The Creator Revealed

Sharing The Creation

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TCR

Program Code: TCR180013B

00:03 Welcome back to the Creator Revealed.
00:05 We're talking today about how to share your belief
00:09 and God as our Creator.
00:11 And we have a special guest
00:13 whom I just love, Dr. Tom Shepherd.
00:15 Yes.
00:16 Tom Shepherd and I go back many years.
00:19 We taught together in Nebraska
00:22 and now he teaches
00:24 in the Adventist Theological Seminary
00:26 at Andrews University in Michigan.
00:30 I bet he has on one of his signature ties today.
00:33 I bet he does as well.
00:35 You might be surprised by the style,
00:37 but it could be anything.
00:39 So welcome, welcome, Dr. Shepherd.
00:42 Thank you so much for joining us.
00:45 So we've been talking
00:46 about how to share this Doctrine of Creation
00:51 with other people,
00:53 people who don't already believe.
00:55 Now, you are a theologian and you are a pastor.
00:59 I know you have a pastor's heart.
01:01 And so I'm wondering from your perspective.
01:05 Obviously, I've just talked about it
01:07 from the perspective of a scientist.
01:09 But from the perspective of a pastor,
01:12 what are the most effective ways
01:16 of sharing the creation?
01:18 And what might be some things
01:20 that we would like to avoid doing,
01:23 if we want to be effective?
01:26 Okay.
01:27 The first thing is you never win an argument.
01:31 So it's never good to argue with people about creation.
01:36 If they don't believe,
01:38 it's not good to push it on them.
01:42 I believe that sharing creation
01:44 is actually part of sharing the gospel.
01:46 So, in fact,
01:48 that's a very natural place to begin
01:50 in sharing the gospel
01:52 because it's the beginning
01:54 of all life on this planet, in our universe.
01:58 So it depends on the situation in which I would find myself
02:02 or who I would be with,
02:04 exactly how I would approach this.
02:06 But if I gave a scenario where I was travelling.
02:09 This next week I'll be travelling
02:11 with students to Denver for professional meetings,
02:14 and maybe I'll be sitting to next to somebody.
02:18 My way of sharing the gospel with people
02:20 starts with what I call, tagging.
02:22 It's not actually from me, it's...
02:24 I heard this from somebody else.
02:27 When we were little kids, we played tag,
02:29 and it was tag when you're hit.
02:31 So in sharing the gospel in this way,
02:34 and just having a normal conversation
02:36 with somebody about who you are,
02:38 what you do, that kind of thing.
02:40 You share something
02:41 that is part of your spiritual life.
02:44 For me, it's fairly easy, I tell you, I'm a teacher,
02:46 and they say, "Oh, what do you teach?"
02:48 And I say, "Well, I teach the New Testament
02:50 in the Bible at a seminary."
02:52 I have just tagged them.
02:53 I've just told them,
02:55 "I'm a spiritual person, and does that interest you?"
02:59 So if they tag me back and they say,
03:01 "Oh, you teach New Testament, that's really interesting."
03:04 They have just said,
03:06 "I'm also spiritual person and I'd like to talk."
03:09 Now if they say, "Oh, do you play golf too?"
03:13 Then I may know
03:15 that they may not want to talk about spiritual things.
03:18 And I might tag them again,
03:19 but I'm not going to push them on that.
03:21 But let's suppose that somebody
03:22 has, you know showed an interest,
03:24 and so it comes up the subject of creation.
03:30 Of course, there are many people
03:31 who are like unbelievers, a number of unbelievers,
03:34 and how do you reach out to them?
03:36 I think one of the best ways is to share with them
03:40 the benefits of believing in creation.
03:43 Things like,
03:45 God is watching over us, God is caring for us,
03:48 that there's a clear beginning,
03:50 so there's a clear end where we're headed,
03:53 and it's going to be glorious according to the Bible.
03:56 I also believe
03:57 that sharing people
03:59 the idea of the image of God,
04:01 that we are made in His image
04:02 in the holistic anthropology in the Bible.
04:05 I mean, in simple terms, to share with people,
04:09 shares with them the benefits
04:10 of this great Doctrine of Creation.
04:14 You know, that's really interesting
04:16 because it's interesting to me to see this.
04:19 That's a very clever technique,
04:20 this tagging, tagging technique.
04:23 But I was also, you know, I was here nodding and agreeing
04:28 because of course,
04:30 I think that we do agree on a number of these things
04:33 and especially, especially on this point
04:36 of presenting the beauty of what's there,
04:39 the attractiveness of it.
04:40 Yeah.
04:42 If we make Christianity
04:43 and the idea of creation unattractive,
04:45 of course, people aren't going to want to do it.
04:47 Now I actually have another question,
04:50 it's related.
04:52 You're going to a professional meeting next week,
04:56 and
04:59 for better or for worse,
05:01 I know that there are a lot of theologians
05:05 who have quite unbiblical ideas
05:11 about the creation.
05:13 So the question that I have is,
05:17 how do you deal with people like that?
05:19 They would be spiritual people already,
05:22 so how do you deal with them?
05:25 Okay.
05:26 Of course,
05:27 I'm not going to argue with them.
05:29 If they want to share,
05:31 then I would present my position
05:33 on the creation scripture as a historical event.
05:37 Now among theologians,
05:38 the question of the historicity of the first 11 chapters
05:41 of the Book of Genesis, it's a big, a big issue
05:44 and a big debate that they go over.
05:49 But I would share
05:51 maybe some aspects of the creation story
05:55 that point towards it being not just sort of poetry,
05:59 but it being linked into history.
06:02 The Sabbath is actually one of those characteristics.
06:06 The Sabbath command
06:07 enshrines that whole idea of the creation,
06:10 and in six days
06:11 God made the heaven and the earth.
06:12 So we probably as professionals
06:16 would talk about some aspects of the text
06:18 that would go beyond
06:20 what, you know, I might share
06:21 if I was on an airplane sitting next to...
06:23 You know, just somebody
06:25 who hadn't had that kind of experience before.
06:27 What about given your expertise in the New Testament?
06:31 I think you might heard
06:32 my discussions earlier with Shelley,
06:35 about, you know, she says,
06:37 "I was a New Testament Christian."
06:42 I grew up in a New Testament church.
06:43 In a New Testament church.
06:44 So you are a professor of New Testament
06:49 there in the seminary.
06:53 Is the creation there?
06:56 Is there a starting point
06:58 that you might choose in the New Testament
07:01 instead of arguing about those first 11 chapters of Genesis
07:06 back in the Old Testament, of course?
07:08 Sure, absolutely.
07:10 The Creation doctrine is found throughout the New Testament.
07:16 I have a presentation that I gave,
07:18 if you have time I can share the whole thing,
07:20 it takes probably about at least half-an-hour
07:22 or could go on, on and on.
07:24 I'll have to work on that one day.
07:25 I'm sure it's fabulous.
07:27 Yeah, throughout many and many books
07:29 of the New Testament,
07:31 creation is this foundational kind of concept.
07:33 Let me share one
07:34 that's in the Book of Matthew Chapter 19,
07:38 Pharisees were asking Jesus,
07:40 whether it's all right to divorce.
07:42 And Jesus was very much in favor of staying married
07:46 and not getting divorced.
07:48 And the basis of his argument
07:49 was that God made male and female, and He...
07:53 The man leaves his father, his mother,
07:54 and is joined to his wife.
07:56 So Jesus took
07:57 the stories of creation as historical events,
08:01 because if it's not historical, His argument fails.
08:06 And so Matthew 19 is one of those very clear indications
08:10 that in the New Testament,
08:12 it accepts the historicity of those creation accounts.
08:16 And there's many examples like this
08:19 throughout the New Testament
08:20 that point in the same direction.
08:22 You know, one of the things that really impressed me
08:25 when I was reading through the Bible,
08:27 and I do this every now and again
08:29 is where the creation shows up.
08:32 And one of...
08:33 You know,
08:35 because I'm not really a theologian or anything,
08:38 I like those action books.
08:41 And the Book of Acts is full of all of these things,
08:45 and I was shocked to note
08:48 how often the creation is discussed there.
08:51 Yes.
08:52 It's very, very interesting where it shows up.
08:56 And, you know, when you consider...
08:58 I'm sorry, I was just going to say,
08:59 if you consider the Book of Romans,
09:01 and the whole idea of the fall and the first Adam.
09:06 I mean, the whole plan of salvation
09:08 is built around the story of creation.
09:11 Yes.
09:12 I mean, Romans is filled with the idea of creation
09:14 and the Book of Acts, as Tim had stated also.
09:19 When Paul goes and talks to the Greek philosophers in...
09:23 On Mars Hill, then he refers to creation.
09:26 And that's one of the basic parts
09:28 of his argument.
09:30 Missionaries actually find it useful
09:32 when they are going to traditional cultures
09:34 to start with the story of creation as part
09:37 of sharing the gospel because it's so foundational
09:41 that God created the world, the world went wrong,
09:45 God restores the world and the gospel.
09:47 If you don't have the basis in creation and the fall,
09:50 you don't have a reason
09:51 for the redemption that's found in Christ.
09:53 So it's all interlinked together,
09:56 these ideas of creation in scripture,
09:58 and sharing with them.
09:59 Yeah.
10:01 It's one of these things that's really very impressive
10:03 about the scriptures.
10:05 The way...
10:06 These books had many different authors
10:09 but the same inspiration and everything interlinks
10:12 in a very clear and logical way.
10:15 There isn't a different gospel in the Old Testament
10:17 than there is in New Testament.
10:19 Absolutely.
10:20 You're right.
10:21 We've always been saved by grace through faith.
10:23 Exactly.
10:25 Well, Dr. Shepherd, I want to thank you so much
10:27 for joining us.
10:29 It's been a real pleasure to see you again.
10:32 Amen!
10:34 Always good to see you, Tim and Shelley.
10:36 Give your sweetheart a hug from me.
10:40 Thank you very much.
10:41 All right. God bless.
10:43 You know, when we were talking there
10:45 about the Book of Acts,
10:46 and Paul on Mars Hill
10:48 or sometimes it's called the Areopagus,
10:50 there in Athens.
10:52 It reminds me of the time when I was with a friend,
10:55 and we were walking through Athens,
10:58 and climbed up the hill towards the acropolis there,
11:01 and we saw this big plate, bronze plate
11:06 and we started reading it, it was in Greek.
11:09 And lo and behold, it was the story,
11:12 it was the story that's laid out there,
11:15 the sermon that was given by Paul.
11:18 It was so impressive.
11:19 And right there and then, that was probably a time
11:23 when I was so profoundly struck by the fact
11:26 that he actually starts of his sermon
11:28 with all of these philosophers with...
11:31 "Hey, I'm going to introduce you
11:33 to the unknowing God, you know who He is?"
11:35 This is the creator God.
11:37 Amen. Yeah.
11:39 So then he built everything else of that.
11:40 It's quite an impressive, impressive thing.
11:44 Amen.
11:46 Again, I always go back to the idea that God had...
11:50 Christ was the lamb slain
11:53 before the foundation of the world.
11:55 So God has had a plan in mind.
11:58 He created a perfect creation, but in His foreknowledge,
12:02 He knew what was going to happen
12:04 and the sacrifice He had to make to save us.
12:07 And this is the beautiful story.
12:09 That's the gospel.
12:10 The beautiful reality
12:12 that we as Christians have to share with the world.
12:15 Amen. Amen.
12:16 And we hope
12:18 that this series has provided you
12:20 a foundation
12:22 and an understanding
12:23 that you'll get out
12:24 and share Jesus today.


Revised 2019-05-06