I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Friday, March 15, 2013

Al Wolters: Creation

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger said that the basic question addressed in metaphysics is "Why is there anything at all, and not rather nothing?" By that definition, he said, the idea of a Christian metaphysics is a "wooden iron," a contradiction in terms. Why? Because the Christian already knows the answer to the question. We know that there is something rather than nothing because God made the world.

Whatever we may think of Heidegger's definition of metaphysics, we can agree that he was right about one thing. Fundamental to all Christian thinking is the belief that God created the world, that reality is in some fundamental sense creation.

This is an ecumenical Christian confession. But there is probably no Christian tradition in which the teaching concerning creation plays such a pivotal role as in the line that runs from Scripture through Ireneaus, Augustine, Calvin and Kuyper to Comment. In this strand of the Christian tradition, creation is conceived of in a particularly comprehensive way, and even salvation is in large measure understood as the retrieval of creation as God originally intended it. Creation is foundational to everything. Moreover, creation is good in a deep and primordial sense—so deep, in fact, that the goodness of creation continues to manifest itself even in the midst of terrible perversion.

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