Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: In the beginning

An extract from ‘The King’s English’, by Glen Scrivener.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE ‘in the beginning’? Before people and planets and protons,

what was there? What springs to mind?

Here is one popular answer: a lonely god.

Perhaps this is what you imagined in the beginning. God.

Well, that’s exactly how the Bible starts: ‘In the beginning God’ (Genesis 1, 1).

But here’s the thing: which god did you imagine? There are millions to choose from. I’m guessing that if you live in the west, you thought of a solitary god. All on his own.

But you know this thought is quite chilling.

Can you imagine this lonely god existing from all eternity? With no-one and nothing besides him?

Just his own thoughts for company? A god who knows nothing of relationship, nothing of back-and-forth and give-and-take. Who knows only absolute power and supremacy. He’s never had any experience of love, caring, sharing. For all eternity.

What if this god was there in the beginning? Imagine if this god created the heavens and earth and you and me. To be honest I’d rather not live in that universe.

Why? Because this god is all about power, not about love. Life with this god means only one thing: submission to his absolute will. If this were the universe, we’d be saved from nothingness, we’d be saved from chaos ... but we’d be delivered into slavery.

Is this what the Bible means when it starts ‘In the beginning God’?

Wonderfully, no. That’s not the God of the Bible at all. What was there in the beginning? Let me explain.

According to the Bible, this is what was there in the beginning – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Ultimate reality is this: three Persons united in love. Christians call this ‘the Trinity’.

For all eternity there was give-and-take, back-and-forth. There was closeness, friendliness, interaction, intimacy. In short, in the beginning there was love.

And that love is too good to keep to themselves. The universe is not a spontaneous eruption from nowhere. It isn’t a random mass of matter. And it isn’t an assertion of absolute power. This God creates in order to spread his love and draw us in.

So, what do you think? Is it all ultimately nothing? Ultimately chaotic? Ultimate slavery? The Bible says no. Put your finger on the pulse of reality and you’ll find the God of love. And here’s the good news; we’re invited in.

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THE KING’S ENGLISH is available, free of charge, from Revival, Eastbourne 725231.

PS: The next Book Aid collection of unwanted Bibles, Christian biographies and commentaries will be on Saturday October 8th, 10am to 12 noon, at Victoria Baptist Church, Eldon Road, Eastbourne.