Thursday, 6 January 2011

Human Creativity

There are some that think that in Christian theology there is the belief that until Jesus appeared heaven was merely watching things unfold here on earth. So some think that creation was a project that God set in motion and then sat back and watched things unfold once it was all in motion.

I'm sure many Christians would want to say that God has always been and continues to be intimately involved with His creation. But when we use language like 'God intervened' then we are in danger of seeing God as being 'far away' from us, 'looking down from heaven' and then, when a miracle happens we think that he has stepped in and done something only to then go off 'back to heaven'.

Firstly, God created everything out of nothing. Before anything existed, there was God living and loving in a perfect relationship within Himself as Father, Son and Spirit. Then He created all things out of NOTHING. He didn't create out of space or dark matter or atoms; he didn't create stuff from the universe; the universe has not existed for eternity; God created all things from absolutely nothing. God spoke and things began to exist, even time itself. The universe, however, cannot continue to exist unless God continues to preserve it and sustain it; creation needs God to continually act and create and sustain for it to continue to 'be'. If there was a moment that the presence and action of God stopped in the universe, then the universe would collapse once more into nothing.

So saying that God 'intervened' is not helpful, because God is never removed from creation. That does not mean that God is a part of creation, but that God is distinct from creation whilst always being active within it. A tree does not have God in it, but a tree cannot exist unless God wants it to exist. So God is here with us by His Spirit, involved in our lives.

God will sometimes act in the most miraculous and surprising ways, but this is Him continuing that goal of everything finding its purpose and goal in Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the source, purpose and goal of all creation, and one day He will bring all things together in peace and harmony.

What does any of this have to do with human creativity then?

Well human creativity, something that is given by the Holy Spirit, a sharing in the creativity of God, is to help creation, humans included, to reach the goal that God has always intended. The goal is be perfected and transformed and be in relationship with God through Jesus. Jesus is the goal of everything. So the church is called to be a people of real creativity in the power of the Holy Spirit helping people and communities, creation and all things to reach their goal, to share in the love of their Creator.

Creativity is a vital and can sometimes be lost within our churches and communities. Let us look for ways to be powerfully creative with the hope of helping our communities move towards the goal of being in eternal relationship with Jesus.

How can you be creative? What kind of creative actions can we do in these coming days and weeks to bring about something of God's love, grace and Kingdom?


Perrie D said...

The problem I find, as an atheist, of the view of an ever-present God creating even time is who created God? surely this incredibly complex, able being who can just say something and have an entire growing universe appear must have come from somewhere? you can't really say that if nothing exists without God creating it then you can't excuse God from that scenario either. Just my view, anyway. :-)


Joe Haward said...

Hi Perrie

Good to hear from you. Hope you are well?

It's a great question you raise and one that is a mystery quite honestly.

But I believe that God is the un-created Creator. In other words, God does not have a beginning or an end but has always existed in and outside of eternity. And I think that the only way for God to truly be God is for Him to have always been. If something existed with God in eternity or something created God, then God would cease to God because there would be something more powerful than God.

I don't think mystery is unreasonable or something to be rejected though. I'm sure as an atheist you recognise some things as a mystery? I think it was Brian Cox the physicist who said that there is much about the universe that is a complete mystery, but that it being a mystery makes it beautiful.

Hope everything is going well for you mate.


Tom Haward said...

If churches wish to be creative then they may want to scrap their bland music and horrendous children's entertainment. Creatively dismantle many aspects.

It may help to move many churches out of the strange bubble they reside in.

Joe Haward said...

I think you're right bro. I think creativity has been lost and there is a need to start thinking and acting again in creative ways.