But the Lord is in His Holy Temple …

Genesis One is not a scientific text. It was never meant to be one. The ancients did not think in terms of scientific method born out of the “Enlightenment” which we take so much for granted. This text is not primarily concerned with the creation of matter; it is assumed that God had created the primal elements, the “raw materials,” so to speak, out of which He formed His cosmic temple. The text is concerned about what this universe was built for and the meaning behind it. It is a cosmic liturgy of the week culminating with the great Sabbath when the Creator is enthroned in his creation. This text explains, in stately terms like no other document in the world, why the universe is framed with such awesome beauty; it is sacred space divinely arranged for a purpose. As such it is most true. The truly wise person comprehends this, for he senses the glory and purpose behind creation, and conforms his life to them accordingly.

This does not mean that Genesis One is incompatible with science. Science and Genesis One do two different things. Science is not geared toward explaining the function of the universe or probe into matters of meaning. Science can, however, support the grand scheme presented in Genesis One with its probing into the secrets of the material world. Certainly this was the attitude of the great scientific geniuses of the Seventeenth Century like Galileo and Newton. The problem with science is that scientific method and theory are limited by the human mind and imagination. How far can we go back into the fog of the past and gaze into the titanic forces that shaped the primal elements into our universe? At some point we run into the fog of mystery that renders our minds and senses stupefied.

Those who are under the illusion that science in time can penetrate all mystery, whether they are atheistic, agnostic, or creation scientists, all suffer inordinately from the same malady: rationalism. True, we make advances in science which to us seem so incredible. But even the trajectory of the advancement of our knowledge is but a drop in the cosmic ocean. Our minds have been completely trained to EXPLAIN the cosmos in a material way. Genesis One invites us to EXPERIENCE the cosmos along with the God who created it. We were created to live in awe, not in arrogance. Science in the minds of the arrogant always turns to dehumanization, warfare, and self destruction. It is a manifestation of the ultimate human weakness; the absurd obsession to be god!

Our minds, reason, science, and technology must all function in the context of Genesis One to be fully human. We live in God’s cosmic Temple which He has graciously given to us as our home. It is the height of reason to live in complete humility before the mystery and glory that pervades all things. It makes perfect sense to live in awe. We were made for worship; we cannot worship something we can understand, or think that given enough time, we can understand. Rationalists have always been afraid of the dark. But is in the darkness of mystery that we penetrate beyond our reason and senses into the uncreated light that glows just beneath the surface of this material world.

“But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silent before Him” (Hab. 2:20).

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