Ex Nilho

This is the second post in my series, Objections to Classic Theology. In my last post, I suggested a major issue with the doctrine of the immutability of God. I proposed that either God can and has changed his essential nature through the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ; or that God (at least, the second person of the Trinity) has eternally been some form of union of physical and spiritual substance. Allowing for the latter and thereby the immutability of God. This brings us to another dillema. The idea that God created out of nothing known in Latin terms as Creatio Ex Nihilo!

Ex definition

Scientists have long suggested that matter, itself, is eternal; while classic theists have maintained that God has created the physical world out of nothing based on Genesis 1. However, if God is immutable, then physical matter certainly must have been in existence as part of the dual substance of God. God, therefore, did not create out of nothing; rather He created out of himself. This is not to say that God is everything or in everything; or everything is God. I am not proposing any form of pantheism or panentheism. God is certainly distinct and transcends the creation. Yet, God’s omnipotence certainly includes the ability to create using his own substance.

Such a view falls directly in line with Jonathan Edwards’ argument, which was later reiterated by Ben Stevens,  that God’s purpose in performing the act of creation at all was to expand himself. While I don’t have the space here to go into the details of Edwards’ argument; the crux is that God as a supreme being ought to recognize himself as the supreme value. As the supreme value, the creating would not by definition fulfill any need or want that was lacking as this would deny God’s perfection. This then means that the only motivation for God to create would be to create in order to expand something he values. God as the supreme value therefore, would be motivated to expand Himself.

Why God Created The World

This suggestion by Edwards further validates (does not prove) the proposal that God did not create ex nihilo; rather he created from something – namely Himself. This thought should not diminish the awe of God; but instead increase it. God, took apart of himself, and made a reality which contained creatures that unique and distinct from himself using the substance of his own being. Not only was it the substance of his own being; but he split that substance to create two entirely different types of creatures. Out of the spirit substance, God created angels; however, out of the physical, God created us. Our God is an awesome God!

Descarte