Category Archives: Creation

Self Creation

Saint AugustineAugustine of Hippo speaking to those who doubted the God of creation tells us: “Where could such a creature come but from you, O Lord? Is any man clever enough to have fashioned himself? Or is there any other source from which being and life could flow into us…”

Let us examine two questions.

Where did we originate if not from God?

Recently, Scientist Stephen Hawking has concluded that the Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe. Augustine set forth a really good contrary argument when he challenges our origin, if not from God where? This whole concept of scientific randomness is very difficult for me to believe. I believe that the whole mystery of life and death points to a creator. That may be an old fashioned concept, but it brings me a sense of place that far exceeds that I am a random act of physics.

Can we create ourselves?

Man has been trying to create himself for a very long time, but we have never become clever enough to succeed. From the earliest days of science we have sought to find the key to life, and it is a noble quest. A man can no more create himself than he suspend himself in the air. There must be help to do such a thing. Creation is God’s providence. Humans are very presumptuous when they claim to have this matter solved. Life and faith are about mystery, not certainty!

May God allow His essence to continue to flow through us.

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Filed under Augustine of Hippo, Creation, Science and Religion

God’s Handiwork

If we seek Jesus, the word, we must be able to see Him in the created things around us—in the hills, the fields, the flowers, the birds and animals that He created, in the sky and the trees. We must be able to see him in our contact with nature. Nature is no obstacle to our contact with Him, if we know how to use it.

— Thomas Merton

Seeing God in creation is very natural for some and most challenging for others. The early church had a real problem with pantheism- the worship of nature as God. Fear of pantheism, fostered by well-meaning Christians, tends to negate the contribution of God’s creation to our spiritual development. Merton asserts that the created earth must be a vital part of our pilgrimage.

His most important statement is that nature is not an obstacle to our contact with God if we know how to use it. An essential challenge for us today is to relate God to His creation without making His creation our god. Far too manySwamp Christians see creation care as contrary to their spirituality. There is an unmerited fear that truly seeing God in a sunset or a beautiful flower is contrary to orthodox Christianity. Next time you see something beautiful, give God the glory.

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

–Psalm 19:1

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Filed under Art, Creation, Environment, Nature, Thomas Merton