'Creation' refers either to (1) the act by which God brought the contingent universe into being, or (2) the product of that initial act. Christians have long confessed that this creative act was not from a pre-existent plenum but rather ex nihilo (out of nothing). Big-Bang cosmology has seemingly confirmed this aspect of the Christian account by positing that the universe was once shrunk down to a mathematical point; this, however, raises a new question, namely, whether it is appropriate to equate t = 0 (the moment of origination of the Big Bang) with divine creation. A counterpart of creation out of nothing is the claim that creation was a voluntary divine act, a claim that is denied by some Christian philosophers, including advocates of process theology. One might also explore the relationship between God's initial act of creation and his subsequent acts of preservation. While most theologians have recognised a categorical difference between these two acts, some theologians, such as Jonathan Edwards, have argued that the subsequent points of creation involve the same act of bringing into being out of nothing. A final issue concerns the nature of creation vis-`a-vis abstract objects like universals. If these are construed as part of creation, and yet, in accord with our modal intuitions, exist of necessity, we are left with the theologically loaded assertion that part of creation exists necessarily with God.
   Further reading: Copan and Craig 2004; Craig and Smith 1995; Isham, Murphy and Russell 1993; May 1994

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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