Master Craftsman vs Creatio ex nihilo
- Psalm 95 v3-6 'His hand formed the dry land'
- Isaiah 29 and Jeremiah 18 They compare God creating the world with that of a potter moulding his clay
- Genesis2v7 'Then the Lord took some soil from the ground and formed man from it'
- Hebrews 11v3 'What is seen was not made out of things that are visible'
- Genesis 1v1 'In the beginning when God created the universe'
- Revelation 4 v11 'For you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life'
Genesis 1v1 is central to the creatio ex-nihilo idea, the verse neglects to say out of what God made the universe that one assumes he made it from nothing.
Different interpretation of the Bible
The original Bible was written in Hebrew. Many Hebrew words have multiple meanings therefore the word 'created' was 'bara' and can also mean to choose or divide.
Many believe that in Genesis 1v1 , the correct interpretation of 'bara' is to choose or divide.
In the rest of Genesis the word 'separated' is used, this could be the correct meaning of 'bara'.
Judaeo Christians believe that God is the creator but they disagree in the nature of God the creator.
A creed is a statement of belief
Apostles Creed 'I believe in God, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth'
- Some say that creatio ex-nihilo was a 2nd century, theological concept that was developed due to the rising pressure of gnosticism
- Gnosticism was a prominent Heretical movement
- They believed that the world was created by a lesser deity, the DEMIURGE who orders the world out of chaos
- Malevolence (Evil) was the demiurge as it is linked to the material world which is evil
- The non-material world (of knowledge) is good
- This could be why creatio ex-nihilo came about as it was developed as a response to the teachings of gnosticism.
Creatio ex-nihilo vs Master Craftsman
Plato supports the master craftsman idea; that God was more like a divine architect.
-This is similar to ideas from Greek mythology where creation came out of existing primeval matter.
However, Augustine believed in the ex-hilio idea, along with John Calvin, John Henry and Matthew Henry.
Contemporary philosopher Ian Barbour defends God's goodness and superiority.
Thomas Oord believes we should reject creatio ex-nihilo and accepts that God created from primeval chaos. This way, God is still seen as omnipotent.
Colin Gunton, 20th century theologan believes God makes both the clay and the pot.
Is God responsible for the universe?
Theism= You believe that God created the earth and is still involoved with it
Judaeo Christians believe in a theistic God
God is responsible:
- Creato ex-nihilo concept- God chose how to create us so it is his responsibility because he made humans
- He is omniscient- he is all knowing and he knew as he created everything.It is his responsiblity because he knew what was going to happen
- He is omnipotent- he has the power to create and control everything so he is responsible
- Immanent - God is involved in everything so it is his responsibility
- Omnipresent- If he is everywhere then he has more responsibility
- Label of 'God the Father' gives God responsibility as he is the father of all creation
- Stewardship- When God made us stewards he was responsible for that choice. He knew the consequences so he is responsible
Is God responsible for the universe? 2
Deism= You believe in a God who created the earth but is no longer around
God is not responsible:
- Free will- God gave humans free will so it is their choice what they do not God's so he is not responsible for our actions
- Master Craftsman- God made everything from pre-existing matter. He created the best he could from the matter that existed so it is not his responsibility
- Transcendent- God is separate from everything so he is not as responsible
- Stewardship- God created humans to be stewards of the earth.He made the world but gave its responsibility to humans
- Agnostics and Atheists- God is not responsible because he does not exist
- Scientists- e.g. Charles Darwin, we evolved so it is a fact of nature and not down to God