Doctrine of Creation

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Week 1 – 4 January 2004

Professor Gary Locklair


The “Whats” and “Whys” of Origins


0. The Study of Origins concerns Beginnings


            How did the Universe “get here?”


Cosmogony - a model concerned with the origin of the universe; answers the question “where did everything come from?” Cosmo- [Greek] means world and universe, that is, everything. -gony [Greek] means origin.


            Have you Heard of Evolution?


            The Word of God Provides a very Different Origin Model


1. What is the Doctrine of Creation?


            “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth” Genesis 1:1


            LCMS Doctrine of Creation (adopted by synod 1932)

We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days. We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself. Since no man was present when it pleased God to create the world, we must look for a reliable account of creation to God's own record, found in God's own book, the Bible. We accept God's own record with full confidence and confess with Luther's Catechism: "I believe that God has made me and all creatures."


            What is Doctrine?

                        a doctrine is a principle (idea) taught, advanced and accepted


            Why is this Needed?

                        there are competing views of origins


Creation - a cosmogonic model which states that a supreme intelligence created the universe fully formed and fully functional (“ready-to-run”). Basic kinds of life were created which later diversified. Natural laws were established to govern the operation of the universe. [Latin - creare = bring into existence.]


Evolution - a cosmogonic model which states that natural processes formed the universe gradually (“step-by-step”) over vast periods of time. All life is related through common ancestors back to the first living cell. Natural laws not only govern the operation of the universe today, but were also responsible for its origin. [Latin - evolutio = unrolling, turning out.]

Theistic Evolution – a submodel of evolution which states God guided (or was behind) the evolutionary process


2. Why is an Understanding of Origins Important to Christians?


            Remember the Past


            Strengthen our Own Faith


            Proclaim Gospel to Others (apologetics and evangelism)


3. What is the Relationship between Creation and Christianity?


            Christ is Fundamental


            Creation is Foundational

                        See Christ in Creation


            Christianity, unlike other religions, is Grounded in History


4. Why is Understanding Origins Foundational to Faith?


            The Meaning of Anything is Linked to its Origin

                        Doctrine is Tied to Origin


            Creeds Begin with Creation


            God’s Word Begins with Creation – Therefore Foundationally Important


            Creation is Not Limited to Genesis 1 and 2, but Found Throughout Bible


5. Why does it Matter what I Believe concerning Origins?

            Does it Really Matter if I Believe in a 6-day creation, flood, etc?


            Can you Really Trust the Bible?


            Does Creation have any Practical Relevance to our Lives?


            Ultimate Issue is Authority