Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Plantinga: Creation

Why were we created?

Platinga writes that God didn’t need to create us because of loneliness nor our existence was an accident. We were created out of love and to love. Evidence of this fact can be observed in everywhere. The details of life show careful planning and dedication, the perfect harmony of systems of the universe refute coincidence. Everything that breathes, everything that does not breathes; all praise the Lord and reaffirm his existence in their own unique and special way. I agree that we too, are part of this wonder.

Being created “in the image of God,” we, mere creatures, were crowned with honor. To not put into shame His name, one has the responsibility to follow His footsteps. Just like God rested on the seventh day, one must also consider that day as holy and sacred. Together with silence, one can finally fully contemplate God’s work, reflect in it, and find joy in it. God also gave us ‘authority’ over the rest of his creation. This authority is more of a “responsible dominion,” where the word that describes it is not “conquer” nor "abuse", but “support.” Our task is to take care of nature and “live in healthy interdependence with it.” Respecting creation, Platinga writes, is respecting God.

Other blessings and instructions are added to this original one. We are told to be “fruitful and multiply.” This includes various cultural gifts, like art, language, etc. Though corrupted and distorted by sin, they still retain their goodness by coming from the Creator. Also because God is a triune God, He is a social and personal God at the same time. Following His example, we are told to live in union and harmony with our neighbors, forming communion. In short, what I understood from all this is that: God is our role model. We were created in his image; we are to follow his way.

Lastly, the chapter talks about the meaning of the Christian doctrine. It points out eight things. First, it says that all is redeemable because they were originally good before sin came onto the stage. Second, all is special and still good. Though sometimes it may hurt us (take fire), it is not its fault but ours for being careless. Third, God created everything out of nothing. Pantheist thoughts, be it spiritual or materialist, are wrong. It mostly ends up leading to idolatry. Fourth, following the previous concepts, the natural world is to be loved because it represents God’s goodness, but it is not to be worshiped. Fifth, just like everything else, work and marriage are good too in their own way. Sixth, as we were created in His image, we have responsibilities as well as rights, and no one is to take them away from us as they were assigned by God. Seventh, we were created for communion. And lastly, eighth, we are only an image of God and not God Himself. Yes, to be created in his image is “honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar..." (C.S. Lewis -Prince Caspian). Platinga too supports this by writing that we are “more than bodies,” and Lewis states that no one is a “mere mortal.” But honor must be retained with humility. Only like that one can remember that everything was given by God and that God is the creator of all.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciated your breaking down of the Plantinga chapter, especially in the last paragraph. I have nothing really to say now....