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Calvary Ranked in the Top 15 Bachelor’s Ministry Online Programs in the Nation

Calvary Ranked in the Top 15 Bachelor’s Ministry Online Programs in the Nation

CU ranks in the top 15 online ministry degrees in the nation

Calvary University’s graduate Ministry and Pastoral Leadership programs have once again been recognized among the nation’s best.

“Like other BDC rankings,” according to BDC, “editors began by researching accredited ministry, religion, and bible degree online programs in the US. This process included schools with regional accreditation and accreditation by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. From our initial list, all schools were ranked according to five equally-weighted criteria: Cost, Reputation, Graduation Rate, Employment Rate, and Alumni Salary. Data was taken from College Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.

With these parameters, readers can trust that BDC has ranked programs that will have a real return on investment, providing opportunity to grow in leadership and faith while enhancing a career with meaning.”

Calvary Student to Spend Semester in Greece

Calvary Student to Spend Semester in Greece

Almost a year ago, Calvary entered into a partnership with Greek Bible College in Athens to allow our students the opportunity to spend up to year studying abroad in Greece. This partnership came on the heels of recent opportunities that Calvary has had to take students on tours of the biblical sites of Greece and walk in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. For the Fall semester of 2019, Elise Godsey (Intercultural Studies/ELL major) will be stepping out to take advantage of this opportunity and spending a semester in Greece, these are her thoughts...

“My name is Elise Godsey and I am a sophomore here at Calvary University majoring in Intercultural Studies and English Language Learner. I just started attending Calvary in January, for the Spring 2019 semester, and I already am beyond blessed by this college! I learned about Calvary at the beginning of Fall 2018, while I was attending my community college, and I was encouraged by Calvary staff to go ahead and apply to start attending right in January instead of waiting until the next year, and I am very glad I did because I have already had so many wonderful opportunities and experiences here.

Elise is second from the left.

While I was exploring the Calvary website last Fall to learn more about it I also learned about the opportunity to study abroad at the Greek Bible College in Athens, Greece. This really caught my attention and I instantly knew that I would love to have that opportunity. When I came to visit the school at the end of September, I was told that this study abroad opportunity was brand new and no one had done it yet, and this just made me all the more excited to pioneer this new program at Calvary!

I will be attending the Greek Bible College for the Fall 2019 semester, and I will be taking 3 classes that will directly transfer into the biblical studies part of my planner. The fourth class I take will be New Testament Greek, and that will count as an elective. It is so wonderful that I am getting to complete these Bible class requirements in a land of the Bible!

This chance to go attend college in Greece is one of the many reasons that I chose to attend Calvary, and I am so thankful that I will get to do it and for all the help I am receiving as I get ready! I am beyond excited to see what the Lord has planned for me to learn as I study there and for the ministry opportunities I may get as well! I appreciate your prayers as I embark on this new adventure in my life!” – Elise Godsey

More Information on this opportunity can be found here: Burnham Center for Global Engagement

The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 4

The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 4

How important is a literal creation account for one’s theology? If the creation account were not literally true, it was either just Moses’ conjecture or it was a myth he repeated. If what we read in Genesis 1–11 were not literally true, what difference would it make for us a Bible-believing Christians?


Other Doctrines 

Other doctrines under assault today, either through denial or distortion, are mentioned in the Creation account. For example, a literal Creation account is essential for an orthodox understanding of Angelology/Demonology – what we understand about Satan and his influence on people today.

  • Genesis 3:1a – “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said . . . ?”

Is there a literal enemy of our souls? The creation account says there is. He was a deceiver then and the other Scriptural authors and orthodox Christianity acknowledge the Creation account that “Satan is [still] alive and well on planet earth”—to use the title of a book by Hal Lindsey (Lindsey 1972).

  • John 8:44a – [Speaking to the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus says,] “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. . . .”
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3a – “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness . . . .”
  • Revelation 12:9a – “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world . . . .”

While there are many today who claim to be Christians but their actions demonstrate that they most likely are not, there are many who will fall to Satan’s deceptions today—true believers being deceived by Satan or people thinking they are practicing true Christianity but are merely following “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). For example, an Australia-based group, Christalignment, was in the news this year because of its marketing of “Destiny Cards”—tarot-like cards for “Christians.” On a website advertising their events they say . . . .

  • The Christalignment team, based in Melbourne, Australia are trained spiritual consultants, gifted in various modalities. We practice [sic] a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ spirit. We draw from the same divine energy of Christ, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the Third Heaven realm to gain insight and revelation (Christalignment 2019).

We must also acknowledge that a literal Creation account is essential for an orthodox understanding of three doctrines essential to our understanding of the Gospel: Hamartiology, Christology, and Soteriology – what we understand about Sin, the Savior, and Salvation—the Gospel message.

  • Genesis 3:4 – “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”
  • Genesis 3:7 – “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”
  • Genesis 3:15 – To the Serpent God said, “‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.’”
  • Genesis 3:21 – “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”

With these three doctrines we have definitely moved beyond the 6-Days account of Creation, but we must briefly affirm that our conclusions concerning these areas of truth are grounded in a literal understanding of the Genesis record.

What Christianity has taught in these areas has been built upon the Genesis account. First, sin is real and a real person, Adam, committed the first sin which has forever poisoned all people from him on.

  • Romans 5:12–15 – “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”

Not only does Genesis teach us about sin and its consequences, it also points us to the solution: a “seed” of the woman who will defeat Satan and the effect brought about by Satan’s deception of the humans. Throughout Scripture the emphasis upon the necessity for and the prophecy about another, literal “man” who will provide the solution to the human condition is affirmed with Creation account wording.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:21–22 – “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:45 – “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”

In the last verse Paul is quoting from Gen 2:7. Man, people, have a problem which only another man, a perfect man—Jesus—can solve! Time hinders us from looking at the many other passages which quote and allude to the Creation account when speaking of these issues. And the discussion of these passages are predicated upon a literal understanding of Genesis.

There is so much more we could talk about but do not have the time. For example, we must include the Creation account when we seek to understand Pneumatology: what we understand about the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2 – the “Spirit God moving over the surface of the deep”).

We must study the Creation account when we want to think more fully about Soteriology/Sanctification specifically: what it means to “rest in the Lord” with a “Sabbath Rest” principle.

  • Exodus 20:8–11 – “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God . . . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”
  • Hebrews 4:1, 5 – “Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. . . . For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’”). 

And that leads us to a final area of doctrine to which the Creation account speaks: Eschatology—what we believe about what is to happen in the future.

  • Revelation 22:1–3 – “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.”

The “new heaven and new earth” in eternity will be an Eden-like existence. But should this all be understood to be figurative or literal? Will the “tree of life” be literal? Will the “healing of the nations” be literal? Will our eternal bodies and Jesus all be literal? How we understand the Genesis account—literal or figurative—influences our conclusions about Eschatology.


So what’s the problem, theologically speaking, if the creation account were not literally true? Orthodox theological beliefs are predicated on a literal creation account.

I believe that Christians must ask and have a good answer for why they so readily believe and hold to a literal Creation account in some areas of their theology yet hesitate or totally disregard a literal account in other areas? And if the rejection of a literal Creation account has led us to some significant problems in other doctrines, when and how long will it take for a move away from a literal understanding affect all areas of theology? We are constantly being pressured by the enemies of our souls with the deception he used in the beginning: “Indeed, has God said . . . ?” (Genesis 3:1).

A literal Genesis needs to be preached—and all the theology it contains.

The younger generations especially are not believing in a literal Genesis, and this has great implications for the Church! May we preach and teach the Creation account as God communicated it to us—as a literal account of truth.

(This is a 4-Part series. See Parts 1, 2, & 3 here and here and here.)

Reference List

  • Christalignment. 2019. “Christalignment Readings.” Spiritual Events & Directory. Accessed February 7, 2019.
  • Lindsey, Hal and Carole C. Carlson. 1972. Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 4

The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 3

How important is a literal creation account for one’s theology? If the creation account were not literally true, it was either just Moses’ conjecture or it was a myth he repeated. If what we read in Genesis 1–11 were not literally true, what difference would it make for us a Bible-believing Christians?


Anthropology (Part 2)

 Next, God through Moses says that by creation men and women are designed to relate in unique ways. By creation our different sexual identities entail inherent destinies: men as males were created to relate (act) in the world and in relationships in ways unique from how God designed women to relate (act) in the world.

Of man, God said,

  • Genesis 2:15 – “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
  • Genesis 2:18–19 – “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.”
  •  Genesis 2:23 – “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’”
  •  Genesis 3:20 – “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”

 Man was created to initiate, oversee, order, and lead the accomplishment of God’s will in the world. Even after the Fall, Adam continued to bear the responsibility and authority in human relationships: “naming” rights indicate inherent authority over that which is named. And God created the woman to support and compete the man—she was not designed to be a “clone” of the man: doing all the same things man was designed to do. Rather, as the “suitable” “helper” woman was created to complement the man by doing different things that complemented the man and completed the image of God in people.

We are aware that many even in the Evangelical Church dismiss the Old Testament and the created ordering of human relationships described in Genesis 1–2 as a reflection of how people lived in a decidedly different world than ours. But even then one must wonder where the relational differences seen throughout history and all over the world came from—men and women in all cultures and all times have consistently related as described in Genesis 1—2.

As we look at other biblical authors writing in different times, we observe that they continued to affirm the Created intent for male—female relationships as described in Genesis 1–2.

  •  1 Corinthians 11:3, 7–9 – “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. . . . For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.”

 While the specific meaning of these verses is debated, it is obvious that Paul is basing his argument on a literal Creation account. And if those verses are not difficult enough, Paul clearly argues in 1 Timothy 2 for the unique relationships between men and women in the Church Age because of what he reads in the Creation account in Genesis.

  • 1 Timothy 2:12–14 – “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

 The discussion in the church today about these verses in 1 Timothy seeks to understand Paul’s meaning by looking at the context of the church at Ephesus, at the culture of the Greco-Roman world, at the experiences of giftedness and “calling” that women claim to have for teaching and leadership, even at Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:28 (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”) as if those considerations should guide the understanding of what Paul was saying in 1 Timothy 2—how God wants men and women to relate together. But in employing this methodology for discovering Paul’s meaning here, they are using the same methodology as the Theistic Evolutionists do with scientific worldview and the Genesis account: reading and understanding what is says in the Bible through the “gird” of the current conclusions of science—the conclusions in contemporary culture. But Paul argues his position concerning proper male—female relationships in the Church from the understanding of a literal Creation account—to know how man and women should be relating in the Body of Christ, look to Genesis 1 and 2.

In 1 Timothy 2 Paul is arguing that the Genesis account taken literally reveals the proper ways for men and women to relate to each other in the Body of Christ. And when we depart from that understanding, we depart from an orthodox Anthropology.

Another significant area of anthropology we must observe from the Creation account in Genesis is that of marriage. While we could talk about the issue of same-sex marriage—and we must and can—I want to raise another topic which is not spoken of much anymore—because this is an issue the Church has long since moved away from the teaching of a literal Creation account. I am thinking of the nature of marriage: it is to be life-long; divorce was never a part of the Creation intent.

We read in Genesis 1 & 2 of a perfect relationship between men and women, and specifically, men and women in the child-producing relationship of marriage (meaning, “be fruitful and multiply”). By Creation, God intends husbands and wives to live a totally transparent relationship.

  • Genesis 2:24–25 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

While we debate Moses’ “decree of divorce” in Deuteronomy 24, it is obvious that Jesus saw in the Genesis 2 account God’s created intension of the life-long permanence to the marriage relationship. Matthew records that Jesus’ response to the question of the religious leaders concerning divorce went right to the Creation account; Mark’s account

  • Matthew 19:3–6 – “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?’ And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”
  • Mark 10:2–9 – “Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’ But Jesus said to them, Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”

In other words, Jesus is saying, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it for me. No need to even have a discussion of what Moses’ decree and the Jewish ‘exception’ means! It is all irrelevant to the question, for God ‘said’ in Creation that marriage should be life-long with no divorce.” I fear that the majority of Christians no longer hold to a literal understanding of the Genesis account on this point. Instead we lay our cultural context alongside the Bible and come out with less than what God said literally about the nature of marriage in the Creation account.

Before we leave Anthropology, we must think about “the elephant in the room” today—gender issues in light of the Creation account. A non-literal interpretation of what the text means when it says, “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27) has led many “Christians” to flirt with acceptance of homosexuality, transgenderism, and any self-identification other than male or female. One example of this theological drift now moving into the Evangelical Church is the now annual “Revoice” conference held in St. Louis at a PCA Church with faculty from Covenant Seminary as some of the presenters. The purpose statement on the website for this year’s conference reads (Revoice 2019):

Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other gender and sexual minority Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.

  • Genesis 1:27 says that God created mankind as male and female—as only two different personhoods. To be created means to be inherently designed for a unique purpose. From cellular biology we learn that males and females are different not just by reproductive systems but all the way down to the cellular level—every cell in the body operates as a male or a female, and there are only two options for one’s sex and they cannot be changed by surgery.

In Genesis 2 and then affirmed throughout the rest of Scripture, God explains the unique roles / purposes that males and females were designed to accomplish as they image God in His Creation. It is “moronic” thinking to imagine that you could “exchange” your sex (cf. Romans 1:22–24).

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man . . . . Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

As Grudem has rightly observed in his book Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? (2006), once you start changing the biblical roles of manhood and womanhood you are on the path to a gender-confused society—first feminism and emasculation, then homosexuality and transgenderism, then any perceived permutation of gender imaginable.

This is exactly what is happening in our world at an alarming speed. If pastors fail to teach the Creation truth that males and females are different—designed for different roles in Creation—then even the conservative church will, in time join the broader culture in this practical outworking of the rejection of a literal Creation account. When we fail to take the Creation account literally, our understanding of Anthropology becomes heterodox.

(This is a 4-Part series. See Parts 1, 2, & 4 here and here and here.)

Reference List

 Grudem, Wayne A. 2006. Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 Revoice. 2019. “Revoice 2019.” Accessed February 7. 2019.


Student Reflections on Wayumi

Student Reflections on Wayumi

This is a followup to a previous article. Calvary Students Learn About Tribal Church Planting/

My name is Josiah Stout, and I am currently in my second semester at Calvary pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Intercultural/ELL studies. Going to Wayumi over spring break was a fantastic opportunity to get hands on experience in cross-cultural ministry, specifically tribal church planting. What a great time it was: traveling, spending time connecting with friends and missionaries, learning about the nuts and bolts of work with Ethnos 360, hiking in the woods and staying up all night—take me back! Truly, I believe God spoke to each of us individually on this trip in ways that will make a lasting impact.

Since a significant amount of time was spent traveling to and from Jersey Shore, PA, our group had fun entertaining ourselves through stories, active games, snacks, music and exercise (yes, all on the bus). On the trip back however, sleep became the more desirable option. Certainly, a lot of the fun that came with the trip was involved in this small, communal, 16 hour bus ride. Although experiences by themselves may be impactful, the friendships make them all the more worthwhile and meaningful.

The Wayumi campus was extremely beautiful and had a number of trails that zigzagged behind the buildings and up into the tall forests. Our group enjoyed walks alongside a wide creek that flowed along the boarder of the property. Some smaller streams ran off the trails and waterfalled their way down into the larger creek. I’m sure you can get a picture of how nice it was to explore and relish the beauty of the nature surrounding us. A great deal of our free time was spent hiking, including an adventurous 2:30-3:30a.m. hike our last night there. Still, had our group come for the scenery alone we would not have fully enjoyed our time there.

Breakfast ranged from 7-7:45 each morning, with the first class beginning at 8. Greg and Steve Sanford were the two instructors for the entire week. Both brothers were tribal missionaries in different parts of Venezuela, Greg to the Yanomamo tribe and Steve to the Joti tribe. Their sessions consisted on how to handle each step in the process of planting a thriving tribal church. This includes pre-field training, arrival on the field, tribal allocation, language and culture dedication, pre-teaching, evangelism, the developing church, and the continuing church. This is an estimated 25-year process if all goes smoothly. Before the gospel can be shared, missionaries must learn the language AND culture of the tribe. This is a very time-consuming process, consisting of 8-9-hour days for 2-5 total years. Long as it may seem, Steve and Greg ensured that there are no regrets!

Our group had the chance to enter a demo-village and practice language learning acquisition with a Yanomamo lady (Greg’s wife). The setup was very real and initially startling! Sitting next to a woman communicating with me in a different language left my mind racing for words that did not exist in my vocabulary (not to mention her appearance was strikingly different). We had each been given a clipboard with a list of English words along with the Yanomamo phrases for “hello” and “what is it?”. Our objective was to write the Yanomamo translation for the English words. We did this activity twice, first focusing on getting the sounds written down and secondly focusing on using the proper phonetic alphabet in our translation. It was so fascinating…and a lot to learn!

Learning how differences in culture affect communication and Bible translation was a big emphasis. Words and concepts such as grace, love, believe, king, law, Pharisee…etc. do not exist in many tribes. Therefore, the translators are challenged: trying to explain these terms without adding or taking away from the original meaning. For our demo activity, we had the challenge of translating Matthew 2:1-11 and Romans 6:1-5 for a tribe of Grade School English speakers who think like tribal people. There was a long list of words which we were forbidden to use in our translation. As Jordan Teeter and I wrestled our way through the Matthew translation, we soon realized how simple words such as “king” and “ruler” were hard to translate distinctively. The more we translated, the more love I felt for the Word of God. The privilege to have His Word in my native tongue! To think, roughly 1,636± distinct ethnic groups are still waiting for this privilege.

From mornings full of classes to afternoons of activities and free time, there was so much information for my mind to cultivate. Along with this cultivation came fun, new experiences such as butchering a pig and cooking it in the ground (the style of a Filipino Mumu). I would not have expected hot rocks to be able to thoroughly cook multiple layers of meat and potatoes over a period of 4 hours. Yet sure enough, we ate well that night! On top of this, I was always impacted by the stories pertaining to both the Yanomamo and Joti tribe. Unique cultural facts and stories are always intriguing, but to hear of how God transformed both tribes was powerful. The reception of the Joti tribe to the gospel was particularly remarkable. The entire tribe turned to follow Christ! Since the Joti only knew how to read out loud, the entire village was engrossed in a loud buzz of scripture reading. Their love for God’s Word is an example for me.

Having gone to Wayumi, I can better picture myself working in a tribal setting. Indeed, I quickly realized the work is not as glamorous as the stories we may often hear. The work is great and hard! Laborious and discouraging seem to be fitting adjectives. But what is my life? Am I really in control of my future? Am I willing to go and do what the Lord directs me to? Seeing and knowing the joy that unbelievers attain when they hear and accept Christ for the first time is a joy worth celebrating! How rewarding it would be to fulfill God’s command in this much needed and timely way!

I am so thankful to have had this time to step back and examine what God is doing on earth and how I can be a part of his work. It is truly something we all must take the time to do. Wayumi is certainly for anyone. It has helped me know how to go, support, pray, and see God’s passion for his worldwide church.          

The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 4

The Theological Significance of a Literal Creation Account, Part 2

How important is a literal creation account for one’s theology? If the creation account were not literally true, it was either just Moses’ conjecture or it was a myth he repeated. If what we read in Genesis 1–11 were not literally true, what difference would it make for us a Bible-believing Christians?


Theology Proper

Next, a literal Creation account is essential for an orthodox understanding of Theology Proper – what we understand about God.

  • Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

While the Bible reveals many things about God, it clearly reveals Him as the Creator, the direct causative agent that brought it all into existence.

  • Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”—and all the accompanying assertions that God was directly involved at each point of that activity listed in this chapter.
  • Genesis 2:4 – “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heaven.”
  • Genesis 14:19 – “and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.’”
  • Genesis 14:22 – “But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath.”
  • Psalms 139:-13-14- “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.
  • Isaiah 40:26 – “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
  • Isaiah 40:28 – “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
  • Isaiah 42:5 – “This is what God the LORD says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it.”
  • Isaiah 45:12 – “It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”
  • Matthew 19:4 – “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creatormade them male and female.”’”
  • 1Timothy 4:3–4 – “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”
  • Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
  • Revelation 10:6 – “And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay!’”

A straightforward reading of these verses indicates that the God of the Bible, the true “author” of all Scripture, actively created—He did not just create all matter with inherent properties to naturally develop on their own (deism-like); nor did He merely insert Himself at needed moments into the developing elements to ensure that it all continued toward the end He intended (theistic evolution). If God did not create it all, then someone is not telling us the whole truth: either the God who inspired the Bible or the authors who wrote the Bible.

These people talk as if Moses was substituting the word “God” for something he did not understand but knew that he should attribute all things to—God and His sovereignty. Sort of what people do when a cataclysmic event happens which we cannot explain—like an earthquake, tornado, or unexplainable event: “an act of God.” In this way of taking the wording “God created,” the word “God” is a euphemism for “natural evolutional processes” maybe created by God but He did not have direct involvement with—at least not much.

Constable (2019, 46) says in his commentary on Genesis 1 that . . .

 “Theistic evolution” attempts to blend Scripture and scientific theories. It holds that God ordered and directed the evolutionary process. This view fails to explain specific statements in the text of Scripture adequately; it accommodates the text to scientific theory.

 Anyone who believes that the words “God created” do not really mean what they say—that GOD created—are really believing on one level or another that to truly understand what the Bible means you have to lay the conclusions of science alongside the Bible in order to understand the true meaning of the text—exegete the Scriptures through the grid of scientific conclusion.

Were we to approach any other passage with the same method of interpretation, what would be the theological result? This methodology of interpretation yields doctrinal aberration.

The Bible says that God is the Creator of all that exists—that He spoke it into existence. The God of the Bible is the direct Creator of everything in the universe. And only a literal understanding of the Creation account yields orthodox Theology Proper. If God is not our creator, are we responsible to Him for how we live, for our choices? Are the new heavens and new earth be created by God or evolve into existence? When we pray, who or what do we hope will answer, will effect the supernatural change we seek? In fact, why pray if God did not really act at the beginning—why do we think He would act now?

 Anthropology (Part 1)

Third, a literal Creation account is essential for an orthodox understanding of Anthropology – what we understand about People.

  •  Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”

With the doctrine of Anthropology, we move onto one of the major battlefields today. And a person’s understanding of the information communicated in Genesis 1 affects their views of personhood, sexuality and gender, marriage, and the relationships between people.

To begin, God through Moses says that people are created unique from the rest of Creation—that people are special in God’s purposes. And the other authors of Scripture consistently echo mankind’s created uniqueness.

  • Genesis 9:1–7 –“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
  • James 3:8–10 – “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”

I am speaking to the choir here: we take highly and literally this aspect of God’s Creation—that people are unique by creation and must be treated that way, from conception (“creation”) to natural death. We argue for the sanctity of life in the debates about abortion and euthanasia precisely because we hold to a literal understanding of Creation.

And yet we are influenced by a world which has cast off this understanding of humans and human life. Even in the church, environmentalism is creeping in, especially among the young. People are considered to be equal in worth to the animals, and among radical environmentalists, people are lower than animals.

 Were the earth’s resources created to be stewarded by people or animals?

  • Genesis 2:10–15 “Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. . . . . Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

God created us to be to be the good stewards of the earth’s resources. And God created man to use the earth’s resources to build a culture that would glorify God—the Creator.

In the development of his argument that the entire world is guilty of sin before God, the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 describes the world’s rejection of the God of Creation and the created truths about the uniqueness of people.

  • Romans 1:18–25 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

Paul is arguing that the sinfulness of people is revealed when they reject the created uniqueness in their person—their imaging of God “bodily”—and they lower themselves to a mere “creature” level. As animal rights activist and PETA co-founder, Ingrid Newkirk, said, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” (1989). If humans are equal to animals, then we have no special right to rule and subdue creation for God’s glory.

Clearly Paul, in Romans 1:23, is echoing the wording of Genesis 1:26. He says that people in their rejection of truth “exchange” (to replace one thing for another) the glory of the incorruptible God for an “image” in the “form” of that which does not reflect God, even lowering themselves to the level of animals. The two Greek words Paul used here for “image” and “form” are the same two words in the LXX to describe the creation of people in the “image” and “likeness” of God. And the two words Paul used for God (“incorruptible,” afqartos) and man (”corruptible,” fqeirw), contrast “immortality” (the character of God, eternal) and mortality (earth-bound, existence-limited) (NIDNTT, s.v. “Destroy, fqeirw”).

The evolutionary, naturalistic understanding of people—an unbiblical anthropology which has “exchanged” the Genesis understanding with an earth and time-bound understanding—leads to personal ruin and God’s judgement. When we get worn down or otherwise discouraged from standing for a Creation-based anthropology, we will not only see the world’s values take hold more and more in the world, we will also see people in the church flirting more and more with worldly decisions about abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and a naturalistic environmentalism.

The Genesis account taken literally reveals the unique place and role of people in God’s creation. When we depart from that understanding, we depart from an orthodox Anthropology.

(This is a 4-Part series. See Parts 1, 3, & 4 here and here and here.)

Reference List

Constable, Thomas L. 2019. Notes on Genesis 2019 Edition. Accessed January 31, 2019.

Merkel, Friedmann. 1975. S.v. “Destroy, fqeirw.” The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1. edited by Colin Brown, 467–470. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Newkirk, Ingrid. 1989. Quoted in Vogue, September 1, 1989. Accessed February 7, 2019.