05 April 2012

Thoughts on Creation

(Or, taking Genesis, the Fall and God's goodness seriously)
[to a former work camp student of mine in reply to her questions about the Fall]

I think that the most basic answer I can give is that God loves His creation enough to give it complete freedom.  God creates the world, creates humans as the crown of all creation and gives them complete and total free will.  He also, however, gives them the ability to discern and know His will as well.  I think these are two pieces of the whole picture.  Surely, God is shrouded in mystery, but because of God's Revelation we can know Him in really real ways.  

And so, you have Adam and Eve -- however you want to think about them, either exactly as Genesis describes or even in another way -- in this perfect setting.  There is perfect harmony: God's creation is completely in tune with Him.  Yet, there occurs a break, a snap from perfect if you will.  This can only happen because human's are free.  

A few points arise out of this:
  • We see that God gives humans freedom.  This freedom does not, however, come without a price.  We can sin.  There is such a thing as doing wrong.  Freedom is not correctly thought about as the freedom to do anything.  It isn't even the idea that freedom means that we can do what we want at any given moment because it makes us feel good.  
  • God gives us freedom so that we can freely love Him in return.  God is not so overbearing as to force humans to do much of anything.  It's our choice.
  • So then, why would God create humans in the first place?  This returns to an age-old philosophical question as well as a theological one.  The philosophical question is "Why is there something, instead of nothing?"  The theological question is "Why did God create humans and give them the ability to know Him?"
  • I think the answer to both of these questions are bound up in God's desire to create, to share his over pouring of goodness.  God doesn't create humans to gain praise or glory -- nothing humans do can add or subtract from it.  However, as best I've been able to puzzle over this, it's clear to me that God joyfully created the world and all that is in it precisely because He is full of creative, dynamic love.  Moreover, after making this "thing" we call the universe, God had a place where the Word could become Flesh (Jesus) and make known in a new, incredible way his love for this same creation.
  • We also can remember from Genesis the direct/indirect promises made by God, as well as His commands: Be fruitful and multiply, I give you all of the earth, And God saw that it was good.  We can recall too that even after the fall, God provides plenty of support for Adam, Eve and their descendants.
If this seems mighty complicated -- it is.  Men and women have been puzzling over this for thousands of years.  It's a delightful mystery, one that only really makes sense when we keep in mind the incredible love that God possesses for His creation.


Did I miss anything?

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