Saturday, July 26, 2008

God, Creation, & Eschatology

Most well educated theologians do not take the Genesis account of creation literally and as historically factual. This also includes the chronicles of Adam and Eve and the misconduct that ultimately banished them from the Garden of Eden and separation from God. Most theologians, who also have a science background, agree there might have been a moment in time when the first human beings became aware of themselves and of the universe around them. But it's impossible to tell with absolute exactitude which of these was the male "first" (Adam) and the female "first" (Eve)to become self-cognizant, and how Homo sapien comportment evolved to also include shameful acts of sin and appalling destruction. This, however, does not negate the importance of Genesis as a valuable biblical constituent, nor the important theological Truths it has contributed by the shaping of our faith for thousands of years.

"Don't you ever,
You up in the sky,
Don't you ever get tired
Of having the clouds between you and us?"

A Native American prayer

This brings me to my next question. If the Genesis account of creation and separation is not scientifically substantiated, how then do we explain the separation of Man and God? Why does God create away from God and Man struggles so hard to find Him? The most intellectually defensible answer I can formulate is an amalgam of assertions made by two theologians who also understood the scientific method. Arthur Peacoke believed that God created outside himself, and then gave his creation "the potential to be all that it could." Teilhard de Chardin lived his life firmly positing his faith in an eschatological Christ. A Christ that summoned all of creation to ultimately converge in him. Might a combination of these two assertions be the answer? God creates outside himself, gives his creation the momentum to evolve and to realize its full potentialities. And then, through the passage of time, call his creation to converge in Him.

"It was his purpose in the fullness of time to bring all things to ahead in Him." Ephesians 1:10

The thought of God calling his creation to him is a beautiful idea to me, although it does leave me somewhat perplexed. Why move his creation away from him to ultimately take it back? This question, which demands considerable understanding, will leave you more perplexed the more you think about it, while at the same time revealing the beautifully mysterious ways of the Creator.


Rita said...

Nice post Tom,

Here's my thoughts, for what they're worth. To me it's that Prodigal Son kind of love, purified, tempered and magnified in the agonies of separation and reconciliation.

We have to know we want to be with God (this can only happen through separation), rather than just be with him without knowing.

Adrienne said...

I'm going to overlook the fact that you threw enough ten dollar words in that post to choke the horse next door........ ;)

"Why move his creation away from him to ultimately take it back?"

That statement would have God micro-managing which He doesn't do. He gave us free will so we could love Him because we wanted to, not because He made us.

All of this is based in faith which a gift freely given to those who ask. With enough faith a person is able to relax into the answers rather than always asking the questions.

Tom in Vegas said...

Auntie A-

That horse next door to you, if I'm not mistaken, was a Shetland Pony. And these words are no ten dollar words, I can assure you of that. At most a buck fifty:0)

Adrienne said...

Oh ok -- I'll settle for $5.00 words:)

Tracy said...

Very nice post Tom:)

Shirley said...

I don't think that everything needs to be scientifically substantiated. I think science is man's attempt to understand the universe on his own level, and some things are not ready for man, in his limited intellect, to grasp.

"how then do we explain the separation of Man and God?" God, who created us in His own image, did not create the separation; sin caused, and still causes, the separation. Are not our lives a constant struggle to free ourselves from sin so that we may, in the end be united to Him in heaven?

Thom said...

It's socialization- growing up- that moves us from the Divine. Until we integrate ourselves fully, and are "born again," we are ostracized from That from which we came.

That's me, anyway, for what it's worth to you.