Thursday, June 18, 2009

God is Supreme in the Material World

by James M. Bramblet

God created the non-rational material universe and then He created man, a rational being, and gave him “dominion” over the creation (Gen. 1:26). Thus, we have the non-rational creation which we discussed in Chapter Two and the rational creation which we discussed in Chapter Three. In this chapter, which emphasizes the supremacy of God in all things, we need to mention the material world again.

Fallen man likes to think of himself as having dominion in his own right and therefore isolates God into His own little, private, well-defined area called religion. Men’s record of history begins with man as a sort of half animal sitting around a cave eating raw meat. The contents of the history books tell how man invented this and developed that until, at the last chapter, he is sitting around the tables of the United Nations all ready to bring in a perfect world of peace and prosperity without any help from God. Because this thinking is so prevalent, we need to emphasize over and over again that God, not man, is the One Who is supreme.

Job was a man of God, and yet he had to be reminded by God that God alone is supreme over the material world (Job 38:1-40:2). Daniel was told that at the time of the end, knowledge would be increased (Dan. 12:4). As God has allowed some of the secrets of the universe to be discovered by men, man has assumed it is his intelligence and cleverness that have prevailed. The astronaut who first stepped on the moon spoke of a great leap for mankind when he should have spoken of the grace of God in allowing such an event.

Before the fall, man could understand God’s revelation through nature as well as that which was given directly (Romans 1:19-21). However, the fall produced a dichotomy. Man could only understand what God told him directly but could not perceive God’s other revelation through the material universe due to the effects of the curse. The Christian with a new nature can again begin to understand the truths of the universe. Therefore, Christian education is man relearning God’s truth through both His Word and His revelation in the creation.

Because God is supreme in the material world and because He alone is able to open the mind of man to the truth concerning His creation, the Christian schools and colleges should be leading the way in the area of physical science. Henry Morris notes the advantage of believers in this area as follows:

“Although non-Christian scientists are capable, under the cultural mandate, of discovering and utilizing data in the physical and biological sciences, Christians do have through the Scriptures certain powerful additional insights into these sciences which evolutionary scientists cannot see. That is, the physical processes in nature continually speak of the power and nature of God, and biologic processes continually bear witness of His grace and redeeming love.”1

God did not only create the material world but it was created with a purpose, and that purpose is to reveal the Creator, God. The purpose of God’s creation is to reveal Himself, and the creation was so constructed that by nature it does indeed reveal Him. To illustrate His supremacy over His creation, God created man with the intelligence, skill, and determination to supervise or “have dominion” over His creation. God made an “image” of Himself and gave him a bit of His own authority to be used within the circle of His own sovereign will. Man likes to think his authority over the creation is complete, so God has to remind him periodically by earthquakes, uncontrollable winds, or exploding mountains that the final authority is His.

As Christians, we should be thankful that this is the case and that our future and fate are in the hands of a good and dependable God rather than the capricious depravities of men. We should rejoice as did David when he prayed:

"Thine, 0 Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine. Thine is the kingdom, 0 Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all" (I Chronicles 29:11).

1Morris, Henry M., Education for the Real World. San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1977, p.130.

Excerpted from Chapter 4 of An Introduction to the Christian School by James M. Bramblet, Copyright © 1985 by James M. Bramblet.

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