Posted By MSH on August 21, 2010
For this post (and the next one) to make sense, you need to recall the initial post on Genesis 1. The conclusion of that post (and the powerpoint video) was that, according to the Hebrew syntax of Genesis 1:1-3, Genesis 1:1 (“when God began to create…”) was NOT the first creative act of God. Rather, Genesis 1:3 was His first creative act — and it was the initial act of re-creating or re-ordering the material described in Genesis 1:1-2.
With this in mind, I need to post briefly on passages pertaining to the fact that the Bible credits God with creating ALL things — which logically (and naturally in the mind of the biblical writer) would include the pre-existing material noted above. This understanding is important since it will help me establish that the conditions present at Genesis 1:1 –the material already extant before Genesis 1:1– is not construed in biblical theology as evil or sinister. That in turn will be germane to the ensuing post.
In other words, I need to establish that the chaotic condition of the material (“heaven and earth”) described in Genesis 1:1-2 that God would begin to bring into order in Gen 1:3 should not be viewed as evil. Nature does not sin. It just is. Genesis 1:1-2 simply describes conditions as they were when God began ordering the heavens and earth. That God would create material (the material of Gen 1:1-2) that needed “more work” is no more of a theological problem than the notion that it took God six days (no matter the actual time elapsed) to create / bring the material into order. Put another way, it is a fallacy to say “a perfect God wouldn’t create something imperfect — that needed more work” and then embrace the idea that an omnipotent God needed TIME to create. He could have done it all in a nano-second if He’s omnopotent, but he didn’t. And the fact that he didn’t doesn’t translate to God being “non-omnipotent.” And so an initial creation of “imperfect” (chaotic) material prior to Genesis 1:1-2 doesn’t translate to an imperfect deity. The idea that God’s perfection disallows chaotic conditions in Genesis 1:1-2 is patently illogical (and theologically dangerous, since that same logic can be applied to deny God’s other attributes, as I just demonstrated.
So, having dispensed with such poor thinking, let’s take a brief look at biblical passages that comprehensively credit God with all that there is (and so, ever was). And since they have comprehensive wording, my view is that we need to consider that these passages are intended to be comprehensive — that is, transcending the material of Genesis 1:1-2. If we don’t, then we are left with a tough job — alluded to below — of showing that the material of Genesis 1:1-2 was viewed as an exception to this comprehensive rhetoric.
Put another way, I don’t think these verses really allow for “God created all things EXCEPT ….” Genesis 1:1-2 is not hinted at as an exception, and there is no indication that the biblical pre-scientific writers were entertaining the idea that creation was co-eternal with God. The only way one could argue that material before Genesis 1:3 means creation was eternal would be to demonstrate that the biblical writers considered it an exception to God as creator of “all things.” That is the bar for a winnable co-eternal creation argument in biblical theology.
1 Corinthians 8
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
36 For from him [God] and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen
1 Corinthians 11
12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.
10 For it was fitting that he [God], for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation [Jesus] perfect through suffering.
9 … God who created all things,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.