My Thoughts on the Doctrine of Creation
Having a solid perspective on the doctrine of creation is vital if we want to meaningfully engage with those who are not in union with God, especially scientist and eco-friendly people. When it comes to origins, all must have faith. While I trust the creation accounts in Scripture at the beginning of Genesis, we must exegete the creation text(s) according to their literary genre, recognizing that Genesis 1 is a liturgical psalm speaking to metaphysical realities, as opposed to being a scientific treatise speaking to our modern curiosities. The creation story makes it clear that God is the creator of all, and people are made in his image. It was written as a “vigorous protest against the then-accepted notions of creation” stated in the Enuma Elish. With Pannenberg and other theologians, I believe we need to engage Theistic evolution theory in appreciative and critical ways, understanding that all truth is God’s truth and both science and theology are evolving.
It is also important to have both a “Creation” Christianity and a “Redemption” Christianity, for the Father created everything through the Son and for the Son by the Spirit, so creation and redemption are linked together, and as Pannenberg reminds us, the completion of creation happens at the eschaton. Understanding the continuity between creation and new creation reminds us that we must be good stewards who take care of our home by taking only our share, cleaning up after ourselves and keeping the house in good order for others, without mistaking the earth as God’s body.