Is it right to speak of ourselves as creators? Isn’t God alone the creator of all things.
There are certainly some unique characteristics of our Creator and His creativity that we cannot copy; we can only admire and worship. There is one Hebrew word for creating (bara) that is used of God alone. However, there are two other words (asa and yatsar) that are used both of God’s creating and of ours. So, although in some ways we cannot create like God, in other ways we can.
In a few weeks I’ll return to this subject and suggest various ways that we can all create like God in our own little corner of the creation. But let’s finish this introduction to a Christian view of creativity by looking at what is unique and different about God’s creativity.
Our Creator is uncreated. No one created Him. He is the only uncreated One. This is what makes Him uniquely God, and exclusively worthy of our worship.
Our Creator did not need to create. He was under no obligation to make anything. He was happy in Himself. He didn’t need human beings to keep Him company, He didn’t need light, food, water, etc. Why did He make us? Grace! Every atom of creation is an atom full of grace. The life and relationships God enjoyed as a Trinity of infinite persons was all He needed.
Our Creator made everything out of nothing. This is the biggest difference between God’s creating and ours. It’s what distinguishes Him not just from us but from all idols too (Isa. 44:7, 24; 40:12, 13, 18; Ps. 96:5). We lack the power and the wisdom to make the smallest thing out of nothing. But let’s just add some careful qualifications to this:
- God did not make everything out of nothing in the same way. In some cases, He took the material He made out of nothing and shaped it into something else (e.g. man and woman).
- Although He did not “create” computers, cars, etc., He did create all the materials, the forces, and the human brain cells that are brought together in the creation of a computer or a car.
- He created the materials and processes that would produce other materials such as gas and oil.
- He made not only the material world but also the immaterial, the spiritual world.
Our Creator made everything perfect. Everything was good and had a good purpose. After the Fall, some evil things entered the creation (e.g. thorns and thistles), other things multiplied beyond their original proportion and balance, and other things were perverted from their original good use to evil use. However, the original world came from God’s hands in perfect condition – perfect in its components, its balance, and its uses.
Our Creator made everything to display His glory . This was not for selfish ends but also for the benefit of His creatures, especially in the calling forth of praise from their souls. Nothing promotes the well-being of creatures more than identifying, enjoying, and advancing the glory of God’s name
Our Creator made everything dependent upon Himself. The Creator/creature relationship implies dependency. All creatures wait upon Him.
And most amazingly of all…
Our Creator became a dependent creature! Jesus, the eternal, uncreated Son of God became man. He passed through the experience of being joined to a created human nature and living as a creature in the world. Our uncreated Creator became a creature in His creation to save His creatures and His creation.
And what creativity He displayed while here. Wouldn’t we have loved to see our Creator’s paintings, models, and crafts as He grew up from infancy through childhood. How much His friends must have enjoyed the games and activities their super-imaginative friend invented. What stories He could tell and write! And wouldn’t you give anything to have seen Him at work in His workshop, hammering, sawing, and chiseling away with such skill and ingenuity.
We also see His creativity of course, in His teaching style and methods. What a contrast His lively, gripping parables were compared to the stale, legalistic, clichés of the religious leaders.
We worship you, O Jesus, not only as our perfect Creator, but also as a perfect creature with perfect creativity in an imperfect creation!