Foundation for Reformed Theology


In Karl Barth's early lectures on the Apostles' Creed, published as Credo, his fourth lecture is on "Creator of Heaven and Earth." So we have arrived at the fourth email in this series.
"Creator of Heaven and Earth"

The statement: "God is the Creator of the World" has in the main a double content: it speaks of the freedom of God (one could also say: of His holiness) over against the world, and of His relationship (one could also say: of His love) to the world.

1. With the proposition: God is the Creator! we acknowledge that the relationship of God and world is fundamentally and in all its implications not one of equilibrium or parity, but that in this relationship God has the absolute primacy. This is no mere matter of course, but rather a mystery, which all along the line determines the meaning and the form of this relationship: that there is a reality at all differentiated from the reality of God, a being beside the divine Being. . . .

Heaven and earth are not themselves God, are not anything in the nature of a divine generation or emanation, are not, as the Gnostics or mystics would again and again have it, in some direct or indirect way, identical with the Son or Word of God. In opposition to what even Christian theologians have on occasion taught, the world must not be understood as eternal. it has, and with it time and space have, a beginning. . . .

It necessarily follows that the meaning and the end of the world of His creation is not to be sought in itself, that the purpose and the destiny of this world could only be to serve God as the world's Creator and indeed to serve as "theatre of His glory" (Calvin). From God's creating the world it follows that He created it for this purpose and with this destiny and therefore created it in accordance with this purpose and this destiny and therefore good. . . .

2. With the proposition: God is the Creator! we now recognise also that just in that so utterly unequal relationship in which it stands to God, the world has reality and indeed a reality of its own, that is willed and appointed by God, upheld, accompanied and guided by God.

Karl Barth, Credo, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936), pp. 30-31, 32, 33.

Dr. James C. Goodloe IV
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Grace and Peace,

Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive Director

Foundation for Reformed Theology

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