one hand that the world though eternal might be dependent upon God, and as soon as the plan was evolved there might be no reason why the execution should be delayed, yet on the other hand the absolutely limitless is the imperfect and no universe with an infinite number of parts is conceivable or possible. So Julius Muller, Doctrine of Sin, 1:220-225 ? ?What has a goal or end must have a beginning; history, as teleological, implies creation.?

Lotze, Philos. Religion, 74 ? ?The world, with respect to its existence as well as its content, is completely dependent on the will of God, and not as a mere involuntary development of his nature. The word ?creation? ought not to be used to designate a deed of God so much as the absolute dependence of the world on his will.? So Schurman, Belief in God, 140, 156, 225 ? ?Creation is the eternal dependence of the world on God? Nature is the externalization of spirit. Material things exist simply as modes of the divine activity, they have no existence for themselves.? On this view that God is the Ground but not the Creator of the world, see Hovey, Studies in Ethics and Religion, 23-56 ? ?Creation is no more of a mystery than is the causal action? in which both Lotze and Schurman believe. ?To deny that divine power can originate real being ? can add to the sum total of existence ? is much like saying that such power is finite.? No one can prove that ?it is of the essence of spirit to reveal itself,? or if so, that it must do this by means of an organism or externalization. Eternal succession of changes in nature is no more comprehensible than are a creating God and a universe originating in time.?

(c) Creation from eternity is not necessitated by God?s immutability. His immutability requires, not an eternal creation, but only an eternal plan of creation. The opposite principle would compel us to deny the possibility of miracles, incarnation, and regeneration. Like creation, these too would need to be eternal.

We distinguish between idea and plan, between plan and execution. Much of God?s plan is not yet executed. The beginning of its execution is as easy to conceive as is the continuation of its execution. But the beginning of the execution of God?s plan is creation. Active will is an element in creation. God?s will is not always active. He waits for ?the fullness of the time? ( <480404>Galatians 4:4) before he sends forth his Son. As we can trace back Christ?s earthly life to a beginning, so we can trace back the life of the universe to a beginning. Those who hold to creation from eternity usually interpret <010101>Genesis 1:1 ? ?In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,? and <430101>John 1:1 ? ?In the beginning was the

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