Creation

A creation is a particular kind of artefact brought about by an agent. Agency requires awareness, volition, and the ability to act. A painting by Van Gogh is a creation as is a tenor saxophone solo by John Coltrane. A creation is more than a rote production, however, since it possesses novelty. The human creator innovates upon given materials in nature and according his or her own nature.

Humans are creators because they are made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). They represent God in this capacity in a finite modality. God creates out of nothing and without any limitation in power, goodness, or knowledge. Mortals create by working on what has been given by God—their being and the material available in God’s world (see Psalm 8). Unique objective value is brought into the world by creators, some of whom are rightly called artists.

Creations under the sun can go wrong, and bring imperfection or even evil into God’s creation. Speaking of those who abandon the reality of God for creation-worship, the Apostle Paul declares:

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil (Romans 1:29-30).

For example, pornography follows closely behind many forms of media, especially those of the Internet. Before cyberspace, sinners had patronized a pornography place, a store, wearing a disguise and leaving with the sexual contraband in a brown paper bag. Now, fallen creators have put it all online, and it is a click and a credit card away.

But God is not mocked. The works of darkness and death will be dragged into the light of God’s searching judgments (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). The creations blessed by God will endure, to the praise of the Creator and to the delight of his thankful creatures. His creatures who have become “new creations” through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) will live deathless in an ever-living world. As the seer of The Apocalypse writes:

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:23-27).

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Christianity and Science: Reasons that Christianity Encourages Scientific Pursuits

Adapted from Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics (InterVarsity Press, 2011, chapter five)

  1. The physical universe is an objective reality, which is ontologically distinct from the Creator (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2; John 1:1).

2. The laws of nature exhibit order, pattern, and regularity, since they are established by an orderly God (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:18-21).

3. The laws of nature are uniform throughout the physical universe, since God created and providentially sustains them. Miracles are not violations of natural laws, but supernatural interventions at specific times and for specific reasons.

4. The physical universe is intelligible because God created us to know him, ourselves, and the rest of creation. (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 36:9; Proverbs 8).

5. The world is good, valuable, and worthy of careful study, because it was created for a purpose by a perfectly good God (Genesis 1). Humans, as the unique image bearers of God, were created to discern, discover, and develop the goodness of creation for the glory of God and human betterment through work. The creation mandate (Genesis 1:26-28) includes scientific activity.[1]

6. Because the world is not divine and is therefore not a proper object of worship, it can be an object of rational study and empirical observation.

7. Human beings possess the ability to discover the universe’s intelligibility, since we are made in God’s image and have been placed on earth to develop its intrinsic possibilities. The world and humans were designed for discovery.

8. Because God did not reveal everything about nature, empirical investigation is necessary to discern the patterns God laid down in creation.

9. The intellectual virtues essential to carrying out the scientific enterprise (studiousness, honesty, integrity, humility, and courage) are commanded as part of God’s moral law (Exodus 20:1-17) and are the available through the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:13-25).[2]

[1] On the significance and depth of the creation mandate, see Francis Nigel Lee, The Central Significance of Culture (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1976), chapter one.

[2] On the presuppositions of science, see also J.P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1987), 198-201.

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