You Are Not God. You Do Not Speak Things Into Existence

Holy Scripture teaches us that God spoke “in the beginning” out of nothing (ex nihilo) to create all things that are by the power of his Word.It is the practice of some Christians, however, to talk about “speaking things into existence.” This is a significant confusion of categories. No creature “speaks things into existence.” Only God did that. Whatever Christians do, they are merely re-arranging what God has already created and then only because the Triune God who upholds, governs, and sustains all things operates through humans as agents of his providence.

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  1. Helpful, thank you. Shedd has pointed out that sin is in a sense a perverted form of “creation.” The closest that we come to creation “ex nihilo” is when we sin. Our sin is the purposeful privation and destruction of the good that God has created. We are in a terrifyingly Satanic way the most godlike in wickedness, but such is also an attempt at deicide and suicide. Our “creation” is devolution to non-being, which is why God punishes us with an eternal decline in hell.

    Quoting Shedd, “Sin was a new thing, originated de nihilo, by the finite will. It had no evil antecedents, and was in the strictest sense a creation of the creature. As it is impossible that the creature should originate any good thing de nihilo, since this is solely the Creator’s prerogative, so it is impossible that the Creator should originate evil de nihilo, since this implies a mutable excellence, and a possibility of self-ruin. Under and within the permissive decree of God, sin is man’s creation; he makes it out of nothing.” A History of Christian Doctrine, vol. 1 (reprint 2006, Solid Ground Christian Books; Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1902), 16.

    • Shane,

      His argument is not new. It goes back to Augustine and it relies on some neo-Platonic assumptions, namely that good is being and evil is non-being or the privation of good. It is better to speak of evil as the corruption of good and the result of the transgression of God’s holy law.

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