From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 20:05:54 EDT
>From: "Terry M. Gray" <email@example.com>
> If the Biblical text (and I'm not just talking about Genesis 1:1
> here) does not teach creation ex nihilo, then I shouldn't affirm it
> as part of my belief about God and his relationship with the world.
Terry, I know that I can take you at your word.
Let me whet your appetite a bit. Last October David Griffin delivered a
series of lectures at our church. The texts of these lectures are scheduled
be published by WJK some months down the road. Lecture #2 is titled,
"CHRISTIAN FAITH: A GREAT TRUTH THAT GOT DISTORTED"
Griffin begins with a listing of "Primary Doctrines of the Christian Good
News," which he affirms. The first on that list is:
"1. Our world has been created by a good, loving, wise, purposive God. This
part of the Christian good news stands in contrast with doctrines that have
maintained that our world was not created at all but has existed eternally,
or that it was created by an evil power, an indifferent power, or a power
devoid of intelligence and purpose."
Griffin then explores a number of developments in the history of Christian
theology that he (with extensive supportive argumentation) sees as
distortions of early Christian thought. The main section is titled,
"3. The Major Distortion: Creatio ex Nihilo"
This section opens with these words:
"Although it is widely assumed that the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is
biblical, this view is now rejected by leading scholars. The most thorough
treatments are found in Jon Levensonıs Creation and the Persistence of Evil
and Gerhard Mayıs Creatio Ex Nihilo."
I'm not going to argue with you on the topic now, but I do look forward to
your commentary on this chapter when it is published.
Howard Van Till
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