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Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume IIISystematic Theology$
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William J. Abraham

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786528

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786528.001.0001

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Divine Creation

Divine Creation

(p.127) 9 Divine Creation
Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume III

William J. Abraham

Oxford University Press

The Triune God created everything there is ex nihilo. This represents a move beyond Scripture but compatible with Scripture. This doctrine is not just a fitting exegetical and theological decision based on Scripture, but is a true judgment. Because God is a transcendent agent and given the kind of attributes God has, God can create the world ex nihilo. The doctrine of creation ex nihilo was hammered out in the patristic period in opposition to Gnosticism. This doctrine is compatible with the findings of science, but theology should not adopt an apologetic enterprise against the advances of scientific, empirical inquiry. It is important for a balanced devotional life and applies across the board to everything that exists, including angels. It allows also space for the development of natural theology and for efforts to provide a credible theodicy in the face of moral and natural evil.

Keywords:   creation ex nihilo, Gnosticism, creation and science, angels, natural theology, theodicy

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