God’s Good and Unfinished Creation


(system) #1
The biblical problems with the idea of a "perfect" creation in the beginning.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/gods-good-and-unfinished-creation

(George Brooks) #2

This a good section from the article!:

That’s the lesson at the end of Job when God … speaks and says, “Who are you to instruct me?? Were you there when I did this stuff?”

“But in the vein of suggestion for how we might understand, I’ll offer that God is not looking to save us in order to whisk us off to some far away heaven that is unconnected to this created order. If that’s what he wanted, he could have just made that from the start.”

“Instead, he has saved us so we might function as we were intended to: as his image bearers and rulers in his kingdom now and in the new heavens and the new earth that are to come.”


(Albert Leo) #3

This states my core belief, especially if I add: …"that are to come “into existence through the efforts of humans acting as God’s co-creators.” But it seems to support an eschatology markedly different from what I thought was held by Fundamentalist or even many Evangelical Christians, both groups committed (I thought) to an end-of-the world Second Coming as in John’s apocalyptic vision. In the blog “Unfinished Creation” there is no hint of humans being “enemies of God” since the Fall. So what is missing? Cannot Christ’s role be that of Shepherd leading lost sheep to the fold that our Creator originally intended–instead of his acting as an innocent lamb that becomes a necessary propitiatory offering for a Sin committed in the distant past. Our sins in the present cause us to lose our way all too easily. We still need him to save us as well as lead us.
Al Leo


(George Brooks) #4

@aleo

I hope you won’t mind… I just wanted to add this note on your quote from my post above.

Readers: The quote from my post is directly from the article. I did not write those words. But I agree with them!

“God is not looking to save us in order to whisk us off to some far away heaven that is unconnected to this created order. If that’s what he wanted, he could have just made that from the start.”

“Instead, he has saved us so we might function as we were intended to: as his image bearers and rulers in his kingdom now and in the new heavens and the new earth that are to come.”


(Albert Leo) #5

So, suppose our shared worldview is ‘truer’ than any other, George, would the world be better off if it were universally taught 'from our mother’s knee"? Or does one need to “grow into it” for it to make good sense? The current Catholic Catechism is supposedly more precise and therefore ‘truer’ than its predecessors. However, my opinion, the old Baltimore Catechism imparted more wisdom to a 6-yr. old. Some kinds of wisdom only comes with age.
Al Leo


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #6

@jstump

So perhaps our capacity for moral responsibility was forged from processes that included pain.

Not perhaps. Definitely.

Humans, like all created things are limited. That means they have a beginning and an end. The end we call death. Since humans are sensate beings, the processes that cause death are painful.

If humans were eternal, they would be God. I do not know if God can create another God, but even if God could, how many Gods do we need, and humans are not God. It makes little sense to complain that death is evil since it is part of who humans are, limited sensate beings.

The Greeks believed that God and Good were unchanging, immutable. In the Bible God says, “I AM WHO I AM,” Who is caring and relational. God is not immutable, and humans made in God’s Image are relational and not immutable.

Death is not evil, but good. Without death there would be no need to live, to work, to think, to eat, to learn. Humans would just exist.

Pain is not evil, but good. If there would be senses, there would be no pain, and visa versa. Pain warns humans of danger do we can deal with the source of dangerous pain.

Pain and death means that humans must make real decisions that have serious consequences. We are responsible beings.

God used evolution to create rational beings to live in a rational universe. Because the Creation is relational and Good, as is its Creator, evolution drew humans to be relational, caring people for the most part.

Natural evil is a myth, created by Greek philosophy. We need to challenge that myth with the Logos and dispel it before it destroys us.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7

If evolution is true, then things have been dying since the beginning; so creation could not have been very good; that means God is responsible for evil.

@jstump

Jim,

I just saw the video of your full presentation, which gave me a better idea of what you were trying to do. My first comment is that YECs have a very different view of what the “Middle” of Christianity is.

Conservative Christians about 1900 decided that the way to save Christianity from the questions of science was to make the Bible the absolute WORD of God, In a way this was successful, but it seems to me that while the operation saved a particular version of Christianity, the patient died. Christianity is not about the Bible. It is about Jesus Christ.

Thus when you say that Adam and Eve need to be understood theologically instead of literally, you are still questioning the accuracy of the Bible to those who see it as the WORD. They are not really concerned about the theology of the true Word of God, Jesus Christ.

That is why I begin my defense the Biblical account of evolution by pointing to the fact that Jesus Christ is the LOGOS, the Rational Word of God. Indirectly this is your point also, but I think that the point needs to be made up front because of the unfortunate historical circumstance that I referred to above.

The other comment deals with the perfection of God’s Creation. Genesis does not say that the Creation was perfect, only that it was good, indeed very good. The reason why this is important is because saying that the Creation was not perfect does not go against the direct words of the Bible.

The concept that the Creation was created as perfect is not a Hebrew concept, but a Greek concept which has been read into the Bible, largely because the Western view is Greek, rather than Hebrew.

As you pointed out the Bible indicates that the Creation was not perfect, but the Greek concept of Good indicates Perfection, meaning Absolute and static. The Greek view was Change is evil, while Stasis is good. Modernity has taken the opposite view, Change is good, while no change is wrong, which is also not true.

So the problem is largely a philosophical issue, that is what is the nature of Reality. Sadly the traditional philosophical answers no longer apply. Reality is relational which is both Many and One, both change and continuity.


(George Brooks) #8

Agreed!

But this really isn’t the whole problem.