What’s the World Like?

We know that God is our Ultimate Reality and that humans are created in His image, but what about everything else?  What about the birds, trees, ocean, even the whole universe?  I want to make 3 specific points about the universe as a whole, and how God created it.

First off, we believe that God created it out of nothing.  That is, God created the universe out of nothingness.  He didn’t create it out of Himself.  He spoke it, and matter existed.  He created the physical world, including the transcendent laws by a sheer act of His will.  He wanted it; it was.

Secondly, we know that God didn’t create the universe in chaos.  He set up a system of cause and effect that is uniform.  If I drop an item on earth, it will fall with a constant acceleration.  If I eat bread that’s moldy, I’ll throw up (Maybe because of food poisoning, but definitely because that’s gross).  This ordered system of cause and effect allows us to use the Scientific Method and mathematics to predict a response in our universe.  Science works because God created the Universe in order.  To say, as so many Christians have said (and some continue to say), that science is against God or the Bible is to almost completely misunderstand science AND the Bible.  My favorite Proverb is:

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”  Proverbs 25:2

That verse alone, along with the Cultural Mandate, gives humans not only the right, but the command to do scientific study.  We learn about this ordered universe by studying it!

But those two points alone don’t give us a complete view of the Christian idea of the Creation.  The fact that God created it orderly can leave us this idea that afterwards God has left us to our own devices.  He set it in motion and then stepped back and watched what happened.  This is not Christianity (or any Theism), it is Deism.  Christians have one additional aspect to the universe:

God has left it open.  I’m not stating that I believe in Open Theism – that’s a different topic for a different day.  I’m stating that God has given us, as humans, the ability to make meaningful, universe-affecting decisions.  It also means that God can alter the order that He has put in place.  In short, I mean that the universe is not closed to miracles.  The Creator can (and has) interfere with the ordered system to communicate with His creation.

This is a sticky point, even within Christendom.  I’m not saying something like, “Every baby born is a miracle.”  Because, by definition, it’s not – it’s the natural order of creation that God set in motion.  What I am saying is that miracles can happen and have happened within history.  The burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, the floating axe-head, healings, and the Resurrection all happened.  They are not part of the natural order, but in these rare instances, God steps into Creation and alters the system for His specific purpose. 

Interestingly enough, it’s impossible to prove a miracle happened.  By definition, a miracle is break from the laws that govern our universe.  Since science is the study of creation within those laws, miracles are not scientific.  That being the case, I like to tell people, “Just because we can’t prove it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

What do you think about Creation?  Am I missing any points?

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