The first verse

Today we’re posting the first of several popular articles by Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. Some years ago he published these in the Clarion.[1] By including articles such as this one, we aim to make our website a gathering place of useful resources, particularly from the Canadian Reformed Churches (of which we all are members). We intend to re-host or write both popular-level articles such as this one and those that involve more technical exegetical, theological, and philosophical arguments.

Van Dam’s article opens,

God’s Word starts off with those impressive words in Genesis chapter one. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” What a powerful and deep opening word of divine revelation! There’s nothing else like this in the so-called creation stories of man’s imagination. This is revelation! For that reason this opening verse continues to speak so directly to man today.

Besides examining briefly all the words of Genesis 1:1, Dr. Van Dam notices the implications of this verse as a refutation of atheism, polytheism, materialism, and pantheism. He also briefly notes that the context of the verse “makes it clear that this work of the creation of heaven and earth did not consist of making something out of what already existed, but it brought into being what did not exist.”

Read the rest of the article here: The first verse

[1] Dr. Van Dam’s article “The first verse” first appeared in Clarion: The Canadian Reformed Magazine 37.24 (Nov. 25, 1988), pp. 485–6. Dr. Van Dam quotes Scripture from the Revised Standard Version. We are hosting it here at with permission from the author and publisher. His own first footnote stated the following: “This article is the first in a series selected from lectures delivered on a popular level.”