The following five videos are Robin Parry’s fantastic little series on Creation, Transcendence, Immanence, and Causation. Each teaching is brief and super clear. Perfect for discussion in home groups, youth groups, or catechism classes. But also wonderful for your own clarity and nourishment.
This video sketches an outline of the traditional Christian teaching that God created the world out of nothing. Creation out of nothing may appear to be a simple idea, but it is, in fact, a lot more surprising in its implications than many people—believers and non-believers—appreciate. Some of those implications will be explored in later videos. Here I simply map the basic terrain. Whether or not one believes in the divine creation of the world, it is worth taking a little time to understand what traditional Christian claims amount divine creation amount to. At least one then knows what it is one claims to believe (or not to believe).
Creation Out of Nothing. Part 2: Divine Transcendence
In this video, we explore further the idea inherent to the teaching of creation out of nothing that the fundamental distinction in reality is that between Creator and creation and that God utterly transcends creation. This makes speaking and thinking about God a VERY tricky matter. But that realization is a step towards humility.
This video explores another important implication of the teaching of creation out of nothing—that creation is saturated with divine presence. God is not ‘distant’ from the world but to be found in its innermost heart.
Creation Out of Nothing. Part 4: Divine Action in the World (Causation)
Most of the apparent conflicts between science and religious faith boil down to the issue of how we conceive of divine action in the world. What does it mean to speak of God doing something? If science can explain an event does that mean that God didn’t do it? Does the current scientific inability to explain some events provide gaps for us to slot in some divine involvement? In this video, I argue that many of us, believers and non-believers, need to rethink the way we understand talk of divine action. I try to show how the classical teaching of creation out of nothing provides better ways of making sense of God’s involvement with creation. And one upshot of this is that a lot of arguments by both believers and non-believers turn out to be based on misunderstandings of such language.
Does the Bible actually teach that God created the world out of nothing? Some scholars argue that it does not and that the idea is an unbiblical import into Christianity. In this video, I look at the way in which creation ex nihilo can claim to be a genuine biblical teaching, even if the Bible never explicitly teaches it.
Bradley Jersak is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC. He serves as a reader and monastery preacher at All Saints of North America Orthodox Monastery. Read More