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The Divine Act of Creation: Understanding the Orthodox Christian Perspective

The Divine Act of Creation: Understanding the Orthodox Christian Perspective

Introduction:

"We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and all things visible and invisible (Nicene Creed)." These opening words of the Nicene Creed lay the foundation of Christianity, affirming that the One True God is the source of everything that exists—physical and spiritual, animate and inanimate. The Holy Scriptures begin with a striking assertion: "In the beginning, God made heaven and earth."

St. Basil the Great declares: "In the fear that human reasonings may make you wander from the truth, Moses has anticipated inquiry by engraving in our hearts, as a seal and a safeguard, the awesome name of God: 'In the beginning God created.' It is He—beneficent Nature, Goodness without measure, a worthy object of love for all beings endowed with reason, the beauty the most to be desired, the origin of all that exists… He who created heaven and earth."


The ever-existent Almighty God was not forced to create the universe. Instead, He freely chose to do so in His goodness and lovingkindness. The fact that the LORD made the universe out of nothing stands in stark contrast to the creation myths of ancient cultures, highlighting the unique and profound nature of the Christian faith.

Study:

The Role of the Trinity in Creation:

The central role of Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father, in the Creation of all things is a profound truth that connects believers to the very act of Creation, which is plainly stated in John 1, where the specific role of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Undivided Trinity, in the world's Creation is also highlighted (Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:30, and Psalm 33:6).

The Orthodox Church's View on Creation and Evolution:

Regarding the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of Creation and various viewpoints concerning evolution, the Orthodox Church has not dogmatized any particular view. The Orthodox Church dogmatically proclaimed that the One Triune God created everything that exists and that man was created uniquely, made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The Church Fathers affirm that each species of the animate Creation came into existence instantly, at God's command, with its seed within itself.

The Supreme Intelligence Behind Creation:

The development of life was not by accident. Instead, Supreme Intelligence and Wisdom were at work to create and sustain all that exists. In discussing various scientific theories of his day, St. Basil the Great declared, "If there is anything in this (or any other) system which seems probable to you, keep your admiration for the source of such perfect order—the wisdom of God." He also wrote, "We must still remain faithful to the principle of true religion and recognize that the Creator's power sustains all that exists."

The Goodness of Creation:

The repeated affirmation "and God saw that it was good" in Genesis 1 underscores the intrinsic, fundamental goodness of matter and the whole created order, even after the Fall. This understanding is the basis for a sacramental worldview—that the created order is good and can be a means for communion with God, having been made by the All-Good God. The astounding beauty, intricate order, and sublime harmony of all aspects of Creation, as well as the vast expanse of the universe, are intended to draw humanity to an awareness of and appreciation for the Creator and the worship of Him alone (Psalm 19:1-4, and Romans 1:20).



In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell





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