The ramblings, rants, and observations of an Orthodox Reactionary. Feel free to look around!

Monday, February 7, 2011

"The Orthodox Way" Chapter Three: God as Creator

Been reading this book by Bishop Kallistos Ware. I really recommend you pick it up. Doing one chapter a week; reporting on cool things that stand out.

“If nothing compelled God to create, then why did he do so? Insofar as such a question admits of an answer, our reply must be: God’s motive in creation is his love. Rather than say that he created the universe out of nothing, we should say that he created it out of his own self, which is love. We should think, not of God the Manufacturer or of God the Craftsman, but of God the Lover[….] To love means to share, as the doctrine of the Trinity has so clearly shown us: God is not just one but one-in-three, because he is a communion of persons who share love with one another. The circle of divine love, however, has not remained closed. […] By voluntary choice God created the world in love, so that there might be besides himself other beings to participate in the life and love that are his.” –on creatio ex nihilo


“God alone has the cause and source of his being in himself; all created things have their cause and source, not in themselves, but in him. God alone is self-sourced; all created things are God-sourced, God-rooted, finding their origin and fulfillment in him. God alone is noun; all created things are adjectives.”


“In saying that God is Creator of the world, we do not mean merely that he set things in motion by an initial act ‘at the beginning’, after which they go on functioning by themselves. God is not just a cosmic clockmaker, who winds up the machinery and then leaves it to keep ticking on its own. On the contrary, creation is continual. If we are to be accurate when speaking of creation, we should not use the past tense but the continuous present. We should say, not ‘God made the world, and me in it,’ but ‘God is making the world, and me in it, here and now, at this moment and always.’ Creation is not an event in the past, but a relationship in the present. If God did not continue to exert his creative will at every moment, the universe would immediately lapse into non-being; nothing could exist for a single second if God did not will it to be. As Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow puts it, ‘All creatures are balanced upon the creative word of God, as if upon a bridge of diamond; above them is the abyss of divine infinitude, below them that of their own nothingness.’” – on Deism


“Human beings are not counters that can be exchanged for one another, or replaceable parts of a machine. Each, being free, is unrepeatable: and each, being unrepeatable, is infinitely precious. Human persons are not to be measured quantitatively: we have no right to assume that one particular person is of more value than any other particular person, or that ten persons must necessarily be of more value than one. Such calculations are an offense to authentic personhood. Each is irreplaceable, and therefore each must be treated as an end in his or her self, and never as a means to some further end. Each is to be regarded not as object but as subject.” – on human dignity

I really, really recommend this book.

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