by Roger Thomas

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The Beginning Point (1 of 8)
Series: The Beginnings
Roger Thomas
Genesis 1

Introduction: Great books always have great beginnings. Good writers know the opening lines can hook or lose the reader. The first words provide the first impression and often set the tone for everything that follows. Charles Dickens began his classic "A Tale of Two Cities" with "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Shakespeare started "Romeo and Juliet," his unforgettable story of tragic love, with "Two households, both alike in dignity."

Rick Warren begins his bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life" with these lines. "It's not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment..." Opening lines tell us something important about a book.

That's equally true of the Bible. The first line of the first chapter of the world's most important book starts with, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Every word in the Book flows from that first verse.

Years ago, the great Princeton Bible scholar, Dr. B. B. Warfield offered this illustration. (Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, Vol. I, edited by John E. Meeker (Nutley, N.J. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1970), p. 108.) He asks us to imagine that we are standing in front of a huge plate glass window. Imagine it's a picture window in a lodge perched high on a mountainside. Outside a majestic scenic vista spreads from horizon to horizon. The scene catches your eye. You walk to the huge window. Two things can happen. You can see from two different perspectives, but probably not both at the same time.

You could look at the window. Your gaze can focus on the glass itself. You might look at the smudges. Window cleaners missed a spot there. You see a child's handprint over there or a dog's nose print down there. If you are scientifically minded, you might look for defects in the glass. Maybe a slight bubble here or ...

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