Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Plantinga Chapter 2 - Creation

Plantinga begins chapter two of his book, Engaging God’s World, with creation. He explores the existence and origin of creation. Either creation was intentional and necessary or it was an accident, Plantinga concludes. An accident seems utterly hopeless when compared to an intentional creation. In fact, Plantinga writes that if there is a God, then it would be his very nature to create, a sort of imaginary love. G. K. Chesterton writes, “The whole difference between construction and creation is… that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” God did not create on an accident or whim. Instead, the act of creation fit God. He was being God.

In addition, Plantinga challenges our idea of glorifying God. Look at a tree or cow for instance. They are glorifying God by being what God intended them to be, chewing grass, producing calves, carrying out photosynthesis, growing tall and bushy towards the sky. Everything an animal or plant or any inanimate object for that matter seems to be glorifying God twenty four seven. They glorify God by being what God intended them to be. As for humans, however, it seems that it requires a conscious effort to glorify God. It’s almost as if we must decide when to choose to glorify God. Perhaps our intelligence and freewill muddles our minds as well as our sinful nature. We as humans must choose to express the gifts of God written about in James 1:17. However, God is able to obtain glory from all and anything. Creation was constructed to flourish and glorify God.

I enjoyed reading Plantinga’s reasons for why humans are like God. The first is that God gives human beings authority in the created world. He gives us “responsible dominion.” We are not conquerors of creation but stewards. The second reason is that “we image God when we live in loving communion with each other.” This relates back to his previous chapter and C. S. Lewis’s writings concerning shalom, a flourishing wholeness, perichoretic glory. We image God by imaging Christ. This implies that we display godly knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. The third and final reason for why humans are like God is that “we image God by conforming to Jesus Christ in suffering and death.” We must express a self-giving love, a sacrificial love. We are disciples to Jesus and thus not greater to our master. Instead, as in that time period, we must follow our rabbi in his footsteps, doing exactly what he would do. When we lose our life for Christ, we will find it in him.

No comments:

Post a Comment