“In the beginning God…” (Genesis:1:1)
The first four words of the Bible are incredibly important. “In the beginning, God…” These words boldly declare the truth about how we should view the universe we live in. They tell us that there was a beginning. There was a time when all the things that now are were not. And before all that, before even time itself, was God.
The four words refute all naturalistic explanations of the universe. They refute evolution because they make clear that there was a planning intelligence behind the universe rather than blind, random chance.
Yet the words also refute a mere theistic intelligent design model because they reveal that the Creator was not an impersonal, unknowable entity but has all the divine attributes on which the remainder of the 66 books of the Bible will expand. These four powerful words suggest that we should go on to learn more about this wonderful God, Who has made all things well, and Who takes the trouble to be mindful even of humans like us.
These four powerful words refute atheism by boldly declaring that God does indeed exist. As the title of one of Francis Schaeffer’s books puts it, “He is there, and He is not silent”.
The four words also refute agnosticism because the God Who Is There is someone that we can know and learn more about.
The four words also refute deism because the God who is declared to have created is described, known, and knowable. He is not an abstract concept, but a reality.
Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible. And these four powerful words are the foundation phrase of Genesis.