The Doctrine of Creation: Part One

Posted: October 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dr. Grudem covers a lot of ground in his chapter on creation.  I won’t spend the whole week on it but I could given the amount of ink he spills on the subject.

Professor Grudem defines the doctrine of creation as follows “God created the entire universe out of nothing; it was originally very good; and he created it to glorify himself.” 

First of all let’s tackle creation of out of nothing.  The Bible does provide some evidence to support such an assertion.  Genesis 1:1 is a complete thought in Hebrew and implies that God created everything.  See also John 1:3 (note “all things”) as well as Acts 17:24; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3 and Rev. 4:11.  Furthermore, texts such as Colossians seem to assert that God created the spiritual realm out of nothing as well. 

Next, Dr. Grudem notes that “the Bible also teaches that God created Adam and Eve in a special, personal way…” See Gen. 2:7, 21-22.  Grudem writes that Christians may differ on issues like the age of the earth but it is impossible to affirm the plain teaching of Scripture and affirm human evolution.

God also created time. Scripture teaches that God is eternal and is spirit but science teaches us that the universe had a beginning and that time itself requires matter.  Think about it for a minute.

Logically flowing out of this Scriptural and scientific assertion is the idea that “creation is distinct from God yet always dependent on God” (see Job 12:10; Acts 17:25, 28, etc.). This rules out ideas like pantheism in which creation is viewed as God’s body.  Dr. Grudem does not go into detail here but should have given the rise of pantheism and pan-in-theism today.

Finally, for today, it should be noted that God did not create the universe because He was lonely for there was perfect relationship among the Trinity but God created to show His own glory (Isa. 43:7) and, as such, the universe God created was (and is) very good.

Now, Dr. Grudem take Gen. 1:31 as a key verse here but I differ.  I adhere to Dr. Sailhamer’s “gap theory” of creation (see the sermon notes over at Revolution), which teaches that Gen. 1:31 actually refers to the Garden of Eden.  However, that does not mean that I disagree with the assertion that creation is “very good.” For see 1 Tim. 4:4-5 where Paul declares anything created by God to be good.

I understand that this is a quick staccato run through the doctrine (and we aren’t finished) but the chapter is not Grudem’s strongest even though the doctrine is very important indeed.  We will continue tomorrow, boys and girls. So stay tuned.

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