Genesis 1:1
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
for Missouri Fellowship of Christian Athletes
November 20, 2004

Many consider Genesis 1:1 the Bible’s most important verse. It certainly confronts life’s most important question. Did a God create us, thereby implying He might care about us and what we do?

The truths of Genesis, foundational to Christian faith, are always being attacked by forces of unbelief. Therefore, we must often re-visit Genesis 1, and renew our understanding of, and appreciation for, it.

Almost all scientists now believe time, space, energy, and matter had a beginning. Our expanding universe, first observed by fellow southwest Missourian Edwin Hubble, implies a definite beginning point.

This notion pains many. Astronomer Eddington called it “repugnant.” MIT’s Phillip Morrison said, “I would like to reject it.” Jastrow deemed it “distasteful to the scientific mind.”

Why the anxiety? Many atheists are uncomfortable with a beginning because its potential theological implications are painful. A definite beginning easily connotes a Beginner, and points toward a Creator.

A God who created all things implies a God who oversees all things, intends a purpose for all things, and holds people accountable for their deeds. If God created us, history is not blind fate, but rather begun, continually overseen, and eventually consummated, with fixed intentions in mind. Meaning, purpose, and judgment thus become inherent in the cosmos.

These are thoughts unbelievers do not want to think. They don’t like to contemplate anything that even hints at such a truth. Thus, we understand their nervousness over the possibility of a Beginner.

Since the 1930s the reigning theory in the scientific world regarding the origin of the cosmos has been the Big Bang Theory, which claims a massive cosmic explosion began the Universe. Everything exploded into existence from a volume tinier than a period at the end of a sentence.

The Big Bang Theory received its name in 1950 from Sir Fred Hoyle, a rival of Edwin Hubble. The idea of a beginning cosmic explosion was set forth by Hubble, based on his telescope observations of our expanding Universe.

His antagonist, Sir Hoyle, scoffing at the possibility, derisively and mockingly called the idea a Big Bang Theory, considering such a fanciful notion preposterous. The name stuck, surely to the horror of Hoyle and Hubble.

The Big Bang Theory, which concedes a beginning, but is not to be equated with the Genesis account, has certainly made a big bang in the scientific community, having been King of the Hill for two-thirds of a century, a long time for scientific theories, which tend to come and go quickly.

Hoyle was not the only scientist troubled by Hubble’s theory. When Einstein was developing his theory of relativity, his study seemed to indicate an expanding, non-stationary Universe. Annoyed at the fact this implied a beginning, Einstein said the notion “irritates me.”

The idea of a possible Creator was unpalatable to Einstein. He was so repulsed by the idea that he fudged, creating a cosmological constant, and inserting this correction factor into his equations to make them predict a stationary, and seeming eternal, never beginning, Universe.

Observable data, though, indicated otherwise. Everywhere Astronomer Edwin Hubble pointed his telescope, stars were moving away from Earth, and galaxies away from each other. This supported Einstein’s un-fudged equations.

The conclusion seemed painfully obvious, all this movement away implied a beginning. Finally convinced on a visit to Hubble in 1931, Einstein caved in, admitted his error, and confessed his cosmological constant to be the biggest blunder of his career.

He eventually conceded a Superior Being probably was responsible for creating the Universe, but Einstein believed it was a God vastly too intelligent for humans to have any relations with. Einstein and others have said our minds are too inferior to know this God.

For us to enjoy a relationship with him, they say, would be as impossible as a worm being familiar with a human. The difference is too vast.

This speculation overlooks the fact God fashioned one species of His creation in His own image. Unlike all other species, humans have capacity for wit, language, history, creativity, self-reflection, and most important, can relate to God.
Humans, having been given a spirit, were made for the specific reason of being able to know and enjoy God, who is spirit (John 4:24). When we forget this God-aspect of our existence, we become animalistic.

This is one reason I believe evolutionism is at the bottom of much that’s wrong in America. If the USA goes down, I pray the mindset that poisoned her also goes down.

The ongoing debate about human origins is not superfluous. What we believe about the beginnings of human existence has huge consequences. Whether one sees himself as created or as a cosmic accident determines one’s mindset about life itself.

I am saddened by the hopeless emptiness evolutionary thought brought into our world. Direct lines of thought ran from early evolutionists to Nazis, the Holocaust, Marxists, Communists, killing fields.

Fear not! I’m not saying all evolutionists are mass murderers. I’m merely calling attention to one path the theory followed.

Believers often underestimate the significance of evolutionism. They stick their heads in the sand like ostriches, pretending the problem has gone away, or will, but philosopher Hutson Smith says evolutionary theory has caused more people to lose religious faith than any other factor.

Some believers claim to be theistic evolutionists, believing evolution was God-directed. But a god who creates by evolution is essentially the same as no god at all. Theistic evolution allows God to exist, but leaves Him no room to leave evidence of His existence in the creation.

My college biology professor claimed to be a theistic evolutionist. He said he believed God had a role in creation, but then taught evolutionism for weeks without hinting at any sliver of a place where God might have been involved.

Orthodox evolution is exclusively naturalistic, totally devoid of God. Evolutionism sends God packing. He’s gone. Carl Sagan, on his “Cosmos” PBS TV series, asserted, “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” Richard Dawkins, Oxford evolutionist, says, “The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from an agnostic position and towards atheism.”

God is not welcome in evolutionism. Harvard geneticist and Marxist, Richard Lewontin, wrote, “We cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”

Evolutionism yields no quarter to God. It theorizes all living things rose by a slow, naturalistic process from a single living source which rose by a naturalistic process from a dead, inanimate world, with no God intervening, or some would say interfering, anywhere.

The theory is all inclusive, atom to Adam, particle to people, fish to philosopher, molecule to man, or as someone quaintly quipped, from goo to you through the zoo. You truly are a monkey’s uncle!

The whole purpose of true Darwinism has always been to show there is no need for God anywhere, anytime, under any circumstance, not at the first, middle, or last. Evolutionism seeks to relegate God to as inconspicious a role as possible.

Darwinism led to a God AWOL. By the end of the nineteenth century, Friedrich Nietzsche declared God was dead. Humanity seemed finally freed of God.

Amazingly, only ten percent of USA Americans believe in true evolution, even after decades of having it shoved in our faces. Ninety percent of us are evenly divided among Bible creationists and theistic evolutionists.

Evolutionism fights an uphill battle because atheists are not born that way. The Bible says God has put eternity in people’s hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Children easily and naturally believe in God. This innate belief has to be educated out of them for them to become atheists.

Why do people often slide down this descent into atheism? Dr. George Wald, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard, and Nobel Prize winner in Biology, said in 1971, “There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose: Spontaneous generation arising to evolution, or a supernatural creative act of God. There is no other possibility. Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, but that just leaves us with only one other possibility, that life came as a supernatural act of creation by God, but I can’t accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.”

“I do not want to believe in God” is the key phrase. Belief in evolution gives unlimited freedom, license to do anything one wants. Lifestyle choices are no longer subject to a higher power. Guilt is gone.

Evolutionism certainly solves for many the problem of guilt. Lee Strobel expressed the sentiments of many. For him, being freed from God offered him freedom to sin without guilt. The door was opened wide to hedonism. He lived totally for self, free from fear of having to answer someday to a Judge. If there is no God, there is no wrong. The mass murderer and the healer are simply working out impulses nature has worked in.

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer used evolution to justify his slaughters. He said we all came from slime and will return to slime, so why should he resist his desire to kill.

Oxford Zoologist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins bluntly states “there is no evil and no good in the Universe.” He boasts evolutionary theory enabled a person for the first time to be an “intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

Is it fair to call any school of thought intellectually fulfilling if it leaves in its wake no God, no life after death, no right and wrong, no meaning for life? These are precisely the tenets evolutionism preaches. Its trumpet leads a parade into meaninglessness. Atheist Bertrand Russell sadly intoned, “Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”

Atheist Quentin Smith declares, “We came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing.” Evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson downplayed human significance, “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.”

What causes atheism? The Bible says, “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28).

Humans want sin to be an illusion, merely a guilt trip caused by manipulative religious leaders. People desire their own life, their own way, and thus explain away evidence of order and design in nature. God has to be gotten rid of.

Creationists, though, celebrate God, and are not surprised that the first Person named in Genesis and the Bible is God. This is the logical starting point for God’s book. It’s all about Him, always has been, always will be.

Scripture’s emphasis is on the Creator, not the creation. Learn to keep life the same way. Live looking up. Know and love God. For this we were made.

The Bible nowhere tries to prove the existence of God. Holy Writ assumes the fact.

Genesis 1:1, remarkable for its simplicity, is not metaphor, poetry, or hyperbole, but history stated as a simple fact. The beginning was begun by One who had no beginning.

All other gods were begun, created by men. They will die. Jeremiah (10:11b) wrote, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” Only the God of Scripture ( Father, Son, Holy Spirit ( is eternal, without beginning, without end.

All else owes its origin and existence to Him. The living God is the only cause of the Universe.

Creation catches, yea arrests, our attention. The creation was a breath taking event, causing morning stars to burst into song and shout for joy (Job 38:7). We believe with astonishment the Psalmist’s claim, “He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm” (33:9). Creation mesmerizes us, bringing God to our notice.

This viewpoints evolution’s worst devastation. Darwin’s understanding of evolutionism is going the way of the albatross, heading into extinction. Recent finds regarding DNA, biochemistry, and molecular complexity pretty much assure our grandchildren will not be taught evolutionism as Darwin understood it.

Nevertheless, huge damage has been done. Darwin’s worst effect was not the minute details of his theory, but rather its longevity. It reigned long enough to dethrone and disbar God from intellectual educational circles. Darwin’s original theory is fading, but its accompanying notion that God is unwelcome at the table of deliberation is alive and well, yea, gaining strength.

This is sad, for ours is a God worth hearing about and knowing. What kind of God do Bible believers serve? A loving God, who created a livable, well-stocked, beautiful dwelling place for us to live in.

Isaiah 45:18 says God “did not create it (the world) to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited” (Holman). Almost everything about Earth has “Human Home” written on it.

Research by our fellow southwest Missourian, Edwin Hubble, seemed to indicate Earth was a privileged planet, situated near the center of the Universe. Hubble, not a believer, didn’t like this possibility because it hinted at a favored planet situated in a favored position. This possibility too easily led to implying the existence of a Bestower of favors, which we Creationists believe to be the case.

Everything about Earth is tailor-made for human life. All these favored factors are exactly what we would expect from a loving Creator, as described by the Bible.

The dials are set too precisely to be random. It’s too amazing to be happenstance. Our habitat gives every evidence of having been carefully crafted, precisely designed.

Fred Doyle quipped, “Somebody has been monkeying with the physics.” Indeed! The scientific evidence for design theory is stronger than it has been in one hundred years. Physics could almost be nicknamed practical theology.

God made the Universe a perfect home for humans. He created it to be amazing to us and enjoyable by us.

God rolled out the red carpet for us. As Physicist Freeman Dyson said, “The Universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”

All these positive factors spring from God’s good, kind heart. God made everything out of nothing. He “calls things into existence that do not exist” (Romans 4:17). They are His ideas.

If we abandon the beautiful thought of a loving Creator, we are left with Evolutionism’s sad bankrupt dehumanizing philosophy, offering people no meaning, no purpose, and no sense of value. It saddens me to see the mental well-being of millions sacrificed because they are taught to cling tenaciously to an unproven, broken down system, a philosophy they are led to embrace primarily because its proponents want a world devoid of responsibility to God.

Evolutionists cannot shrug off the social ramifications of their theory. Anyone who clings to a theory of origins as if it were dogma needs to offer in its wake a worthwhile message about life’s meaning for those expected to embrace the teaching.

This is unpalatable to purists. Scientists want to deal with science, and leave life, morals, and values to others.

Unfortunately, scientists have the ear of the culture. They hold the microphone. We who wish to speak in favor of design, an alternative way of considering human origins, are relegated to the back rows of cultural discussion.

Darwinists embrace a backward creation. They believe people created God, not vice versa.

Sir Julian Huxley, Darwin’s staunch ally, said, “Gods are peripheral phenomena produced by evolution.” In other words, people evolved the idea of a Creator.

To a Darwinist, talk of God is distasteful, except to shame His imagined methods of creation. Evolutionists are quick to say God would not have created things the way they exist.

How ironic! A person can be an agnostic, skeptic, or atheist regarding one’s belief in God’s existence, yet at the same time hold strong opinions about the way God should act.

Creationists accept the Bible’s version of creation as logical and reasonable. Everything sprang from God.

Time, space, energy, matter ( these are not eternal, and did not start themselves. They had a definite beginning, and a Beginner.

The traits of God are reflected in His creation. Its apparent old age reflects His being the Ancient of Days. Its loveliness reflects His beauty. Its variety pictures His artistry.

Its hugeness pictures His vastness and omnipresence. Its order denotes His intelligence. Its majesty points to His greatness.

Its many stars bear witness to the infinitude of God’s power and ingenuity. Their sheer number staggers the mind. Their ever increasing acceleration of speed, their maddening race through the expanse, bespeaks the force with which God flung them into existence.

The telescope is an instrument of faith for any willing to see and believe. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).

The astronomer Herschel said, “The undevout astronomer is mad!” The heavens in every direction cry out, “Creation!”

Creationists believe the One who created “in the beginning” will someday re-create “in the end” the original perfection. Sin and its children ( war, disease, death, pollution, hatred, poverty ( are temporary intruders, allowed only for a time.

We believe the Creator loves His creatures and visited His creation. In Jesus He came and walked on our planet, loving us enough to die for us and to want to come live in us.