There’s a new dogma in our culture which insists that Science must always be capitalized. You must bow low in the divine presence of Science. But if you haven’t noticed, the science always seems to flow in the unscientific direction of totalitarian entities tightening their grip on power. They want Science to be an infallible word, a sovereign decree, and to have preeminence above all. But mainly they want to use it as a tool for the vanity project of human pride.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.Colossians 1:15-17
Summary of the Text
In this epistle from Paul, he lays the cornerstone upon which all the rest of his arguments will rise. The central confession of the early church centered upon this man Jesus, who was the promised Messiah and the embodiment of the divine Logos. That confession is here in the form of a hymn.
Pauls insists on a few things about Jesus in this poetic theology. Much controversy & speculation has centered around the meaning of the phrase “firstborn of every creature.” The meaning however is quite plain when you examine what comes before & after. He’s the image of the invisible God (likening Christ with the first Adam), He’s the firstborn of every creature (likening Christ with Israel, Cf. Ex. 4:22) (v15), but unlike Adam & Israel, Christ is the headwaters & estuary of all creation (vv16-17).
Though He’s the image and first-begotten of the Father, He is also God. By this we have assurance that the same God who personally made all things, is the same God who became a man and for our salvation laid down his life and rose again to personally remake all things. Paul also gives a thumbnail description of what took place in Gen. 1-2. All heavenly & earthly things were brought into being by Him; this includes any division of angelic entities: thrones, dominions, principalities, powers. He made them all and their continued being is due to Him alone and for Him they are and were created (v17, Cf. Eph. 3:9 & Pro. 8).
The Darwinian Heresy
This Pauline explanation of the origin of all things is diametrically opposed to the explanation that currently has prevalence in our culture. Darwin introduced a heresy that the church at large has yet to satisfactorily jettison. Instead, many have sought to harmonize Darwinism with the Biblical account. But that’s like trying to harmonize orange juice and toothpaste.
The central claim made by Science since the Darwinian revolution is that being isn’t contingent on Divinity. Everything can come from nothing. But this turns the entire universe into a blind, unfeeling, impersonal place. There’s no order, rhyme, or reason. There’s no right or wrong, because we’re all just shrapnel. There’s no one to say “thank you” to for all the splendors. This doesn’t comport with what a minute of genuine scientific observation informs us of.
This revolution has resulted in Science becoming a religion itself, instead of a servant in service of faith. Science, done rightly, is like a systematic theology of general revelation. But modern man wants Science to do heavier lifting than it’s able to. It wants reason to supplant faith. But this is like trying to take your eyeballs out in order to look at them. Where does reason come from?
Modern thinking wants to insist that “the science is settled” until it isn’t. That’s played out in fast-forward over the last few years in regards to pandemics, vaccines, global warming, gender, and the list could go on. The planet is dying, except where it isn’t. Masks work, until they don’t. This tells you that we aren’t dealing with science, but the hardened paradigms of Scientism. The current insistence is that Science speaks an infallible word of order from chaos; but with each new discovery we find orderliness, design, engineering beyond our wildest imaginations. From rhododendrons to rhinos to rhomboids, we live in a gloriously tidy place.
Something from Nothing
But both the materialistic view of creation, and the Genesis account agree that once there was no creation, and then there was creation. What Genesis gives to us, however, is that creation came from a Creator. Darwin needs the pixie dust of millions, wait…hundreds of millions…hold that…tens of billions of years to win the existential lottery. The evolutionary explanation for the heavens and earth is like the sad gambler in the Vegas airport who is pulling the slots even as his plane is boarding, thinking, “This time I’ll hit the jackpot.” The Darwinian plane doesn’t have any wings, but maybe if we make the runway longer it can get liftoff.
As Lewis points out in Miracles, when Jesus fed the 5000 he was simply doing something that usually takes a full season. He made more bread from bread, and the Colfax granaries add their witness that these things be so. Our trouble is thinking that Jesus could take a process we take for granted and somehow perform it in the amount of time it took for Him to offer a simple prayer of thanks to His Father.
Miracles are not unreasonable. They’re the most logical thing in the world if you first acknowledge that created being is itself a gift and a miracle. The problem when Christians refuse to acknowledge the first miracle of Creation (thinking it is a doctrine of lesser importance), endeavoring to curry favor with the evolutionary worldview, is that they end up confronted with what to do with the supreme miracle: the resurrection. But if you grant the first “life from death”, the second & superior “life from death” follows easily.
So not only is the Darwinian explanation factually incorrect (as we see in the comedic attempts to explain missing links, “prehistoric” fossils in places they don’t belong, and soft tissue in dino bones), it is an incredibly bland, boring, and unenchanted way of seeing the world.
Woodpeckers peck trees with enough force that their brains should explode (the deceleration of pecking is 1000 g). But they’re designed such that their long tongue and a spongy pocket combine to provide cushioning which prevents such an unfortunate demise.
The sun is an inferno 800,000 miles wide, 100,000,000º inferno, warming us from 93,000,000 miles away. This distance just so happens to be not too close & not too far. It’s perfectly situated. The Sun’s energy output is 3.8 x 1033 ergs/second. Enough energy to melt a mile thick & two mile wide bridge of ice which extends the entire way from the Earth to the Sun in one second. Each second the sun’s energy output would power the US for 9,000,000 years. Or to use a more explosive illustration, one second of solar output is equivalent to the detonation of the entire world’s nuclear stockpile times 7,000,000. The largest power plants have a total energy generation of 3-5 GW. Comparatively, every second the sun produces the energy of ten million such power plants per human. And the sun is just one star amongst trillions.
What we find when we look around us isn’t an ugly mechanical pragmatism. We find beauty. While there’s a function to the peacock’s feathers, there’s also a sheer, over-the-top beauty. Butterfly wings, nebulas, the eye-pleasing patterns we find in sea-shells, flowers, galaxies, and cell-structures all are ostentatious displays of derivative glory. It isn’t just an orderly world, but it is objectively beautiful one. Putting this all together, we live in an enchanted world, made by God the Father, Son, Spirit.
By Him and For Him
Not only was it made by Jesus Christ. But it was made for Him. This is something which Scientism can’t answer. It has no reason for why we’re here. It can’t answer, “What am I here for?” But as our catechism wonderfully puts it, your chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
You were made, and every atom was made, and every galaxy cluster was made, and every termite was made for Christ. As Col. 1:18 declares that all this was done so that in all things Christ might have the preeminence. Reason must bend her knee and acknowledge the task for which she was made. Reason without faith is like a body without breath. The very task for which reason, and all things were made, is to render honor and worship to the preeminent One, the fountainhead and ocean floor of all the glory: Jesus Christ. He made the world, and then He remade it. This is the good news. Behind all these shadow-glories which surround us, awaits the real glory.
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