How did God create the world? Did he create every different kind of plant and animal directly, or did he use some kind of evolutionary process, guiding the development of living things from the simplest of the most complex? And how quickly did God bring about creation? Was it all completed within six twenty-four-hour days, or did he use thousands or perhaps millions of years? How old is the earth, and how old is the human race?

These questions face us when we deal with the doctrine of creation. This chapter treats several questions on which evangelical Christians have differing viewpoints, sometimes very strongly held ones.

This chapter is organized to move from those aspects of creation that are most clearly taught in Scriptures, and on which almost all evangelicals would agree (creation out of nothing, special creation of Adam and Eve, and the goodness of the universe), to other aspects of creation about which evangelicals have had disagreements (whether God used a process of evolution to bring about much of creation, and how old the earth and the human race are).

We may define the doctrine of creation as follows: God created the entire universe out of nothing; it was originally very good; and he created it to glorify himself.

  1. God Created the Universe out of Nothing
    1. Biblical evidence for creation out of nothing.
    2. The direct creation of Adam and Eve.
    3. The work of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in creation.

  2. Creation Is Distinct from God Yet Always Dependent on God
  3. God Created the Universe to Show His Glory
  4. The Universe God Created Was "Very Good"
  5. The Relationship Between Scripture and the Findings of Modern Science
    1. When all the facts are rightly understood, there will be "no final conflict" between Scripture and natural science.
    2. Some theories about creation seem clearly inconsistent with the teachings of Scripture.
    3. The age of the earth.

  6. Application
Note: Much of this work has been taken from Wayne Grudem's fine book, BIBLE doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith. Bible excerpts have been changed to the New Living Translation by Tyndale in disfavor to Zondervan.