God and Nature
History of Religions
There is a sense in which every Christian is a "creationist," for every Christian believes that he or she lives in a universe that is a creation, and that the Source of creation is the God who is revealed in the Bible as "maker of heaven and earth." This is true, whether the Christian is a young-earth creationist, or an old earth creationist. While these various creationists may strongly disagree among themselves about the "how" of creation, and subscribe to different portraits or models of creation, they do agree on certain essential beliefs or doctrines about creation, beliefs that they find in the revelations of Holy Scripture. So, to look at creation from the perspective of Christian faith we begin with the Bible. First, we need to understand what the word means. "Creation," refers both to the process and product of creation: we apply it both to the creation of the universe and to the universe as a creation. Many people, it appears, think of creation as something that happened in the past. To them "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1) means "God did this way back then." Christians have been arguing in recent years over how far back "then" is, as many believers accept the scientific evidence for a universe some 13.7 billion years old, and others claim that the Bible teaches that the universe is only about 6,000 to 10,000 years old. There is a relationship among biblical scholars that the revelation about creation in the Bible refers primarily to the relationship between the Creator and the creation. Furthermore, in the Bible "creation" is revealed not only as the calling forth of the universe into being but also its sustaining in existence and its eventual transformation: original creation, continuous creation, new creation. While some Christians emphasize the verse in Genesis that states, "God finished his creation," the Bible witnesses in other places that God continues to create, and will "make all things new." Also, "creation" for those of Christian faith also includes God's calling humanity into covenants, enduring bonds of promise and fidelity, especially the covenant God established with the Israelites at Sinai and the new covenant Christ established with all who believe in him. Out of these covenants the good news goes forth that the God who creates heaven and earth is the same God who saves-from bondage in Egypt, from bondage to sin. God's intimacy with creation is an important theme throughout the Old Testament. God's address to Job (chapters 38-41) reveals God's intimate relationship with all of his creation, and, even more, God's joy in everything that he has created, whether it be in the "majestic snorting" of the horse or the soaring hawk or the wild ass that scorns the city (Job 39:7, 20, 26). Many of the Psalms also emphasize God's love and intimate relationship with the creation, and the latter's utter dependence upon God for its existence and its operation. This psalm is an important witness to the revelation that God's creative activity is ongoing: significantly, nearly every one of its verbs is in the present tense. In Psalms God continually creates, making the springs gush forth in the valleys, causing the grass to grow for all hoofed beasts, planting the cedars of Lebanon (Ps. 104:10, 14, 16). Creation's utter dependence is emphasized: When you hide your face they are dismayed
When you take away their breath they die;
When you send forth your Spirit they are created,
And you renew the face of the earth
Yes, God's covenant with the earth is a covenant of faithful sustenance and continuous creation. The biblical God is always making things, sustaining things, renewing things, blessing things. Creation's grateful response is to praise its creator. In Ps.148, calls upon every element of the creation--sun and moon, fire and hail, snow and frost, creeping things and flying fowl,...
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