conveyed in it can better be expressed in the phrase ?without use of preexisting materials.?
(b) Creation is not a fashioning of preexisting materials, nor an emanation from the substance of Deity, but is a making of that to exist which once did not exist, either in form or substance
There is nothing divine in creation but the origination of substance. Fashioning is competent to the creature also. Gassendi said to Descartes that God?s creation, if he is the author of forms but not of substances, is only that of the tailor who clothes a man with his apparel. But substance is not necessarily material. We are to conceive of it rather after the analogy of our own ideas and volition, and as a manifestation of spirit. Creation is not simply the thought of God, nor even the plan of God, but rather the externalization of that thought and the execution of that plan. Nature is ?a great sheet let down from God out of heaven,? and containing ?nothing that is common or unclean;? but nature is not God nor a part of God, any more than our ideas and volition are ourselves or a part of ourselves. Nature is a partial manifestation of God, but it does not exhaust God.
(c) Creation is not an instinctive or necessary process of the divine nature, but is the free act of a rational will, put forth for a definite and sufficient end.
Creation is different in kind from that eternal process of the divine nature in virtue of which we speak of generation and procession. The Son is begotten of the Father, and is of the same essence; the world is created without preexisting material, is different from God, and is made by God. Begetting is a necessary act; creation is the act of God?s free grace. Begetting is eternal, out of time; creation is in time, or with time.
Studia Biblica, 4:148 ? ?Creation is the voluntary limitation which God has imposed on himself? It can only be regarded as a creation of free spirits? It is a form of almighty power to submit to limitation. Creation is not a development of God, but a circumscription of God? The world is not the expression of God, or an emanation from God, but rather his self- limitation.?
(d) Creation is the act of the triune God, in the sense that all the persons of the Trinity, themselves uncreated, have a part in it ? the Father as the originating, the Son as the mediating, the Spirit as the realizing cause.
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