E. H. Johnson, Outline of Systematic Theology, 94 ? ? <450417>Romans 4:17 tells us that the faith of Abraham, to whom God had promised a son, grasped the fact that God calls into existence ?the things that are not.? This may be accepted as Paul?s interpretation of the first verse of the Bible.? It is possible that the heathen had occasional glimpses of this truth, though with no such clearness as that with which it was held in Israel. Perhaps we may say that through the perversions of later nature- worship something of the original revelation of absolute creation shines, as the first writing of a palimpsest appears faintly through the subsequent script with which it has been overlaid. If the doctrine of absolute creation is found at all among the heathen, it is greatly blurred and obscured. No one of the heathen books teaches it as do the sacred Scriptures of the Hebrews. Yet it seems as if this ?One accent of the Holy Ghost The heedless world has never lost.?
Bib. Com., 1:31 ? ?Perhaps no other ancient language, however refined and philosophical, could have so clearly distinguished the different acts of the Maker of all things [as the Hebrew did with its four different words], and that because all heathen philosophy esteemed matter to be eternal and uncreated.? Prof. E. D. Burton: ?Brahmanism, and the original religion of which Zoroastrianism was a reformation, were Eastern and Western divisions of a primitive Aryan, and probably monotheistic, religion. The Vedas, which represented the Brahmanism, leave it a question whence the world came, whether from God by emanation, or by the shaping of material eternally existent. Later Brahmanism is pantheistic, and Buddhism, the Reformation of Brahmanism, is atheistic.? See Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:471, and Mosheim?s references in Cudworth?s Intellectual System, 3:140.
We are inclined still to hold that the doctrine of absolute creation was known to no other ancient nation besides the Hebrews. Recent investigations, however, render this somewhat more doubtful than it once seemed to be. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, 142, 143, finds creation among the early Babylonians. In his Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia, 372-397, he says: ?The elements of Hebrew cosmology are all Babylonian; even the creative word itself was a Babylonian conception; but the spirit which inspires the cosmology is the antithesis to that which inspired the cosmology of Babylonia. Between the polytheism of Babylonia and the monotheism of Israel a gulf is fixed which cannot be spanned. So soon as we have a clear monotheism, absolute creation is a corollary. As the monotheistic idea is corrupted, creation gives place to pantheistic transformation.?
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