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Two Meanings of “Creation”

A friend passes along this from Fr. Robert Spitzer. The meanings of “creation” are double, at least. This is a helpful point.

The Creator Must Continuously Create All Else That Is Real 

This may at first appear confusing to those who interpret “creation” as “creatio ex nihilo” (a one-time creation of the universe out of nothing). Though this is a common meaning of “creation,” this argument views “creation” in a broader way as “the ultimate fulfillment of conditions by the unconditioned Reality itself.” Naturally this definition is not in conflict with “creatio ex nihilo”; it simply includes the possibility of the Creator (the source, power, or activity of the ultimate fulfillment of conditions) continuously fulfilling conditions ultimately, and, as it were, “holding or conserving” conditioned realities in being… 

If the Creator stopped “thinking” about us, we would literally lapse into nothingness. 

New Proofs for the Existence of God, Robert J. Spitzer,  p. 142-143.

In other words, creation can denote (1) creation from nothing, or (2) holding up and maintaining creation billions of years after the initial creation. In the second meaning, God’s thinking of us — like a human lover’s — upholds our own existence. Design in the cosmos operates at both levels. These are themes of our colleague Steve Meyer’s upcoming book, Return of the God Hypothesis.

Fr. Spitzer visited with us at Discovery Institute several years ago. He is pictured above exchanging greetings with a well-wisher.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



creatio ex nihilocreationcreatorDiscovery Instituteexistencefaith and scienceloverReturn of the God HypothesisRobert SpitzerStephen Meyer