“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1–2)
- “In the beginning God” – denies atheism with its doctrine of no God
- “In the beginning God” – denies polytheism with its doctrine of many gods
- “In the beginning God created” – denies fatalism with its doctrine of chance
- “In the beginning God created” – denies evolution with its doctrine of infinite becoming
- “God created heaven and earth” – denies pantheism which makes God and the universe identical
- “God created heaven and earth” – denies materialism which asserts the eternity of matter
Note: It is at this point that Baxter maintains what many older commentators maintained. He held to a gap of time that elapses between Genesis 1.1 and Genesis 1.2. He claims that these verses have no logical connection. He seeks to reconcile science with the Bible by explaining geology through this gap of time. He believes that the earth was reformed. Further, he believes that the days in Genesis 1-2 are not literal days but point to the process, progress, and purpose they exhibit. This effects his view of Genesis 2.
I maintain that God created all things in six literal days. There was no recreation of the heavens and the earth. There is no large gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. As far as the age of the geological table, I believe God created the heavens and the earth with the appearance of age. Adam and Eve were not created as infants but as full-grown adults. The gap theory and any other acquiescence to science ought to be dismissed. The text in Genesis is literal and historical.
Click this link to understand more about the Gap Theory and recent modifications made to it.
- Temptation (Genesis 3.1-6) – The tempter could only tempt. There need not have been sin. There was no reason to yield to temptation. The temptation was strengthened by the questioning of God’s Word (3.1), flat out contradiction (3.4), and the maligning of God’s motive behind the prohibition given (3.5).
- Yielding (Genesis 3.6) – Satan captured the ear, the eye, the inward desire, and finally the will. Eve allowed her ear to listen to the tempter, her eye to become fixed upon the object of temptation, and her desire to run away with her will (cp. Genesis 3.6 with 1 John 2.16 and 2 Timothy 2.14).
- Results (Genesis 3.7-24) – Eyes were in fact opened and they knew they were naked. Innocence was gone. Shame manifested itself. Surely there were outward and inward changes. Attendant with sin was fear and hiding. Yet God remembers mercy and delivers the promise of a coming Savior (Genesis 3.15).
We know little about the period between the Fall and the Flood. It is a 1600 year period when corruption became so thorough that the intervention of God was unavoidable. Retribution became inevitable. It illustrates the need for separation between the lines of Seth and Cain. It illustrates the need to remain uncompromising in our world today.
Note: Baxter believes that it is not necessary to hold to a universal flood in order to maintain inspiration. He is mistaken. The promise of God mitigates against this belief. There have been many localized floods that have taken tens of thousands of lives in a single incident. His material on this point is confusing and incoherent.
To better understand the Genesis flood, click here to examine its universality.
This event marks the pluralizing of human language. This was necessary as a form of judgment due to unwholesome unity and rebellion against God.
Note: Baxter’s addendum to Lesson 2 buttressed his argument for a Gap Theory. Research regarding the Days of Creation is found by clicking the link. In spite of Baxter’s support of the Gap Theory, we will find much value and profit in Explore the Book. We just need to be discerning.