lose my respect when they take miniature issues and turn them into a majority. You and I can't deny the process of evolution, but don't ever turn the process into a philosophy to try to create an excuse for atheism. Likewise, believers can be accused of creating a religion as a philosophy to defend their faith. Yes! We live in a world and there is life all around us. We live in the midst of evolution and creation.

The Bible was recorded over a couple of thousand years ago, and it is an amazing thing how the Bible has never been proven wrong. I remember in a class at Hope College, when we were discussing evolution, the professor said, "It is amazing how the Bible really unfolds creation in Genesis and it is the same process that evolution is telling how the world came to be. If the Bible was a man-made book and not a God-made book, here is how Genesis would read:

'God made a man and a woman. They were number one, the most important of all creation. Then God wanted them to have food to eat, so God created plants, fish and birds.'

The process would all start with the man and woman. That's human nature, but the human being is the last thing that God created in Genesis 1, not the first thing. Yes, it is a miracle that over two thousand years ago the creation account recorded in the Bible and science gives the same process."

Atheism has spread the past fifty years, primarily through Anthony Flew, the world's most prominent philosopher from England. It is an amazing story how he became the king of atheism, and how he influenced the hearts of the universities in this country and abroad. At the peek of his profession, 25 percent of the scientists were becoming atheists. But now today, closer to 80 percent of the scientists are becoming believers in Something. For many of them it is God, and for many it is Jesus. Flew has joined the believers, that is amazing. Science is bringing back faith in God!

The Human Being is Designed to Have Faith

The more I study the human being, the more I realize there was Something that created us. We are the only creature designed to have faith and designed to be creative.

Now the amazing thing is where did creativity start? In the Garden of Eden, wherever that was. Who started creativity? It was the Creator God, and He created a creature, unlike any other four footed, two footed, or flying creature, called the human being, with an instinctive, incurable addiction to a God out there. Like the salmon goes out of the river into the vast ocean, then at the right time, it manages to find the right stream to go back to where it was an egg, and there it bears fruit of its eggs and dies. There are theories, but no one knows how a salmon does that. It is built in nature, and the more we study nature, the easier it is, if we are humble, to believe in a Creator.

Is There a God?

So where does this lead? It leads to the inevitable ability of asking, is there a God? I remember reading about Simonides, that great philosopher, who centuries ago, was at that time called the wisest man in the world. And young people came to him to ask one question, "Simonides, what is God?" He had never been asked that question before and he said, "Give me a day to think about it, then come back." So they came back the next day and they said. "Simonides, what is God?" He said, "Give me a week to think about it." And they came back in a week and they said "Now, Simonides tell us what is God." He said, "I still don¡¦t know the answer. I need to think about it some more. Come back in a month." They came back in a month, "Simonides, what is God?" He said, "I need more time, come back in a year." So they came back after a year and again they asked, "What is God." And he said, "I am no further along in answering that question than I was the first day you asked me." This means, of course, that we ultimately depend upon revelation when it comes to spiritual knowledge.

When something is invisible and there is no tangible way of examining it through a microscope, a telescope, through chemistry, or mathematics, we come back to dealing with life¡¦s mysteries with a thing called faith. e HeH That's what life is all about ¡K facts, mysteries and finally faith. That's reality. It is not mythology.

I remember reading about an Arab who lived in a tent in the desert. He was known to be a believer in God and they came to him one day and said, "Why do you believe in God?" He said, "Because He walked outside my tent." "What? How do you know He walked outside your tent?" "Well, He has walked inside my life too." "How do you know it is God?" He said, "How do I know it was God and not a camel? I walked outside my tent. I looked at the footprints; I can see the footprints of God all around me all my life."

I say to you today, I see the footprints of God in nature. I see the footprints of God in you. You were born to be creative, and I see the footprints of God in Jesus Christ.

There is a beautiful scene in the Glory of Creation production being held here in the Crystal Cathedral this summer. The story opens with a little boy in a boat, with his grandpa, and attention is called to the stars, and the little boy asks, "Where do they come from, Grandpa?" There is a point in the story when Adam and Eve have eaten the apple and the beauty of creation collapses. After the fall, all of the light and sound and beauty of this place turns to deadness. It is shocking. The little boy sees what happened and says to grandpa, "Grandpa," speaking of Adam and Eve, "Grandpa, why did they throw it all away? I wouldn¡¦t have thrown it away ¡K what made them do it?" Then he looks up to what is known as the Presence, by this time you know it is God, and the little boy says, "God, why did You let them do it? If I were You, I wouldn¡¦t have let them do it." And the voice comes back and says, "Probably you would, if you love them as much as I do!" That is very profound. There is a God. He loves us, even enough to give us the freedom not to believe. And you are a child of God. You are a human being designed for faith. That is proof that there was a Mastermind at the beginning ¡K and He became a Savior called Jesus. Hallelujah.

Let¡¦s pray: Dear God, Thank You for the Bible. Thank You for Jesus Christ. Thank You for our faith. Thank You for the growth that is happening in our mind and in our spirit. Keep us close to You, Lord, that we can be the creative people You want us to be. Amen.

HOP Privacy Legal  
Designed by: Ultragraphics Ltd.