The Purpose of Creation


#1

I’ve seen alot of posts recently concerning those who have died young, like the unborn, or stillborn, or children who have not “gone through adulthood”, and so I was pondering it and had this thought.

What if the purpose of “creation” is not necessarily a battle ground, or testing ground through which men must pass in order to choose God or Hell (in the case of Eternal Torment) or even in order to go through some remedial purification or experience (as in the case of Universalism) – but what if it is rather a different thing?

Creation is the inheritance of Christ/God/Man, for we are co-heirs with Christ, and vice versa.

It is a common thought that this world is a testing ground through which men must pass before graduating to Heaven, but what if it is somewhat the other way around? What if it is not that men must go through the school of Earthly life in order to be reunited with God, but rather that every person (whether born into this world or not, and whether living to be old in it or not) has a key role in the overall restoration of Creation of which they are a part?

Afterall, even the very Creator entered into Creation…as one Created (the only begotten son, the word became flesh), and so played and plays forever a key role in Creation, not just as Creator, but as so many other wonderful things. So to, could every being and creature play a role in the grand creative story, rather than merely “passing through it” from one test to another. But as stewards, as gardeners having dominion (as Adam in the garden), as priests, and kings, and heirs to the all that exists as real.

What if Creation (Heaven, Earth, and everything in between) is more than a test…but is part of the very prize, in which everyone has a part in winning, even those whose part in the play is but a few seconds?

There is still alot to expand on, but I’d like to offer this point of view, perhaps as comfort for those who are puzzled over things like, “why stillborn?”.


#2

Lefein,

I think you make some good points worth exploring. For several years now I’ve moved away from believing creation is ‘all about us’ to believing it’s fundamentally ‘about God’. But in the end, even my belief that we possess LFW follows from my belief that God has created us ‘for himself’ in a particular sense. We require LFW to become ‘to’ and ‘for’ God what God intends.

One question that immediately jumps out regards the incarnation. Is the incarnation of the Logos exclusively about redeeming human beings from sin, or is it about God’s purposes for the world irrespective of sin and evil? I think the latter. Some of the Fathers thought out loud about this and asked whether the incarnation would have occurred had the Fall never occurred. Not everybody agrees. My view is that the incarnation was God’s plan for the world regardless of sin and evil. Of course, we still have to say what God is up to. Why create at all? Answering that question is hugely important, because WHY God creates has to be WHY we exist, and knowing why we exist at all is a lot of the battle won!

I think a lot of creation is about divine self-expression as inter-trinitarian gift. God loving Godself via creation, an overflow of the life of God in contingent expressive form, God taking pleasure in beholding his own reflection in his own creation/work. Why else do artists create? The Father has this perception of himself eternally in the Logos, his own Image, yes. Creation isn’t about that. It would have to be about created images of the Image, so to speak. Christ brings “many sons to glory,” and we are all “sons in the Son.”

I like the idea that ‘this’ world (and this universe) is where God intends us to live forever. Maybe we’ve been making too hard a distinction between our existence pre- and post-mortem. I don’t think this means we have to abandon the idea that human beings have to first go through a probationary period (if that’s OK to call it that) in which they learn and develop and shape themselves toward the fulfilment of God wants.

I don’t see an either/or here. I think it’s true that human being is the key to the redemption of all other created being (as you said, as ‘stewards’ and ‘gardeners’). But human beings are also part OF the creation that needs to be redeemed. So as we ‘become’ what God created us to be, creation ‘becomes’ what God created it to be (Romans 10). A garden becomes what it can be in/through/by means of the gardener. And human being is the means by which the whole cosmos is fulfilled. And Christ is the means by which the whole of human being is fulfilled.

So you’re right, I think. Creation IS more than a test, but it’s not less than a test (since our growing into responsible stewardship and partnership with God takes time and choice).

Tom