The book of Genesis lays the groundwork for the Christian belief system. It is the foundation of everything that God has undertaken on behalf of humanity. Therefore, we need a correct understanding of Genesis in order to correctly understand our identity, our responsibility, and our future. Should we treat the Genesis account as historical fact? Should we believe in a literal creation? What does Genesis say about what and how God created?
Genesis 1 says that God created the universe and all it contains in six 24-hour days. This account is not difficult to understand. Its grammatical structure clearly falls within the narrative genre; in other words, it is a historical account. How can Hebrew vocabulary and the doctrine of the Trinity confirm a literal interpretation of the creation week?
On Day Two of creation, the triune Godhead began “making” and “shaping” the heavens and the earth into an organized and functioning cosmos. He was preparing it to support the life that would be created on Days Five and Six. What exactly were “the firmament” and “the waters above”? How was Earth different from what we experience today?
Day Three began with organizational processes acting on the rotating sphere that had been set in motion on the first day and divided into separate “waters” on the second day. What does it mean that God gathered the “seas” into “one place?” What scientific insight can help us understand the primeval shaping of Earth’s elements?
One of the more prevalent theories today is that biological systems developed over long ages by natural processes. But the Bible seems to lump all of plant science into one day’s event. How could that be? Are plants “alive” in the biblical sense? And what exactly is a “kind”?
Once the planet had been properly prepared, the earth was ready for its clocks. There must be a time-keeping system for “signs and seasons, and for days and years.” What did God originally say about the purpose of the heavenly lights? And why were the events on the fourth day significant?
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