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Around the World in Seven Days

Davis Carman|March 15, 2024

For what can be known about God is plain to them…For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things which have been made…Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man…” — Romans 1:19-23 (ESV)

We Worship the Creator, Not the Created

God has revealed Himself through creation, His Holy Word (the Bible), and the incarnation of Jesus Christ (God’s Word made flesh). Some refer to creation as general revelation and the Bible as special revelation. If God has revealed Himself so clearly through Creation, His Word, and the person of Jesus Christ, then why do some people worship created things rather than the Creator Himself? The Romans passage above reveals some of the answers: “Claiming to be wise, they become fools and exchange the truth about God for a lie.”

At Apologia, we encourage our audience to “Explore Creation.” This phrase can be found all over our textbooks. “Explore” is obviously different from “worship,” but even so, we want to avoid worshipping creation. 

I love a good hike on a wooded trail. I have eight grandchildren—I’ll have nine by the end of the year—and I love taking them on scavenger hunts along the creek behind our house exploring, searching, and collecting rocks, pinecones, leaves, acorns, and tadpoles. As much as I love to explore creation and discover the wonders of all that God made, I want to be careful not to exchange the created with the creator. Instead, I want to keep my heart wholly dedicated to loving the one, true, triune God who created all of space, time, and matter—the universe and everything in it.

Around the World in Seven Days

I recently made a trip around the world in seven days. Yes, this was exhausting and amazing at the same time. Traveling 18,000 miles over the course of 168 hours meant I was in the air for 42 hours—25% of the time! I slept four nights on a plane and four nights in a hotel, and I took pictures of the sites at the five major world cultural centers along the way:

  1. New York City
  2. Istanbul
  3. Seoul
  4. Beijing
  5. San Francisco

Another really cool experience was leaving Beijing on a Saturday at 7:30 in the evening and arriving in San Francisco five hours earlier—on the same day! That’s what happens when you head east when crossing the international date line.

Incredible Man-Made Creations

Seoul, New York City, and Beijing are home to three buildings that are among the world’s ten tallest structures: The Latte Tower (1819 feet), One World Trade Center (1776 feet), and China Zun (1731 feet). After seeing such impressive structures in these influential and highly populated global power cities, a tourist might believe man has it going on.

Other awe-inspiring creations included the Hagia Sophia located in Istanbul—the center of the Byzantine Empire and a world super-power for over 1,000 years. This was originally a church completed in A.D. 537, then a mosque, and now a museum. It is a massive structure made of stone, marble, iron, wood, and glass. The fact that it was built in less than six years could tempt some to worship the admittedly impressive men who planned this project, acquired the materials, and put it all together in such a short time span.

Great Wall of ChinaOne of the most striking creations I visited was the Great Wall of China. As I explored a four-hour portion of it, I was surprised to discover just how steep some sections were to navigate. Located in the mountains just outside of Beijing, I wondered how the material was transported to the site and how long it took to build.

It turns out that historians have concluded the original sections were built in the 7th century B.C. At over 2,500 years old, that makes the Great Wall of China one of the oldest surviving man-made structures in the world. And modern-day mapping has concluded that the total length of all sections is just over 13,000 miles long.

San Francisco BridgeOne final landmark I’ll point out was in San Francisco. You guessed it—the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s another iconic engineering marvel that adds to the beauty and picturesque landscape of the Bay area. And one final invention/creation/prototype that I was surprised to see was a Waymo self-driving taxi. I actually witnessed a handful of these cars on the road in real-life situations, with people entering and exiting their destinations.

As an engineer myself, I’m thoroughly impressed with these structures: tall towers, cavernous churches, great walls, and beautiful bridges. Instead of simply admiring these structures, it could be tempting to think man is god-like in his ability to create these awe-inspiring works. The Apostle Paul warns us only to worship the ultimate Creator, God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth—and not humans.

Idolatry

It is idolatry, a sin, to worship any part of creation (sun, moon, trees, birds, animals, or planet earth). It’s just as wrong to worship God’s most noteworthy creation—man himself (kings, inventors, architects, or construction managers). Even worshipping the creations of mankind (towers, walls, bridges, automobiles, airplanes, medicine, smartphones, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, etc.) is wrong.

So the next time you are outside, exploring creation, observing the accomplishments of mankind, and enjoying God’s handiwork, make sure you see God. He has made Himself plain to you. Don’t miss His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and His divine nature. Don’t exchange the truth for any lie this world presents to you. Praise Him for His glorious deeds, for all that He made for us to enjoy. Know Him, love Him, and worship Him—The Creator of it all.

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