Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 11:3

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Where did we come from and how did we get here? There aren’t many questions of greater worldview significance than these. While it may not seem like it at first glance, there is incredible philosophical weight to the answer we embrace. For instance, if everything was created merely by chance, then there is no objective purpose to our lives beyond what we construct for ourselves. On the other hand, if an intelligent being created it all, then this being acted with a specific purpose meaning that while we may debate and search for what exactly it is, our lives definitively have meaning. Here, as he starts to offer a series of examples of what faith is, the author of Hebrews begins at the beginning. Let’s think about what we think about when we think about where we came from and why that matters.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1-5

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love reading epic fantasy novels. The longer, the better. In one series I’m working my way through as each new entry is released, The Stormlight Archives by fantasy master Brandon Sanderson, each book weighs in at about 1200 pages. I’ve read through book four, and he’s rumored to have planned it to be at least 14 books long. In any event, as I have been lately reading through one of Terry Goodkind’s last books before his untimely death, something occurred to me that I wanted to explore with you this morning. Let’s talk this morning about thousands of years of Middle Ages-like culture, worldview, and why Christianity is better.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:28-31

“God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’ God also said, ‘Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth – everything having the breath of life in it – I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When you start watching a particular television series, it sometimes takes a few episodes for the worldview of the writers to come out. In the first few episodes they are spending all their time introducing and establishing the main characters. They are revealing which characters are the protagonists and which are the antagonists. They are clarifying the various problems the characters are going to be facing together. And while you might get glimpses of the writers’ worldview in the midst of all of that, it is often difficult to tell which is the worldview they are promoting, and which are the worldviews they are simply presenting. This is all especially true for a traditional series that will run for 23 episodes. But as our television culture continues to shift in the direction of limited series of 8-13 episodes with higher production values (consider, for example, every single Disney+ original series), questions of worldview are being clarified much earlier. And so, as I recently watched the third episode of 1883, a major piece of its worldview was revealed, and I can’t help but to comment on it. I know we talked about the series earlier this week, but let’s come back to the series again this morning in more detail.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every worldview has a creation story. After all, we had to get here somehow. No one has ever believed we’ve been here forever (or that we will be here forever, but that’s a story for another time). This verse here is obviously the beginning of Christianity’s creation story. Well, although it’s not actually a worldview anyone believes in because it’s a fantasy story, but this past year, Marvel finally told its creation story on the big screen. This was done in the movie, The Eternals. The Eternals, more than any Marvel movie before it, invites viewers to ask some pretty big questions. It also reminds the perceptive believer watching of just how good the Gospel is. This is a longer post than usual, but there was a lot here to think about. Let’s dig into it.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever watch episodes of the old Star Trek series? No, not that one. Nope, not that one either. I’m talking about the one with William Shatner. That was a fun series. Gene Rodenberry was a visionary of the highest order. Do you remember some of the technological wonders he imagined we would have in the 23rd Century? At least, many of those things seemed like distantly future wonders in 1966 when the series premiered. Now? Well, many of them still seemed pretty far-fetched, but not as many as did then. Things like traveling through space and wireless communicators and even some of the medical treatment and diagnostic tools they had are practically matters of course nowadays. And this isn’t the only time science fiction writers of the past correctly predicted technologies of the present. Some concepts that started as the fanciful imaginings of guys who were always just a little bit…different from everyone else are being brought into reality revealing those guys as a whole lot more forward thinking than anyone really expected. Then again, some science fiction ideas are just that in spite of our best efforts to the contrary. This morning I want to talk with you about science fiction, reality, and how everything got here.

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