Do you know where you come from and why you exist? Basic questions like this arise in adults but especially in young people. Answers from the Bible lead directly to the question of origins and what happened at the beginning. Did a cosmic undirected bang or the conjectured ‘multi-universe’ lead to our existence, or did it have everything to do with the actions of Eternal God and what the first humans did? This curriculum addresses the biblical view of creation, while comparing and/or contrasting it with the dominant naturalistic [there is no God] view. Ramifications of these two world views will be covered as they affect history and sciences as typically represented in secondary education books and courses.
As a matter of fact, which will become evident in the study, God promotes observing and studying the universe, and so do I. This course promotes passionate observation and study of the universe. The question of origins, however, is not a question of operational science—science that studies and experiments with the present-day world. Rather, origins are a question of faith in a world view about how things began. A world view is the set of glasses through which a person interprets everything he sees, but he cannot measure or experiment with origins because he was not there. It is, however, a question of history. We have an Eyewitness (God, Himself) as well as His record. This biblical world view often yields an entirely different set of interpretations from the same body of evidence. This course introduces and reviews the critical differences between a creationist and a naturalist world view.
Questions from most people, however, go further than where they come from. They usually include questions about dinosaurs, whether aliens exist, how we could possibly have come from Adam and Eve, and why the world is full of trouble and evil. The development of the biblical creation view and its application to the real world provide satisfactory answers for these questions and many others. That is a large part of the reason why this course exists.
The second edition course was developed from a Bible study by the same name that was published in 2013. The Bible study was specifically developed to bring the subject to people who cannot afford or easily get Christian literature or media. Well over half the world’s population is in that position. I know, because I have been in some of those places. In such places I did not find any materials that addressed origins except from a naturalistic world view. The Bible was available, but no supplemental materials to address origins as a subject. Most churches rarely deal with the topic, yet it is pertinent to how we live. The original study can still be downloaded freely from cwm4him.org and is suitable for computers and some tablets. Other versions are being developed for cell phones and tablets.
This second edition is expanded to cover a little more material and be more suitable for classroom applications than the original Bible study. It includes 61 lessons, including the Overview section in Unit 1, that are divided into 4 distinct quarters to first fit the needs of most schools. The director of Institute of Foundational Learning (IFL) and the Holy Spirit convinced me to undertake the first study project. Several people from IFL helped with both the original study and the Second Edition by reviewing and assisting the editing process.
As you work through the course, realize that the Bible remains as radical as it was in Jesus’ day. Biblical information about origins is critical to its message but also a key to understanding the earth, people, and universe around us. I exhort students to examine the Scriptures that are set forth in the lessons and work through the questions. We have purpose and are meant to be related to the Creator. Operational (‘real’) science is not your enemy or in opposition to this material. The God of the Bible expects disciplined observation and study of creation just like He expects disciplined examination of the Bible (Job 38 and 2 Timothy 2:15).
Recent evidence from several scientific fields presents exciting new information that makes plausible sense in a biblical world view. Some examples follow:
- Evidence from fossils has increased dramatically that includes details of the violence that occurred worldwide from the Genesis Flood.
- DNA has been recovered from supposedly extremely old dinosaurs that were not completely fossilized.
- Complex information in living things and the field of genetics has brought incredible evidence of detailed information in single cells that cannot possibly self-develop.
- Evidence from other planet geologies shows intricacies and variety in the solar system never understood before.
All these things are much more plausibly explained from a biblical world view, where the Creator’s hand has a marked imprint on His recently created earth and universe (a little over 6000 years ago). This world view is much more convincing than naturalistic arguments with their ever-changing assumptions that are needed to justify the levels and magnitudes of complexity that allegedly developed by themselves from a random process over ‘deep time’ (billions of years).
The heart of the matter, however, goes deeper. When life’s endeavors, including historical/forensic science (the ‘science’ of origins) are divorced from a biblical creation world view, the result is moral and spiritual bankruptcy that eventually affects young lives and relationships. I know, because it affected me for years until I became acquainted with the Creator. So, this course concludes with lessons about why it all matters. In short, the biblical view identifies with surety that a student does not come from an accidental or random development process, but a very directed process by the Creator, who knows our identities, lives, and the challenges that go with them. Further, the biblical view addresses the potential future of a young person who seeks to make a difference in the world around him. He can make a difference, and the biblical world view can empower that path forward.
Roland K. Beard