Twenty Theses Concerning Creation (2)
This group of five ‘theses’ continue five in a previous post. They derive from a lecture of mine included in a course, “Doctrine of God (2): The Works of God in Creation & Providence.”
6. God certainly works in this world, and makes things according to the laws of thought, the laws of physics, and so on, of which He is the Source. Man’s works must follow these laws, but whatever he does is not a creation but a re-creation; that is, a re-conceiving of facts which lay with God that He already has put into existence, either within the actual physical realm or within the mind of man. This also implies an epistemology of realism; yet “revelatory realism,” not a critical realism (although they share much in common) with its source in the mind of man. What we see in this world does correspond, generally speaking, to what is there.
7. Not only is there a metaphysic and an epistemology that is implied by the Doctrine of Creation, but these also establish an ethic too. Biblical ethics follows from the teaching that God made man in His own image. Hence the greatest fact confronting man, the primary fact, is the fact that there is a Creator to whom we are responsible and who we must acknowledge and try to sincerely imitate.
8. Although God pronounced the creation very good on the seventh day, we must be careful not to conceive of the world as having attained its maximum potential right at the outset. Indeed, Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 encourage us to suppose that there was much to be done within the world so that it would eventually reach its potential. This was man’s role in what is sometimes referred to as the Creation Mandate, which is still in effect today. Christians must search the word of God, and think through the implications of the Doctrine of Creation to work out a proper creational worldview and way of working in the created order in every generation.
9. Creation needs to be viewed as a Project. It has a telos or goal. Even the fact of the Fall implies a purpose and eschatology. The original Creation Mandate needs to be fulfilled and needs to be corrected, and thus we are driven to a linear view of history because of the Doctrine of Creation. This eschatological note is also underscored because of the necessity of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the Agent of Creation in the first place. He takes the place of sinful man, and is the cause of the salvation not only of man, but of man’s environment in the future.
10. The presupposition of biblical Creation is essential to a comprehensive, coherent, and scientific worldview. God created the world ‘good’. This means that God likes the physical order and man’s sensible interaction in it, and this encourages science. Creation properly understood was the catalyst for modern science; because of the mandate to go out and explore, to expect things, to expect to find God’s wonders there, to learn and think God thoughts after Him.
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