Theme of the Week: The God Who Is
Bible Verse: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1: 1-23
God made everything that is non-God. This introduces an irreducible distinction between Creator and creature. God is not a creature; correspondingly, in this absolute sense, we are not creators. If someone were to ask, “Yes, but where did God come from?” the answer the Bible gives is that his existence is not dependent on anything or anyone else. My existence is dependent, finally, on him; his existence is self-existence. God has no cause; he just is. He always has been. By contrast, everything else in the universe began somewhere, whether in a big bang or in human conception—somewhere. God made it all. That means that everything in the universe apart from God is finally dependent upon God.
That is against pantheism, in which everything in the universe is God. That is against panentheism, in which everything in the universe is God, but God is not everything in the universe. That is, there is a little bit of God left over besides everything that is made that is in the universe. But here there is a distinction between God, who exists before everything in the universe, and the created order. It is against any sort of ontological dualism, that is, a kind of dualism in which there is a good force and a bad force, or one force with a good side and the bad side. It is not Star Wars.
The origin of evil is not intrinsically a good principle and a bad principle that are in competition. Even when the serpent is introduced, he is introduced as the most subtle of the creatures that God made. And thus, there never is any hint of dualism or anything of that sort. There is one sovereign God over the whole.
Taken from The God Who is There by D.A. Carson. Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright © 2010 by D.A. Carson. Used by permission.
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