Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2012
In the Beginning
Text: Matthew 19:4; Job 38:4-7; Deuteronomy 32:10, 11; Psalm 19; John 1:1-13; Romans 5:12; Isaiah 66:22.
For those who worship the Creator, it’s hard to comprehend how some people can believe that we are here by chance—that we evolved into primates. But Dr. Gary Parker once believed this. This man, with doctorates in biology and geology, once said in an interview: “The idea of evolution was very satisfying to me. It gave me a feeling of being one with the huge, evolving universe continually progressing toward grander things.”1
As both a high school and college teacher, he worked hard to get his students to accept his beliefs—even to the point of bringing some to tears. Dr. Parker says he had no problem teaching evolutionism. He thought he was doing his students a favor by “liberating the mind from the shackles of revealed religion.”
But our Creator had different plans for Dr. Parker. When he and his wife joined a Bible study group for merely social reasons, Parker found God surprisingly appealing. At first he combined his Christianity with what he thought were the “facts” of evolution and became a theistic evolutionist. Then a progressive creationist. But he started finding problems with his theories. Unable to deny the evidence, he ultimately became a Creationist. However, going public with his new belief wasn’t easy. He had to overcome his pride, and also his embarrassment at being a science professor who believed in Creationism.
“I've often marveled that God could change anyone as content as I was…. God slowly convinced me to lean not on my own opinions or those of other human authorities, but in all my ways to acknowledge Him and to let Him direct my paths. It is a blessed experience that gives me an absolute reference point and a truly mind-stretching eternal perspective.”
Dr. Parker now teaches at a Christian college and unapologetically takes his Creationist views into the classroom. He shares that, “Creationists have to pay the price of academic ridicule and occasional personal attacks, but these are nothing compared to the riches of knowledge and wisdom that are ours through Christ! I only wish that more scientists, science teachers, and science students could share the joy and challenge of looking at God's world through God's eyes.”
The glimpse of God we saw in this week’s lesson was of God as Creator. The first words in the Bible are crystal clear: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” According to David in Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” It does seem foolish to take in the grandeur of nature and think there is no God. Or to consider the incredible complexity of the human body and yet think that it evolved by mere chance. No, there was a plan—and there is a plan. The original plan was to create man and woman in the image of God. But sin marred God’s creation. And now the plan is to re-create us at the second coming, to be all God intended us to be.