Creation theology: the truths we learn

God created the heavens and the Earth, or more specifically, through his spirit he molded all the planets, stars, and the life they sustain using energy, elements, and physical laws of the universe. He engineered the cosmos through gravity, atomic forces, chemical and genetic relationships, and more. We now know that Earth is 4.5 billion years old, that life evolved, and that humans were part of that sculpting from the metaphorical mud.

More truths about the physical universe are discovered each day, and as each day brings us new knowledge about how the universe works, we learn something more about how God put together and runs his physical creation. God is truth, and the truths we learn about rocks, water, bees, and trees, and the rest of his creation tells us more about how he works.

God is proud of his creation, and he tells us his creation story. Like any good speaker or writer, he knows his audience, so he communicates to each generation in a way they will understand. He did not tell an Abraham-era audience of sheepherders and fishermen the story of creation using light spectrum and molecular genetics terminology—words which would have passed unfathomed over their heads. Instead, he framed the creation story as a parable—a man and woman formed and brought to life out of mud that had been touched by spirit. He talks to us in the twenty-first century differently: same story, but different words.

We understand more details about our physical construction today than did the people of Abraham’s day. We know that raising hands in prayer occurs when blood-nourished muscles using mitochondria powered cells raise the bones, skin, fat, and tendons of our hands up toward heaven. The physical act supports the spiritual act—communing with our Father. We have bodies to live in and to pray with.

In one thousand years, our knowledge of the physical process of creation will be markedly more than it is today, and even more so in a million years (if our species survives that long). What doesn’t change is God ‘s spirit, love, and life behind it all, and that the exploration of God’s essence and of our relationship with him is available to all humans in all eras in whatever the terminology of the time is.

     — MRM

Note: Ellen Bernstein, in her essay “Creation Theology: A Jewish Perspective,” which is in The Green Bible, pages I-51 to I-57, says that “[C]reation theology isn’t creationism, the belief that the world was created by God in seven days. Creation theology is interested in the nature of nature, the nature of humanity, and the interplay of the two.”

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