Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

THEOLOGY > God > Work of Creation > God and then Creation  


The proper order is God and then Creation. The Scripture reads: “God created” (Gen. 1:1). God is first, and Creation is subsequent. This order, which must never be reversed, is instructive on several levels.

First, the order establishes the proper sequence of belief: initially there is belief in God, and this naturally leads to belief in Creation.

If God, the God of the Bible, is accepted, then Creation is not a dilemma. We do not believe in God because of Creation; rather, we believe in Creation because we believe in God. “He is not Creator and, therefore, Lord; He is first Lord and then Creator” (Houston, I Believe in God, 44-5).

This order is reflected in the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.” The One who is first addressed as “God the Father” and “Almighty” is then professed to be “Maker.” Because He is “God the Father” and “Almighty” He can be and is the “Maker.”

If we initially believe in who He is, we can believe in what He did! If one truly has faith in the God who reveals Himself in Scripture and what the Scripture affirms about the God who reveals Himself, the acceptance of Creation is not an intellectual struggle. “Because He is absolute Lord He is Creator” (Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption, 8).

Second, the order establishes the dependency of Creation on God; for God is before Creation, and Creation exists because of Him.

Initially there is God, and secondarily there is Creation because Creation was brought into being by Him, and creation is sustained by Him. So the fact of creation and the continuance of Creation are both determined by Him who was before Creation.

Creation is conditional, with no certainty of continuity because its essential character is opposite of God: He is self-determining and permanent, whereas Creation is provisonal and dependent. Only God is Absolute and man, along with all of the rest of Creation, is, in all facets of his existence, contingent. The Bible reads: “God created.”

Third, the order is the foundation for all valid theology and human reflection upon the universe and its meaning.

We do not begin with the world and then shift to God; rather, we start with God and then move forward to the world. God is the foundation upon which thinking and living must be based; He is the One who elucidates existence. Understanding of the cosmos is contingent upon a valid theology; remove God and there is no understanding.

It is significant that the Scriptures begin with the words: “In the beginning God”; He is neither justified nor proven—He is simply affirmed. And then His act is succinctly declared: “created.” And it is here that thinking must begin, with God and His deed of creating everything. Remove either and valid thinking evaporates.

Reflection that begins with man will always be flawed whereas the postulation of God provides a point from which to refine thinking—first God and then man. All proper teaching commences with God and proceeds toward man rather than beginning with man and then seeking to establish God.

To begin with God is to provide man with value, purpose, and hope; to reverse the procedure results in man having no significance, for if there is no God then there is no meaning, no purpose in the universe. God’s being establishes man’s existence and determines the worth and destiny of man; if God is not, then man is nothing. God must validate man, meaning that God cannot be the construction of man’s evolving thought.

False theology and philosophy begin with man; true theology begins with God. Theology must always precede anthropology, meaning that a humanism devoid of Theism is invalid.

See: Foundations, The God of Creation, and The Starting Point

Return to Work of Creation; Next Article: In the Beginning

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.