What’s at Stake in the Doctrine of Creation

What’s at Stake in the Doctrine of Creation June 6, 2012

(photo by Courtney Perry)

A week from now, I’ll be canoeing through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with ten Fuller DMin students, Brian McLaren, Courtney, and a couple guides from Boundary Waters Experience. Our conversations will center on Christian Spirituality and the Doctrine of Creation.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the doctrine of creation in preparation, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the doctrine of creation is like an onion: you peel away one layer, and you find an equally significant layer underneath. Another metaphor is dominoes: knock the first one down, and lots more begin to fall.

I’m so intrigued by this that I think my next book after Why Pray? will be on creation. And I see my thoughts falling under these major categories:

God: What is the nature of God as “creator”? Does God sustain the cosmos, or did God set it up to be self-sustaining? What do the processes of evolution tell us about the nature of God?

Matter: Is matter co-eternal with God, or did God create matter ex nihilo?

Time: Was time created with matter, or has time existed eternally with God? What is God’s relationship to time — is God bound by time (whether voluntarily or by nature)?

Human Beings: What, exactly, does it mean to be in imago dei? Are human beings cooperating in creatio continua?

The Cosmos: What role do human beings play in all the cosmos? Are we, as we long thought, the crown of God’s creation, or are merely one carbon-based life form among many?

Of course, I’d love your thoughts on any of these topics.

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