August 09, 2005
Ch. XII. Q. 72. Doctrine of Creation
1. THE doctrine of creation is that in the beginning of time God created the heavens and the earth, without the use of preexisting materials; and that all things other than God depend upon Him for origination, preservation, development, and operation.1
ii. That no preexisting materials were used in creation is involved in the fact that the substance as well as the form of things was divinely created. This is signified by the traditional phrase "out of nothing," ex nihilo2, which means that the will of God was the sole cause and condition of the first origin of finite being.3
iii. The phrase ex nihilo nihil fit is true in the sense that there must be a cause of every finite substance. And nothing can come from nothing either (a) by finite power; (b) as material source; or (c) by emanation, generation and evolution. That every substance requires a preexisting material source is absurd.4
iv. Creation in its widest sense includes (a) immediate creation ex nihilo; (b) mediate creation, or the development of the existing cosmological order.
v. Time is the measure of finite events and durations. Therefore before creation there was no time. Considered as a divine act creation is necessarily eternal; but its products are temporal by created nature and began to be.5
vi. The objection that immediate creation is unimaginable is offset by the fact that the same is true of an eternal existence of matter. Every thinkable theory of the basis of existence takes us beyond the sphere of our experience and therefore beyond that of imagination.
vii. The doctrines of Preservation and of Providence are bound up with that of creation, and they will be summarized below.6
1 Gen. i-ii. 3; Exod. xx. 11; Neh. ix. 6; Job xii. 7, xxxviii.4 et seq.; Psa. xix. l, xxiv. 1-2, xxxiii. 6, civ; cxix. 90, cxlviii. 5-6; Prov. viii. 26-29; Isa. xl. 12, 26, 28; xliv. 24; xlv. 7-8; Jere. x. 12; Wisd. xi. 17; II Macc. vii. 28; Acts iv. 24; Rom. iv. 17; xi. 36; Heb. iii. 4; xi. 3; Rev. iv. 11; etc. On the whole subject, Creation; St. Thomas, I. xxii, xliv-xlix; A.P. Forbes, Nic. Creed. art. 4; H.P. Liddon, Some Elem. of Relig., pp. 56-66; A.J. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, ch. iii. 1-5; D. Stone, Outlines of Christ. Dogma, ch. IV; O. Dykes, Divine Worker in Creation and Providence; F.X. Schouppe, Elementa Theol Dogmaticae, Tr. vii; Wilhelm and Scannell, Manual of Cath. Theol. Bk. III; P. Ch. Pesch, de Deo Creante; H. Goodwin, Foundns. of the Creed, pp. 57-70; Hastings, Encyc. of Relig., s.v. "Creation"; and Dic. of Bible, s.v. "Cosmogony."
2 The only explicit biblical use of this phrase is in the Apocrypha, 2 Macc. vii:28
3 Creation, ch. ii. 4; C.M. Walsh, Doctr. of Creation (historical) ; St. Thomas, I. xlv. 1-2; J. O. Dykes, ch. III; W. Profeit, Creation of Matter.
4 Creation, pp.53-54; St. Thomas, I. xlv. 1. ad tert., J.O. Dykes, pp.58-63.
5 Contrast Gen. i. 1 with St. John i. 1. See Creation, ch. i. 3-4; ii. 3; St. Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xi. 4-6; T.A. Lacey, Elem. of Christ. Doctr., pp. 92-93; St. Thomas, I. xlvi: H. Martensen, Christ. Dogmatics, §§ 65-66.
6 In Q. 76.
Posted by AKMA at August 9, 2005 11:33 AM