Why is Jesus crucial for Creation?
Published: 17 May 2014 (GMT+10)
Occasionally, creationists of other faiths write in and wonder why we don’t keep Jesus out of it, since we’d have a larger audience if we were more ecumenical, and we would have more holy books to choose from with insights about creation. A couple such feedbacks came in after we released our analysis of the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate.
Mohamed A., Bahrain, wrote,
Flickr/Paola (CC BY 2.0)
I would like first to thank Mr. Ham for presenting his case thoroughly in yesterday’s debate, both debaters did a good job actually. My question is, after listening to the response to the last question submitted by the audience, which you mentioned that there is no other book you know of that explains the origin of life, marriage , etc., it sounded to me for a moment that you just described the Qur’an, so I wanted to suggest that you read the Qur’an and hopefully get explanations regarding these topics and more, some of them might actually support what you already believe and others will give you a new perspectives.
Lita Cosner, CMI-US responds,
Thank you for writing in. The Qur’an certainly gives one account of creation and the origin of everything. The problem is that it contradicts the Bible. The Bible’s account is beautiful and simple, and is contained in an exquisite literary structure. The Qur’an’s account is piecemeal, internally inconsistent, and seems like more of a corruption of the biblical account in places than anything else. We compared the two creation accounts in detail in The Koran vs Genesis.
I have to be honest Mohamed, I have read the Qur’an, and I did not find anything enlightening, useful, or praiseworthy in it. Allah as depicted in the Qur’an is vindictive, changeable, and cruel. Islamic extremists do not have to distort their ‘holy book’ nearly as much as is commonly thought to justify all sorts of atrocities. Half of Muslims (women) are permanently relegated to second-class status. Countries whose societies were influenced by Christianity have prospered; there is not one example of a similar Islamic country (and Islam enforces its faith much more violently than the Spanish inquisition ever did). Worst of all, people who believe the Qur’an are enslaved in a false religion.
I would return your invitation to read the Qur’an with an invitation of my own. Read Scripture; dwell on the character of God and on Jesus the Savior. I do not believe that one can read the two books with an open mind without coming to the conclusion that the Bible is infinitely superior. Your book cannot save you; it does not even claim to try. The Bible has the answer for human sin and the promise of salvation. Take hold of that promise!
Flickr/Lawrie Cate (CC BY 2.0)
S.B., U.S., writes,
I listened to Ken Ham’s speech. I understand what he is saying and I too believe adamantly in the “Bible”, but I call it the Torah, being that I am Jewish. I think you should consider our Torah, your Old Testament when making your arguments. I could relate to a lot of your arguments until you got to the Jesus part. Our creation ideas are the same as yours but by adding Jesus into the equation you’re excluding many followers. I think you could reach out to a lot more people if you included the Jewish views also.
Lita Cosner responds:
Thanks for writing in.
Your suggestion is obviously well-meaning, but it fundamentally misunderstands our identity as a ministry. We aren’t creationists who simply happen to be Christians, but we believe the only way to really understand God’s purposes in creation is through the revelation of Christ.
What do you believe God did in ‘answer’ to the Fall of mankind? I believe He sent the Messiah into the world—Jesus. God’s own Son was incarnate as a human being, and He lived a perfectly righteous life to fulfill all the commands of the law of Moses, and then He died a sacrificial death to pay the penalty for our sin and appease the wrath of God. Actually, we have Jewish staff members who believe this and see it not as anti-Jewish but as a fulfilment of their Jewishness. See for example the DVD Jesus in Genesis by a Jewish colleague.
If ‘creation’ were the ultimate issue for us, we would have no problem being more ‘inclusive’ of others like Jews and Muslims who could embrace the idea of monotheistic creation. But such a stance would be an affront to the Gospel.
Answers to questions regarding different religions should be answered fully with spiritual wisdom, knowledge,firmness and gentleness. I see little of these qualities in Lita's answers. Passion and a readiness to shout 'STOP! You are going to hell' is always commended but just telling someone they are wrong is not. We can read examples of the way that Jesus and the Apostles dealt with numerous issues of sin and false religion. Our responses should be like them. J.C.Ryle was always very firm, direct and gentle backing up all answers with scripture. Should we not learn from such people? I am a born-again Christian, my sister-in-law is a muslim. I have witnessed to her and also a muslim colleague, athiests and a JW with firmness, love and real impact! Respect the person, when the Holy Spirit reveals to them that their faith is wrong much pain can be experienced and we need to be there to love them through it.
Anne, I respected both these people, but part of respect is being honest. Both of these people thought that creation was the issue, and the religion promoting it was not important. So I had to set them straight on our ministry's priorities as far as Christianity and the Gospel. And it would have been very unloving for me not to present the Gospel when given the chance to do so.
With your sister-in-law, you have the advantage of an ongoing relationship that allows you to take time to unfold the full message of the Gospel in the fuller context of your lives. But with these correspondents, this might be the only time I talk to them. So I would be remiss if I did not tell them the Gospel when I had the chance.
Lita in response to your reply concerning the Qur’an. I'd like to say well done. I was expecting a soft, Islamic and Muslim sensitive prose but you are certainly inspiringly brave for Christ and His word. Well done.
An excellent response. However, I can't help thinking you may have gone a little overboard with your response to the muslim. Since the topic was creation in relation to the Qur'an, I don't think there was much call for the other arguments, such as how violent Allah is. This can, and probably will, distract from the original issue. I think, perhaps, it might have been better to point out where the Qur'an says the Torah AND the "injil" (Gospel) are true. Because they are both true, according to the Qur'an, then anything the Qur'an says about creation that does not square with the Torah and the Gospel is in error. This approach keeps on topic, as it still destroys the Qur'an's foundations while sticking 100% to the issue of the Qur'an in relation to creation.
Jay, thanks for this comment. However, having re-read my response, I would not change anything. The Qur'an is false regarding creation; it is false regarding what it has to say about the Old and New Testaments (because it still claims to stand over them as a new revelation). It enslaves so many people who will go to Hell if they do not believe in Jesus. I cannot be moderate in my argument against such a religion. And I cannot discuss creation with an unbeliever without making it a gateway to the central issue--the Gospel.
Having studied many religions including New Age over the course of more than a few decades, I have come to the conclusion that the God of the Bible is the only true God and Christ the only true savior. My children are considered Jewish since my-ex wife was Jewish and I attended Passover and other holidays many times over the years as well as conducting a study of Judaic beliefs and laws. In fact, three of my children have been to Israel under Jewish sponsorship. So, I have some acquaintance with the culture. Having read the Old and most of the New Testament, I find it curious that people practicing the Jewish faith can not recognize the error of completely disregarding the New Testament and Christ as the Messiah. Of course, a pretty consistent theme throughout the Old Testament is their proclivity to ignore warnings from God by either completely disregarding or simply killing the prophets whose teachings comprise a large amount of the Old Testaments content. Even in Christ's time it is obvious that the crucifixion was engineered by Jewish religious leaders (Pharisees and Saducees) to protect their vested interests. Naturally, this truth is ignored along with the rest of the New Testament. In my experience, most modern Jews simply do not read scripture, Old or New. Perhaps if they did read the bible, Genesis to Revelation, they would have a different view. Instead, they follow the paths of their ancestors who ignored God's word and ended enslaved by pagans. I wonder what are they still waiting for? As for Islam, a brief purview of this religion and its results, even today, demonstrate its violent nature. Woman are treated as property existing for a man's pleasure and service. Christians and Jews alike are infidels who must either convert, pay taxes or be killed.
In addition to what is contained in Lita Cosner's replies, The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus was the active agent in creation. See Prov. 8; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-18. So, if the Son of God is the Creator, He is certainly crucial for creation.
One word. Wow! Lita is implicit and explicit in explaining how the Bible's account of creation is only fully understood by the central figure, Jesus. It takes real courage to say that the biblical account of Creation is the only authentic one especially when challenged by either Muslim or Jew but in this case, all discourses were without malice. Well done!
The questions were just beautifully answered by Ms Cosner. Ten out of ten for you.
Peace be unto everybody, To be truthful I am an avid reader and visitor to this website and believe you me, the impact this site has had on my life is remarkable, especially in the aspect of evolution/creation issues; your website is super and highly recommended by me. However I strongly have reservations in the way Islam is been portrayed in this site, I am not saying Islam shouldn't be criticized or Islam should be supported on this site, but at least it should be done based on authentic facts and figures, the way its been done in the aspect of the creation/evolution issue. As an avid visitor to your site I have come across several misconceptions about Islam you have published, and I'll highlight just a few based on the recent article you published (Is Jesus peace be unto him so crucial in creation". 1)" muslims believe in evolution except some" All muslims belief in special creation by God and belief in evolution is an act of kufr (disbelief). To the extent that even the great philosopher Ibn Sina was labelled a kafir (disbeliever) amongst muslims for his belief in evolution which is very contrary to what you potrayed on your site as saying muslims believe in evolution except some (2) "Allah is depicted in the Quran as vindictive changeable and cruel" My dear Lita, you can't just walk into a store, buy an english Quran, pick out some few statement and believe you can make such assertions, did you study the original form in which it was revealed (Arabic)? I'm sure you didn't, did you ask any scholar about such statement? I'm sure you didn't, and even by the way you needed to tell us which verse in the quran you were making reference to.
Thank you for your comment. But it is actually deeply troubling to me that you could say CMI has had a 'remarkable' impact on your life, and yet you are just as condemned in the eyes of God because you do not believe in Jesus Christ.
I don't believe your statements are accurate, but I refuse to be drawn into 'side issue' debates when the most important thing is this: Every single person has sinned, starting with our forefather Adam until today. Because God is perfectly righteous, He must judge sin. Every one of us would be rightly sentenced to Hell for our sins, but God Himself has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. The Son of God was incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, and He died on the cross bearing the penalty for our sins. Because Jesus is God, He was able to bear the full wrath of God. Because He was perfectly righteous, He did not have any sin of His own to atone for, so His sacrifice atones for us. And because He had never sinned, death could not hold Him, because death is the penalty for sin.
God commands us to repent and believe in Jesus, because there is no other name by which we can be saved. And I don't want you to feel you can benefit from a bit of creation apologetics when you have not believed in Christ.
Hi Lita, I think you handled these two queries exceptionally well. Thank you for your firm stance for Christ. Man's greatest problem is sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23) and there is only one way to be forgiven of our sins--Jesus the Christ and His blood that He shed on Calvary. Any religion without Christ is a waste of time because its present is unforgiven sins and its future--damnation.
Gentle and robust answers, Lita! May I add few comments? Of all the worldviews in the world, only Jesus the Lord deal with human sin sufficiently and completely and HE offers this grace to all – rich or poor, male or female, black or white, able or disabled, intelligent or not intelligent and sinners – freely only on the basis of faith in HIM only. It is written in Torah that the Lord God (Yaweh Elohim) said that the woman’s (eashe) seed (zrok) shall bruise you on the head. This is the beginning of Elohim’s restoration plan for the fall of Adam and Eve. This means that Messiah had to be a seed of a woman, a virgin birth, for a woman cannot produce seed like a man.
Thank you for you straight forward, blunt truth. We so need honesty and truth. Honesty is not the best policy but the only one.
We need your argument and evangelical skills to win all people onto Jesus.
well spoken, I can't think of anything to add
Dear Sarah, there are so many comments, prophecies and descriptions about the New Testament Jesus in your judaic portion of our Bible that CMI would be grossly remiss to exclude the New Testament. To so exclude it would be an insult to the Old Testament and would call for an apology toward all honest Jews. Jesus himself held those writings in high respect claiming requently that his words or actions were fulfilling different portions of your scripture. That which honours your scriptures must be upheld. Not to do so would bring dishonour to your holy books.
Why is Jesus crucial for Creation? Genesis, the first book in the Bible/Torah starts with these words… “IN THE BEGINNING of creation, when God made heaven and earth, the earth was without form and void, with darkness over the face of the abyss, and a mighty wind that swept [Or and the spirit of God hovering] over the surface of the waters. God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light; […] — Gn 1:1-3”
Everything was created by the Word that was in and with the “spirit of God” in the beginning, and still is…as explained so eloquently here…
“WHEN ALL THINGS began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through him all things came to be; no single thing was created without him. All that came to be was alive with his life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines on in the dark, and the darkness has never mastered it. —Jn 1:1-5”
So, the Word that said, ‘Let there be light’, and created the universe, became a man and dwelt among us, as it says here…
“He was in the world; but the world, though it owed its being to him, did not recognise him. He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him. But to all who did receive him, to those who have yielded him their allegiance, he gave the right to become children of God, not born of any human stock, or by the fleshly desire of a human father, but the offspring of God himself. So the Word became flesh; he came to dwell among us, and we saw his glory, such glory as befits the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. — Jn 1:10-14”
Why is Jesus crucial for Creation? Well we wouldn’t be here, if it weren’t for him creating us.
(P.S. to Lita: Love it. Well written and straight to the point.)