The final section of chapter 1.
These four words — “In the beginning, God” — demonstrate to us the fact of God’s existence and the futility of believing otherwise. Moreover, they state that God was there “in the beginning,” so He was there before the creation of the world. This takes Him outside nature, and makes Him transcendent, as well as immortal. The four words tell us that everything else, other than God, had a beginning and that God was the Creator of everything else. There was thus a beginning to time itself.
It is difficult to understand a world without time, but clever physicists like Stephen Hawking have tried to get us to do so, so there is no reason for Christians to doubt the beginning of time. However, our beginning is not the beginning of the new physics, as espoused by Hawking and others. They believe that the universe began in a big bang. Thus, the universe was once concentrated into one infinitesimally small dot that exploded. Much thought has gone into the mechanism of what matter might be like in such a big bang. Hawking is well known for his “popular” stylebook, A Brief History of Time, which many have on their bookshelves, but which few have read or even understood. This is a shame, because God wants us to understand the beginning easily. There was no big bang, and no complex equations. What we need to know is, “In the beginning, God. . . .” This is at once a simple and yet profound statement. It is the statement through which the rest of Scripture is to be interpreted.