The emphasis of our blog since January has been “creationism.” Unknown to many people is the fact that the usual suffix “ism” is a dictionary entry which stands on its own. As such it refers to a doctrine, theory, system, belief, or practice. Some sources claim it is often used in a derogatory or contemptuous sense, even as a suffix. For that reason, a different term might be considered when we are talking about origins options.
The term “creation” may not be encumbered by the same degree of semantic baggage. Creation connotes bringing into being, whether from nothing, from something previously existing, or in a novel fashion. In a more general sense it also refers to the entire universal system of matter, energy, and existence. So would we do well to drop the suffix “ism?” Would we be wise to use the term creation to re-emphasize the wonder and glory of our created order as it exists today? Our cosmos cries out with order and beauty. Beyond our mere sensory experience, we also may exult in the intricate functional capabilities of the tiniest quantum particles of the microcosm to the organic unity of the immense macrocosm, and every location between.
Two recent telephone calls from dear friends I had not seen or spoken with for fifty years set me thinking more deeply about these issues. We live thousands of miles apart. When we closed our conversations we agreed to exchange materials generated by our current occupations and preoccupations. I sent materials I had written on family history and science apologetics including origins. In return, I received a number of CDs my friend had produced for Christian musicians. Included was a CD featuring one of my favorite Christian vocalists--Steve Green.
For many years I have been moved by the theological and scientific depth of one of Green’s signature renditions composed by Phil McHugh--God and God Alone. Lyrically and musically, this composition and Green’s performances are of noteworthy inspirational quality.
God and God alone created all these things we call our own.
From the mighty to the small the glory in them all
Is God’s and God’s alone.
God and God alone reveals the truth of all we call unknown,
And all the best and worst of man won’t change the master plan.
It’s God’s and God’s alone.
God and God alone is fit to take the universe’s throne.
Let everything that lives reserve its truest praise
For God and God alone.
Many scripture passages attest to the faithfulness of the lyrics: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deut. 6:4); Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? (Isa. 40:26); It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings (Prov. 25:2). Scripture teaches lessons from the tiny ant (Prov. 6:6) to the glory of the heavens (Ps. 19:1). The Lord has established his throne in heaven (Psalm 103:19), and encourages multifaceted levels of praise (Ps. 150).
The concept of creation is replete with theological content. Every truth so far discovered about creation speaks loudly of the character of the Creator. Time frames of the acts of creation are of secondary importance, but still on our list of topics God permits us to “search out.” God allows and encourages his children to search. He also desires that we keep our priorities in order.