1 of 21

Slide Notes

DownloadGo Live


Published on Nov 22, 2015

Old Testament creation theology.




...the functional ontology of creation, the role of humanity in exercising dominion, and the ongoing process of creation which humans hinder through the choice to sin or participate in by obedience to God’s order and will.

"the ancient world defined existence in terms of having a function in an ordered system...the line between existence and nonexistence was functional, not material."

"When the ancient texts talk about how something functions in an ordered system, the system under discussion is not a cosmic or ecological system. It is a system inhabited by beings. In the ancient Near East the functions were focused on the gods, who had created everything to work for their benefit and under their authority."

“to know God is to know his will. In the Old Testament to know God is not a mystical experience or merely an inter-personal relationship. Nor is it a feeling of spirituality. Rather, the knowledge of God is defined throughout as obedience to his will which has a content.”

In Hebraic worldview, humanity is created in order to benefit from God, not to benefit god as in other Ancient Near East accounts.

The Biblical view of creation is that humans were intentionally made to live with God, one another, and the earth, in specific ways that result in harmony, peace, and provision for the whole world.

"in its original meaning Genesis 1:28 is anything but a justification of the belief that human beings are all-powerful and possess a brain that possesses not only the ability, but also the right to exploit all other creatures and everything the world has to offer, without regard for the consequences."

When humanity ceases to function within the order that God created, then we cease to be exercising dominion by maintaining order and we engage in sin which leads the world back into chaos.

“Human being is manifest by acting as God would act, being the reflected image of the God who creates, sustains and brings about order.”

The image of God in human beings is connected to an ongoing creative process in which order and chaos are always held in tension.

"Since chaos persists, it is proper to say that God continues to create, inviting human beings, made in the divine image, into the ongoing creative process."

“God does not cease being Creator in Genesis 3, as if God’s creative work is finished once the cosmic elements are set in place and all the flora and fauna are initially generated.”

While a common modern interpretation of Sabbath is to rest from activity, in context of Ancient Near East, it is not a rest from labor, but an ongoing activity.

The human responsibility to have dominion in the earth, sustaining order as outlined by God’s creation was always given boundaries by God in a revelation of God’s own will.

“Chaos results when humans fail to fulfill the responsibility of dominion.”

“Our contemporary judicial thinking is based on a Greek model where the guilty act is separated from the subsequent result. Our courts distinguish between verdict and punishment. But this is not Hebrew thinking. In the Hebrew world, a sinful act brings about its natural, inevitable consequences. The two are inseparable.”

Creation theology allows that human functioning can lead to chaos, but also that human participation in creation has redemptive power.

“Adam and Havvah are order‐making image bearers. They are to extend God’s order to the rest of creation. The point is clear: Man was never intended to remain in the Garden. He was designed to bring heavenly rule to the entire earth.”

As co-creators with God, called to bring God’s order to all of creation, even now outside of the garden, we work within a dynamic of crisis and stability that it always in tension.

Because creation is ongoing, our actions have consequences in a world turning between two poles, creation or chaos.