Concept of God as Creator
In the bible, the belief is that the world was created by God. The relationship between God and humanity is a result of creation.
Qualities of God
God stands apart from the universe and is transendant.
Omnipotent - all powerful
Omnisciene - all knowing
omnipresence - is everywhere - present in all situations at all times
omnibenevolence - all loving - shares his love with creation
Creatio ex nihlo - christians believe that God was the creator AND shaper of the world.
science and religion
Some scientists say that matter could not have been brought into existance when there was no matter before.
Aristotle - 'nothing can come from nothing'
St Augustine - suggested that time is an intrinsic part of the created world and the descriptions 'in the beginning' and 'creation out of nothing' do not refer to a particular moment.
God purposely made humanity
God made the world for humanity. In the first creation story god set everything in place before creating people. In the second creation story humanity came first followed by animals (as companions). - both stories suggest that the world was purposely made for humanity. not that people happened bny accident or chance!
According to the bible God is not unmoved at all and knows his creation intimately - he takes interest and pride in the things he has made and cares about the actions of his creations.
Unmoved or moved - For Aristotle God creates movement by attracting everything towards himself - the objects have desire to move.
Relationships with humanity - calls the world into existance desiring a loving relationship with creation - a relationship that works both ways.
Goodness of creation - God described his creation as 'very good' - everything made by God is good and purposeful - NOTHING exists by chance. God thought everything through - to love his creation / interact with them.
Problem of evil
HOWEVER if God loved his creation and purposefully made them and thought is creation was 'very good' how come he made evil in the world - there to test humanity. How come he made less perfect forms such as disease and disabilities?
Moreover if God created the universe and everything in it then HE is responsible for the everything that happens in the universe including evil and suffering. For example - he purposely gave the serpent in the narrative of 'the fall' its craftiness and still established it as 'very good'.
Should a loving god allow evil and suffering to harm his creation? or is he testing us to make us better people/perfect people?
The second creation story
The second creation story begins to address the questions about the 'problem of evil'
tells the story of adam and eve falling away from God and destroying the perfection given to them by disobeying God and giving into temptation from the servant.
Schleiermacher - suggested either the world was created perfect and god let it go wrong or the world was created imperfect and evil and suffering already existed. In both cases, God can be held responsible for evil and suffering.
Genesis 1-3 - two traditional accounts of creation
Genesis 1 - Chapter 1 - tells us how God created the world ex nihlo (out of nothing) over a period of six days..
After each day he surveyed what he had creared and 'saw that it was good'
on the sixth day he created man 'in his own image'
....... The spirit of God was identified with the 'logos' - the word of God. - the intelligble part of Gods being. God created simply by command. The logos is often comapred with Platos forms.
This shows that God pre exists the creation of the world and shows Gods complete sovereignty over the created order.
second part = adam and eve
Tree of Knowledge -'you may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knoweldge of good and bade. you must not eat the fruit of that tree. if you do, you will die the same day.'
Serpent - One of Gods animals - clever - wise and arrogant - starts the fall by distorting the words of God.
Eve and the serpent - serpent tempts eve into touching the apple to prove she will not die. serpent tells her that god forbade them for eating of the tree because he was scared that they would become more powerful than him. woman is 'becoming' human through temptation.
Result of eating apple - man and woman become human
- vunerable - aware of nakedness - guilt and shame
- man blames woman who blames serpent - more human characteristics
God as judge - serpent - forced to crawl on its belly
eve - pain in child birth
adam - will have to work for a living.