Creation and Being

Creation and Being May 12, 2014

When the four living creatures give glory to God, the 24 elders fall and prostrate themselves and sing of God’s worthiness as Creator. He is worthy to receive glory, honor, and power because “you created all things and through your will the were and are created” (Revelation 4:11).

By this formula, God stands in a threefold relation to creation.

1) He is the origin of ta panta, all things. He is the active subject who creates.

2) All things were through the will of God. God’s will is the instrument by which He brought all things to be. That is still a past-oriented claim; it is not about God maintaining things in being by His will but about God making-them-be through His will.

3) The final clause assumes ta panta as the subject, and uses a passive verb. Ta panta are not self-created but they are (grammatically at least, perhaps ontologically) subjects of creation, albeit passive ones. Created things have a role in creation, not as creating but as things-created.

Given the overall triadic pattern of the songs of Revelation 4, we can perhaps press the point Trinitarianly: The Father is subject, the active creator; the Son is the Word/Will of the Father through whom all things were; the Spirit is the immanent principle by which created things are created, the One by whom creation suffers divine action.

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