A Jagged Contention: A Good Creation

The First Article: Creation

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

-Martin Luther’s Small Catechism: The First Article and Explanation


Question:

In the past, many Christians have spent very little time emphasizing the goodness of God’s creation, and instead, pit the material against the spiritual. Why is it important to have a robust theology of creation? How does it impact our overall theology? What are the dangers of having a low view of creation?

Share your thoughts in the comments below

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4 thoughts on “A Jagged Contention: A Good Creation

  1. “What are the dangers of having a low view of creation?”

    One obvious danger is that creation is treated as a lower matter of concern, instead of as the principle means by which our Father provides “daily bread” for his children.

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  2. In our fallen condition–even though redeemed and sanctified–there are residues of corrupted thinking. Without vigilance to focus on the truth that God is the Creator of all things and a Biblical view of His sovereign order of all things, we swing between foolish extremes of thought…
    On one extreme we reduce the material to either irrelevance or even, in some circles of piety, equate any appreciation for the heavens, the seasons, the earth and created things to devil worship. In doing so, we dangerously render the applied sciences and seasonal celebrations in the Body of Christ as contemptible practices: as if 1) discovering the laws of physics under God’s sovereign dominion made the laws of physics, by our discovery, suddenly a work of Satan; or 2) God Himself had nothing to do with setting His Biblical Feasts in near juxtaposition with Chaldean seasonal observances from which He extracted Abraham and gifted Israel…
    When the pendulum swings to the other extreme, we forget that the earth has been corrupted by our corruption, and we think we can save the earth from the consequences of our corruption by zealously engineered global initiatives…
    The fulcrum of our mind’s pendulum is our humanistic obsession with ourselves. This is the persuasive suggestion planted in our progenitors’ little grey cells, which they embraced “hook, line and sinker.” “The apple does not fall far from the tree…”
    The persuasive and deceptive soup in which we swim influences our thought life on a daily basis. We forget that God’s plan to redeem creation is rooted in the fullness of the redemption of the bodies of all who believe in Christ (Romans 8.19-22)… Wrapped inseparably into that moment of creation’s restoration to glory, is the fruition of God’s promise to gather the elect of His people Israel to the moment when their eyes behold Yeshua, the Holy One and every one of those, from the least to the greatest, as one, weeps for Him as for an only Son…the effect upon the earth from that time onward will be astounding–a new heaven and a new earth–an extreme make-over of apocalyptic and glorious proportions…
    Essentially, I believe that if we looked at creation–whether man, beast, the heavens, or the earth–with the lens of maturing in our Biblical understanding, we would seek without reservation the increase of His Name and His Kingdom in our personal lives instead of the increase of our name and our initiatives; we would worship God more heartily, we would witness more boldly, and we would pray without ceasing…
    https://georgetownrose.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/ezekiels-vision-the-restoration-of-israel/

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  3. A postscript to my previous comment: as I review the First Article in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, I notice his thoughts and thanksgiving for God’s blessings in creation for how they satisfy his needs and pleasures by the mercy and love of God. With the brevity of our century’s human attention span, a reader–if they even read as far as the last benefit before the semicolon–is all too ready to stop right there. But if we stop there, and do not continue to absorb the reality of God’s mercy, it becomes all about us–eat, drink and be merry–tra, la, la, la, la…Soon we are convinced we are entitled to it all, instead of being treated with the great mercy of God in our rebellious posture. I would boldly speak what the record of Scripture declare: that we were given the blessings of creation and the privilege of having dominion over it in order to worship and serve our Creator, not ourselves–to increase and multiply His Name and His Kingdom upon the earth, instead of increasing and multiplying our name and our kingdom upon the earth. And those who are called by His Name are called to honor this commission, and to be thankful to God for it and all that He has provided to glorify Him in it…

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  4. When we do not affirm the goodness of creation we make ourselves vulnerable to gnostic modes of thought. The Incarnation and Means of Grace become taboo. Ultimately, the material world in its entirety is meant to unite us to God through Jesus Christ. God’s provision of “daily bread” is intimately bound to the gift of Holy Communion. When the material world is seen as inherently wicked, one is not so far away from denying Christ’s presence in the Sacraments.

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