Christian beliefs about creation
For Christians, God and therefore the Trinity was the way in which the world was created.
The Nicene Creed (a statement of faith) begins with the ‘We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’ The Father is the creative element of God.
St John’s Gospel opens with the phrase ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made’
This emphasises the idea of God creating through His Word eg ‘And God said, let there be light.’
However, there is more to the term ‘Word’ than this. The author of John’s Gospel links the Word with Jesus (The Son); “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.
Combining these you can see that God and Jesus are one and the same thing.
The Genesis account of creation also states that ‘The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters’ The spirit is viewed as God in action, transforming chaos into order.
Key Idea – All aspects of God (The Trinity) are evident in creation.
Describes the creation of the universe over a six day period:
- DAY 1 – light
- DAY 2 – sea and sky
- DAY 3 – land and plants
- DAY 4 – sun, moon and stars
- DAY 5 – birds and fish
- DAY 6 – animals and humans
- DAY 7 – God rests
Interpretations of the Genesis story
Not all Christians interpret the Genesis story the same way:
Fundamentalist Christians – Take the story literally. The Bible is the exact word of God and cannot be questioned.
Conservative Christians – Believe that God did not dictate the story but inspired it. It could therefore contain errors. There is also room for interpretation of the story eg each day period could simply be a period of time rather than twenty four hours.
Liberal Christians – Believe that the story in Genesis is a myth that conveys important messages or meaning. It should not be taken as factually true. The message given is that we are each created and loved by God and have been given a beautiful world to live in that we should take care of.