“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Does God Need Creation? (summary)

If God created us for his own glory and joy (as well as ours), you might think that he needs his own creation - would he have been less happy without us, or would his glory be diminished if we did not exist to praise him? In response to this question, Jonathan Edwards wrote that God is like a fountain - of life and joy and all good things - and that "it is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain that it is inclined to overflow."

Creating worlds out of nothing, making people in his image, revealing himself through word and image and story - this is what God does and what he delights to do. Like water from a fountain, new things overflow into existence from God.

In a sense, you could say that God "needs" to create, but only because he needs to be himself - he doesn't need the things he makes. He gives, creation receives. And all the richness and beauty of creation is and always has been present in its Maker.

One of the incredible things about the Trinity is that love is part of the very being of God. If God was just one "person" he could not love another without creating someone to love. But God is Triune, both one being and three persons, and the love between the Father and the Son has been a reality, in Jesus' own words, since "before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).

We should of course be glad that God loves us as well and created us so that we could share in the love that he has always known. But maybe we should praise him even more for simply being all-sufficient in himself. Praise him not only because he will satisfy our thirst, but because he is the fountain of living water. All the gifts he gives to creation are eternally present in Him, and when he gives to creation, he is not any less himself, but more - always full, always overflowing.

"From Him and through Him and to Him are all things...All things are by Him and for Him. He utters Himself also for His own delight and sees that He is good. He is His own begotten and what proceeds from Him is Himself. Blessed be He!"

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