In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
We object to this system as follows.
1. Its idea of God is self-contradictory, since it makes Him infinite, yet consisting only of the finite; absolute, yet existing in necessary relation to the universe; supreme, yet shut up to a process of self-evolution and dependent for self-consciousness on man; without self-determination, yet the cause of all that is.
2. Its assumed unity of substance is not only without proof, but it directly contradicts our intuitive judgments. These testify that we are not parts and particles of God, but distinct personal subsistences.
3. It assigns no sufficient cause for that fact of the universe which is highest in rank, and therefore most needs explanation, namely, the existence of personal intelligences. A substance which is itself unconscious, and under the law of necessity, cannot produce beings who are self-conscious and free.
4. It therefore contradicts the affirmations of our moral and religious natures by denying man's freedom and responsibility; by making God to include in Himself all evil as well as all good; and by precluding all prayer, worship, and hope of immortality.
5. Our intuitive conviction of the existence of a God of absolute perfection compels us to conceive of God as possessed of every highest quality and attribute of men, and therefore, especially, of that which constitutes the chief dignity of the human spirit, its personality.
(A. H. Strong, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.