Twenty Theses Concerning Creation (4)
16. This doctrine leaves room for man, as he comes from the hand of the Creator, to be responsible to believe God and to obey God. Whatever the effects of sin, this is man as God created him to be. The obedience of man to the good dictates of God requires that man is constructed to perceive and respond to God. In the same way, the phenomenal world is to be thought about in terms of the perceptual capability of the one for whom it was made as his home.
17. Creation is a past event. It is not occurring today. Those theologians who believed that creation is a continuous thing (e.g. Jonathan Edwards), were in grave error on this point. This confounds Creation and Providence and we must not do that. God “rested” from His creative work (Exod. 20:11).
18. Creation was not arbitrary, but displayed God’s thought, care, and love, as well as God’s beauty. God made things that were pleasant to the eye; orderly, textured, colorful, varying in their functions and contributions to the whole. Man was created to be Creation’s spokesman, as well as its supervisor. This entails the conceiving of the togetherness of the seemingly disparate parts of the world, both material and immaterial; sentient and mindless, into the harmony which it has as part of God’s realized (or better, ‘to be realized’) conception.
19. God’s relationship with the world is to be seen in terms of the Creator – creature distinction and relation. This dichotomy starts with a true understanding of God as He has revealed Himself to us. Thus, God as Revealer lies behind God the Creator. As Colin Gunton says, “Creation ex nihilo prevents us from projecting God’s eternity on the world so that it is thereby deprived of its temporality, or from projecting the world’s time into God so that he is in some way limited by its temporal structures.”
20. All meaningful discussion of Creation has to take man into account. The doctrine of Creation involves both the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man. This is because we are the ones who are considering it. We are the ones who are thinking through it. Therefore, because we are the focus of its theological intent, we must relate it to ourselves. We stand within a created environment from which there is no exit. We think and do theology from within the environment of God’s Creation.
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