I am sure that many will say I am overstating the case to make such a presumptuous statement, that there really does exist two sentences that have literally shaped all human history. Yes, I absolutely believe it. I am convinced, all that truly matters in life is contained in these two sentences.
There is such a thing as the doctrine of first things, meaning that when we put first things first, the secondary naturally falls into place. When we put secondary things first, we lose both. So, it follows as C.S. Lewis noted, “You can’t get second things by putting them first. You get second things by putting first things first.” (C.S. Lewis “First and Second Things,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)
I believe the first two sentences of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, frame up the entire purpose of all sixty-six books of the Bible. Most theologians and even secular historians concur that Genesis has exerted the greatest influence on history of any book ever produced. The great Genesis scholar, Henry M. Morris once wrote, “If the Bible somehow expurgated the Book of Genesis, the rest of the Bible would be incomprehensible. It would be like a building without a ground floor.” (The Genesis Record, p. 17)
No wonder conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, a Jew, has written an entire book on Genesis and popular speaker Jordan Peterson, also a non-Christian, has recently done fourteen lectures on Genesis.
Consequently, since the Bible is arguably the most impactful canon of literature for Western Civilization, and Western Civilization forms the basis for the majority of our understanding of religious, moral, and legal principles in the world, then these two sentences, in my opinion, form the most impactful sentences in the world. Here they are:
“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” (Genesis 1:1~2).
These are the first words ever written in the Bible! And thus, Genesis 1:1-2 are the foundational verses of the foundational book. These two sentences are the foundation of all foundations!
“In the beginning God…” There was a beginning, a starting point. And God was there. God was not created. He is the first cause. He exists before all other things. Before creation began, God is. He stands outside of nature and creates nature. He is the first cause of all things. He is self-existent.
These two sentences refute atheism, pantheism, polytheism, materialism, dualism, humanism, and evolutionism. That’s precisely why the atheists, agnostics, Marxists, and woke professors in our universities will read anything but the Bible.
“…God created the heavens and the earth.” God created from nothing. Creatio ex nihilo is the Latin phrase. This in contrast to Ex nihilo nihil fit, which was and is the pagan viewpoint that nothing came from nothing. Rather God created the heavens and the earth in a moment in time. Man can make things but only God can create with no material. He creates the material to create with! “He calls forth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17).
God Brings Order
“The earth was without form and void…” God created order out of formless void. The Hebrew word is tohu and it can carry various meanings: vanity, confusion, empty place, nothing, etc. God took the unordered universe and brought order to it. God is the first cause, One who creates from nothing, and One who creates order where there is no order.
All the Bible is an elaboration of these two sentences. All human history is an illustration of these two verses.
When you invite Christ into your life, He creates new things; He creates order out of your chaotic confusing life.
When a nation invites Christianity into their country, God begins to create new things: new laws, new scientific discoveries, and new value on human life.
We are living in chaotic, ludicrous times (see my earlier blog The Era of the Ludicrous). Never in human history has science and medicine been so manipulated and lied about. Never in American history has one political party so controlled the media narrative. Yet, we fight. Yet, we pray. Yet, we still vote and get involved.
It’s all because of Genesis 1:1-2 and what it communicates to us, that we still have faith, hope, and love. Don’t give up. Open your Bible and read again the two most influential sentences in human history.