Over the next few weeks, we are going to take a second look at first things. By this I mean we are going to look at certain verses found in the first three chapters of Genesis—verses that deserve another look, verses that show why there is something rather than nothing. Why are we doing this? The answer is because this is how we learn everything in the universe is contingent and dependent on God’s Word for its existence, why idolatry must be banished forever, where we come from, and how we know our true value and identity as bearers of God’s image. This is how we understand authority and power, both God’s and ours. It is here we get our first glimpse of culture and life before the fall. Here we discover male and female—God’s grand design for true unity and diversity. These are all things that don’t change over time because they are rooted in God’s perfect design for what He has made. They are not accidents of culture but blueprints “baked into the nature” of what God has created. Here we learn of the fall and its consequences, both disastrous and good—disastrous because it shows us the dethroning of God in the human heart, good because it points to the best and brightest hope for our future, the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let me warn you in advance. We will be walking through a minefield. There may not be a video game on the market that features more traps, snares, fireballs, falling bridges, or treacherous drop-off cliffs than we find in the first three chapters of Genesis! How did our universe come into being—big bang or powerful Word? Is it a young, middle-aged, or old earth we inhabit? Does it matter? Is it special creation or theistic evolution? What, if anything, makes human beings special—is it their race, their sex, something else? What is male? What is female? Is this true diversity or is it a distinction without a difference? Do we have a responsibility to the planet or to God Who holds us responsible for what happens to the planet? What is authority? Where does it come from, and what is it for? Why did God start this whole thing, knowing “in advance” people He created would declare independence from Him? These are just some of the questions we will address. Ready? Let’s go!