Colossians and Science
A Total Christ  -  by Walter Lang

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Day Twenty-Three -- Colossians 2:16,17

A Total Christ and the Ceremonial Law

Some years ago David Riegle authored a popular-type book titled Creation or Evolution? He mentioned numerous theories on the origin of the solar system, such as the nebular hypothesis, the dust-cloud theory, solar disruption or encounter theory. He notes scientific problems involved. He goes on to discuss problems encountered in explaining the first spark of life and further problems with development--from the first amoeba to a protozoan evolving into a more complex creature. Then he proceeds to development of man, noting that modern man has not evolved from a non-human form but, rather, man has degenerated. In discussing dating techniques, he shows that Biblical dates fit the information. Riegle shows that what the apostle Paul would call "rudiments of the world" are like discredited theories of evolution.

Ceremonial Law

Along with agnostic heresy, there was much emphasis on what we now refer to as the ceremonial law of the Old Testament. This forbade eating of pork, keeping the Sabbath and festival days, and circumcision. According to the gnostics, by observing these laws a person could advance from one angel stage to the next. On the basis of Col. 1:6-17 Paul noted these laws had a temporary purpose, and that was leading Old Testament saints to Christ. Since Christ's coming, however, these laws are no longer needed. They were a shadow, but now the body itself is here. For the gnostics to demand fulfillment of them had become "rudiments of the world."

A Geologist

On one of our geology tours we had a fellow traveler from England who was a geologist. He also thought we are bound by these laws. In response to our quoting this passage, he stated that "no man" could demand this, but God could. However, the word for "man" is not in the original Greek text. What we read is "let no one judge you." He was looking for a sophisticated way of by-passing the apostle's statement. The "millions of years" timespan and an amoeba-to-man development have less support than the ceremonial laws. At least, they were once proscribed by God, though for a temporary purpose. "Evolution," however, is man's invention, and we can no more be judged by it than by Old Testament ceremonial laws.

Reference 24.

Prayer: That through Christ's power we may be able to "put away" the rudiments of this world.

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