Concept of God as Creator

  • Created by: cjearey
  • Created on: 01-03-15 15:18

Background & Basics


Plato & Aristotle began trying to understand life with philosphical reasoning -> arrived at an understanding of a higher being

Jews & Christians called this higher being God

Bible is supposed to give a better understanding of God

Basics: God as creator

Bible states that:

1) God causes the universe to exist

2) God is responsible for the universe coming into existence and sustaining it

3) God is responsible for everything in the universe

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Two basic accounts for the creation of the world:

1) Genesis 1 - 6 day version - God creating by word

Mainly concerned with creation of universe

2) Genesis 2 - 1 day version (A&E) - God moulding/crafting things into existence

Disccusses God's relationship with humanity. God speakes directly to the humans created

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Genesis 1

  • World was created in 6 days
  • Earth was 'without form and void', with the "spirit of God" moving over the face of the earth
  • God seems more remote and transcendent (close to Aristotle's Prime Mover)
  • God creates different parts of the universe each day
  • In each case creation action is by word = "God said..." <- This shows God's Omnipotence
  • Story seems to have a Greek influence - reflected in the way God creates simply by command - showing his intellegence
  • Story clearly shows that God pre-exists the creation of the world, and shows God's complete power over creation - Omnipotence
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Genesis 2

  • Creation of Adam and Eve and the Fall
  • Diff tone to Gen 1
  • God is pictured in a 'super-human' way - walking amonst us
  • He has more of a relationship with humanity
  • Creation through crafting, rather than just words
  • Adam is created/crafted "of dust from the earth" and is given the breath of life from God
  • Obvious purpose for the creation of mankind = to take care of God's creation: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till and keep it" - Gen 2:15
  • God is more involved or immanenet - he provides for the people he has created, gets angry when they disobey him
  • Commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil by threat of death. Eve, helper of Adam, is tempted by the serpent to eat the fruit -> caught by God -> ashamed & banished
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Comparing and contrasting Gen 1 & Gen 2

Gen 1 = God created via word

Gen 1 = Shows transcendent God creating from afar

Gen 2  = Crafting more hands on

Gen 2 = Shows an intimate relationship between an imminent God and mankind

Both accounts regard humans as 'high' creation

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God as craftsman

God is the skilled builder of the world

  • Job 38 - the God who speaks directly to Job is portrayed as the skilled builder of the world. He measured the dimensions of the earth and holds up the pillers that support earth. This shows that God created the world deliberately as an act of love, and took careful consideration when creating it
  • Gen 2 - God making adam from dust is likened to a potter shaping the clay
  • Gen 2 - Human like image of God - Anthropomorphic
  • Gen 2 - God creates everything out of existing material and works like a master craftsman to mould Adam and Eve
  • Gen 2 - God relates to mankind, there is a relationship between man and God that allows him to reward or punish them 
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Creation ex-nihilo

Ex-nihilo = creating out of nothing

  • God created the whole universe, along with everything in existence, out of nothing.
  • This was a deliberate action by God and one that is good. It means that God is the master of the world and its contents, but that God remains outside of his creation
  • The text could be interpreted to suggest that God did not actually create out of nothing, but brought order to chaos that already existed
  • Gen 1 suggests that God created order from pre-existing mass

-> However, Judeo-Christian thinking has come to believe aht God created from nothing (based on Gen 2 and Job 38)

-> Therefore God created the whole universe out of nothing

  • Raises issue over which version is right? Both in Bible
  • Creation ex-nihilo appealing casue fits with Big Bang
  • Creation from pre-existing mass appealing as firs with idea as God as 'potter'
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God is an all-powerful being

  • Tells people about the limitless power of God
  • Gen 1:1-2 clearly shows God's omnipotence in the depicition of God controlling the chaos before creation
  • Job 38:12 - God also lays down the foundation of earth, governing the night and day "have you commanded the morning, or shown the dawn its place"
  • Gen 1 - shows God's complete power over creation
  • Isiah 40:22-23: "it is he who sits above the circle of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers...who brings princes to naught and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing"
  • God's power is present throughout the creation
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God is present everywhere and throughout time. God is in all parts of his creation

  • God is present in all parts of his creation, sustaining them, therefore, he is aware of everything in the universe
  • Presence of God is recurring in the Bible:

Gen 1 - God is present in creation when he moved over the earth

Gen 3 - he is present in Eden

Job 38 - He is present at the foundations of the earth and in the heavens

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God has knowledge of everything that has happened in the past, in the present and knows what will happen in the future. No one can hide their thoughts or actions from God

  • God has all knowledge of everything; past, present and future
  • He knows the intention of people better then they do e.g  Eve eats fruit of the tree - God knew
  • God has limitless knowledge of creation and its functions because he mad eit
  • Job 38-39 shows God's omniscience "... do you know the ordinances of the heavens? can tou establish their rule on earth?"
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Other attributes of God

ETERNAL - Boethius suggested that God was timeless. God has no beginning or end

GIVER OF FREE WILL - God gave humans the gift of free will, enabling them to choose between good and evil

PERFECTION - God is good and perfect and so whatever he creates is good

IMMUTABLE - God does not change. God does not have the potential to develop into anythin else because he is already perfect

THE WORLD COMES FROM GOD - the world was deliberately created by God as an act of love

CREATIO EX NIHILO - nothing existed before God. Everything in existence was created by God from nothing

All of these titles and attributes tell us about the greatness of God

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Bible vs Aristotle

  • Arisotle's Prime Mover is transcendnet - it created by thought/word rather than movement and crafting - this fits with the account of Gen 1


  • Gen 2 shows us a more immanent God - unlike Aristotle's PM, becasue if the PM interacts it would have the potential to change, thus making it no longer the unchanged PM
  • Gen 2 shoes that God talks to mankind, having a relationship aswell as being high and above us - ANTHROPORMORPHIC - The PM appears uncaring, although it is still high and above
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Is God responsible for everything that happens in

  • Can you assume that if God is the creator then he is responsible for everything we do?
  • But, God gave humanity Free Will to choose between good and evil - so not totally responsible?
  • Problem of evil challenges omni titles - he has the power to stop evil yet he doesn't therefore he must be responsible
  • But God gave mankind free will and so that must make mankind partly responsible
  • Maybe God's omniscience knows something we don't about evil's purpose  
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