Over the next few weeks, I would like to explore the subject of Man; the creation and meaning of Man. The origins of Man as both male and female. Now the term Mankind is the actual language the Bible uses to describe both man and woman collectively – So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27 see also Gen 5:1). Language is important. Do we change the language of the Bible to become ‘politically correct’?
But what a topic to open. Who am I to discuss such weighty matters when great learned minds have done so! I mean, I am not a Cosmologist nor a Palaeontologist or a Geologist; Not a Biologist nor a gynaecologist. Drat, I am not even an Anthropologist!
But… I am a Theologian. Let me qualify that. Something that has stuck with me from a good many years ago, I first heard from Rev Rowland Croucher (he is a Victorian!) “Every Christian ought to be a GOOD theologian”. This can be simply explained as one who is a reader and student of the Bible becomes a theologian. Also, one who joins hands with other like-minded theologians both past and present who call out in prayer, “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better…” (Eph 1:15-23); and to be like the Psalmist (119) who asks constantly of God, “Cause me to understand the way of your precepts….your hands made me and formed me; give me understand to learn…Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path….the unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple…give me understanding according to your word.” Or, to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) “who examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed….”
This is significant, for while the Bible is not a science textbook it is God’s Word revealing creation and the origin of Mankind. Science has been and remains (to many) in conflict with the Bible. The Enlightenment Period (17c) in particular found to conflict with the Scriptures (the Church) whereby science and human reason rose and became a dominant influence. Science, philosophy and history emerged to show the Bible to be irrelevant, and in turn, God to be irrelevant. We have moved through the Enlightened Period, through the Victorian Age, into Modernism and, today we dwell in what has been dubbed, the Post-Modern thought world again with a revised secular mindset. The fruits of such is what we experience on the public platform today. The Origin and Purpose of Mankind, what do you hear the world around defining? How much are we influenced by Human recognition and definition as against God’s revelation? Now science is not the enemy. Indeed, God created it; the building blocks, intricacies and integration of all creation is both marvellous and intriguing to say the least.
It is inviting to investigate. Knowledge and skills within the sciences have been, and remain, helpful. BUT it is what we do with it and the claims we make.
For instance, Galileo’s telescope (1564-1642) did not prove the Bible to be wrong just the Church in his time who interpreted it (Ps 96:10) wrongly. On the other side of the coin, how deceptive has ‘Science Theorem’ and ‘Human Reasoning’ become for the ‘Modern Person’? The processes of deconstructing and reconstructing the purpose and meaning of Mankind?
This is important for us, and why together as a Church/the Church, we ought to be, “Good Theologians”. For the origin of Creation, as the Bible describes, with God as the subject, is imperative; along with the origin of Mankind, the creation of both male and female, the sanctity of marriage and family and the very origin and sanctity of life coming into the world.
The opening chapters of Genesis still speak and remain so important and the prime subject is still God and what God has done. Over the next few weeks we will look, in a devotional manner, just simply exploring the texts and where the texts lead into the rest of the Bible on the origin and purpose of Mankind – that’s you and me. Perhaps a read of Genesis 1-3? Perhaps some reflection on yourself being, “A GOOD Theologian”.
How may this lead you into PRAYER today? Perhaps including, Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn… (Ps119:73) May God bless you today.
HYMN: Fountainview Academy
Guide me O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak but thou art mighty, hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more,
Feed me till I want no more.