Haitian Mountains, Photo by Robbie Pruitt, © February 2012
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” –Hebrews 11:3
God created everything ex nihilo, or "out of nothing" in seven literal days. This “out of nothing” does not exclude a design in God’s “heart and mind” of creation and humanity. God Himself embarked on creating from within God’s own being. While God creates within His own power and resources, He exists completely outside of His creation. Only God is capable of making something out of nothing. God creates out of His love and out of the essence of His being and nature.
Within this process of creation, see Genesis 1:1-2, God possibly begins His seven-day creation with an existing form that He has already created, and to which He is already relating. As it says in Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” In these verses, it appears that God is at work before He begins His seven-day creation and ordering of His world. This can account for the Earth seeming older than it is; contingent upon how God has created and ordered His world, and contingent on what is a product of the fall, and what is not a product of the fall.
This view of God creating in the six days from existing matter already formed by God’s Self before creation is supported by The New Bible Commentary. The commentary states the following about Genesis 1:1-2: “The New International Version accepts the traditional understanding of these verses, namely that they describe the very first act of creation, when God created all matter (the heavens and the earth) out of nothing But the earth immediately after creation was formless and empty, i.e. unproductive and uninhabited. So the narrative then proceeds to relate how in six days God organized this chaos into the well-ordered world we now see.”
People are unique to God’s creation. People did not evolve from a lesser species. Human beings were created unique, and in God’s image. We are special and superior to the rest of creation. Creation was intended to be good, was good, and was created for man. Humankind was created for God, to worship God, to bring God glory, and to enjoy God. As the Westminster Catechism states,” Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” While humanity is unique, superior, and special in creation, God does not need us for His own existence and well-being. God desires us and we were created out of His own Trinitarian love. God wants us.
In the theology of creation, one can hold a “day age theory” of creation and still be a believer. This “day age theory” holds that the Hebrew word for day, Yome, can mean “a period of time,” as well as a 24-hour day, according to the definition from Strong’s, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. This “day age theory” is not a viable rationale to support time for evolution, however. Nor should we see this added time as an invitation to embrace macroevolution, or its possibility. It seems impossible to reconcile macroevolution with Christianity, given the importance and uniqueness of humankind in God’s creation.
It is vital to note that God exists as Trinity before the foundations of the world and that Jesus and The Holy Spirit were co-creators with the Father. They were not created beings. We have already noted The Spirit of God hovering over the waters of the deep in Genesis 1:1-2. We can also see Jesus in creation from John 1:1-5:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
Jesus was in the beginning with God as the great “I Am” before creation. Through Him, Jesus, all things were made, and without Jesus, nothing was made. The Nicene Creed restates this Biblical truth from John beautifully as it speaks of creation:
“We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation” –Nicene Creed
In looking at creation, it is important to recognize all the creation accounts in scripture, not just the ones in Genesis, or in the Gospel of John. Colossians 1 and Job 38-42 also have creation accounts and Revelation 21 and 22 presents us with the ultimate re-creation account in the restoration of all things to come. Hebrews 11:3 speaks of creation, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
Colossians 1:15-17 also speaks of Christ’s role in creation and in the sustaining of the created order when Paul says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Without Jesus, there is no creation, or order of any existing thing.
Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Ge 1:1
Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. H3117
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Jn 1:1-5