I believe that God created everything that exists. We cannot say that this was done in six literal days, but it is clear that God accomplished the task of creation in his perfect timing and according to his holy will. God created the heavens and the earth and he has sustained and will continue to sustain all of his creation until the day when he has set forth as the end. Creation itself is the first grace we see coming from the Father. God did not need to create the universe; nothing necessitated God’s creation. But according to his mercy and grace, he created the world, as we know it. The pinnacle of God’s creative work was the creation of man. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…God saw all that he made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27,31).
I’m not entirely sure about the reasoning for the order of my 2000 Credo, but the next section was entitled “Creation.” The first thing that stands out to me in the above ideas concerning God are my overwhelming use of masculine language for God. That just seems so bad when I read it now. Also, while I appreciate my openness to the fact that creation may not have been done in six literal days, I’d want to make a stronger statement about that now. Certainly it is clear that what happened in the cosmos was not a six-day creation – but more importantly, it doesn’t matter whether it was or not. While some may take issue with the classic liberal stance, “I take the Bible seriously – not literally,” I think that’s a solid way to approach scripture. There needn’t be such a strong desire to prove scripture with facts or archaeological evidence, etc. There is so much more to the importance of scripture in our lives today than making sure that people view it as “literal.”
Aside from my continual use of masculine words (i.e. “the creation of man”), the last thing that troubles me in this section is my lack of saying anything about what humanity’s response to creation is. What is our call as to how we are to interact with all of God’s creations (animals, plants, environment, etc.). The “traditional” idea is that we are “stewards” of God’s creation; and I was quite comfortable with that idea until I heard Barbara Brown Taylor preach at Columbia Theological Seminary (you can read about some of her thoughts in depth here). Essentially, Taylor said that “We will not fight to save what we do not love.” So this idea that we should be “stewards” of God’s creation makes it sound too much like it’s something we have to do – it’s a duty, and not something that feel called to – not something that is borne out of love.
Taylor works from the idea of being stewards, to priest, neighbor, kin and finally…lovers. We are made in the image of the divine lover and so we are called to strive to love what God loves – what God has created and continues to create – God’s creation. I don’t see anything at all like that in my former statement.
Credo 2009: Creation
In the beginning, before the dawn of time, God began to create. Out of love, God created the cosmos, our world, all living things and humanity. God declared all of God’s creation to be good and thus humans were given the opportunity and command to be lovers of all of God’s creation. As children of God, it is our responsibility to love, care for and contribute to creation. Out of all the amazing creations of God, humanity was blessed with being created in the image of God, and thus has the potential and ability to be creative and relational.