The Story of Creation Gives Us Purpose

New book on creation theology orients readers beautifully to who God is and why we are his image bearers. 


John Stonestreet

Jared Hayden

It’s not uncommon for Christians to devote study time to the first two chapters of Genesis. Typically, this takes the form of questions either about origins or how God created the world and the first humans or about genre or to what extent (if at all) the creation account that opens the Bible should be taken literally. These questions emerged as most important in the last 150 years or so in reaction to the rise and eventual dominance of the Darwinian account of origins in the Western world. 

Neglected in this discussion, understandably so, is often a study of creation as a concept rather than as an event. In other words, there are vast implications for life in the world due to creation being the opening chapter of the ongoing work of God in His world, particularly in terms of its purpose, function, story, and goal.

This focus on what is called creation theology is the subject of a rich and succinct new book called The Beginning and End of All Things: The Biblical Theology of Creation and New Creation by Dr. Edward Klink. In an episode of the Colson Center’s Upstream podcast Dr. Klink shared with host Shane Morris why he wrote a book on this topic of creation:

When you look at the Bible, creation is a theme that goes from Genesis to Revelation. It really is the story that God is doing.

Klink then suggested why so much of the focus has been on more scientific questions of creation vs. evolution, as significant and consequential as these questions are. At least part of the answer is our cultural history:

The Scopes trial limited the scope of Scripture’s story in our minds. We hear creation, we think origins. But in reality, creation, while it’s inclusive of the very beginning and even the how, the theme of creation in the Bible is much bigger and broader in scope.

The modern era elevated science over other disciplines in the academy and elevated scientific authority over other sources of knowledge. As Klink explained:

We are in a scientific world and in the last couple centuries science has dominated, not theology. And that has infiltrated even into the Church. So sadly, Christians, when they think of creation, are probably tutored more by the questions or the positions of someone like Darwin than they would be someone like Jesus.

In his book, The Beginning and End of All Things, Dr. Klink attempted to point Christians to the other important questions that are being asked and answered in the first few chapters of Genesis and how they connect to the rest of Holy Scripture.

But I would like to argue that the biblical text is not even primarily answering that question [how]. Rather than just answering the how question, it’s also answering the who, the what, and the why. And when you think of the who, the what, and the why, it’s orienting the reader to who God is and, even significantly, like in Genesis 1:26 to 31, who is male and female, made image bearers, made in God’s image?

And why did He make the world, right? And what did He make that it’s good, that it has a purpose, that it has an agenda and a trajectory that ultimately culminates in the work of Jesus Christ and ultimately the new creation. So, I think we almost need, after a couple of hundred years of equating creation with origins or being tutored by Darwin instead of by disciples of Jesus, we need to remember the how question is fair and it’s worth discussing.

Another way of saying this is that the creation story is the beginning of the story of reality, initiated and sustained by God, a story that ultimately culminates in Christ. This is a story of restoration, and to understand all that means, we must understand what and to what God is restoring, in other words what he intended from the very beginning. This will frame what it means to follow Christ in our time and place in this same Story.

And the Bible talks about it, but it also talks about who God is and who we are. It also talks about why He made the world, and also about what it is made of and what it’s for. And those questions have a lot of ministry payoff for the daily life of every Christian.

Klink’s rich description of the Christian story in The Beginning and End of All Things is compelling and helpful. You can receive a copy of this book with a gift of any amount to the Colson Center this month. To give, go to

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Hayden. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Have a Follow-up Question?

Related Content