Summary: Belief in God as Creator gives life meaning, gives wisdom, and sustains human flourishing.
APOSTLES’ CREED: Recognizing the Creator
The Apostles’ Creed begins simply and boldly: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.” Our God is the Creator of the universe, and more importantly, he is the Creator of us. He says in Isaiah 45:12, “It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”
In today’s scientific world, is it still reasonable to believe that God is the Creator? Science reveals a lot about how the universe was formed, but it doesn’t tell us how the universe first came into existence.
Cosmologists tell us that the entire universe emerged from an infinitesimal point, much smaller than an atom. “The Big Bang Theory” is surprisingly consistent with the poetic description of Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep.” At the very beginning of the universe, matter and energy were formless, with matter and light and even the laws of nature emerging from the astoundingly rapid expansion of the quantum flux. That fits the beginning of Genesis (but not creation narratives of other religions).
What was the origin of that quantum flux, from which the universe came into being? There are three possible answers, all involving faith. One answer is that there wasn’t any origin; going back in time and space, everything disappears smoothly into nothingness. In that faith system, it is meaningless to ask what is before or beyond the universe; the universe is all there is, and “the universe creates itself.” (Reference: Stephen Hawking, the Grand Design, p. 180)
A second answer is that the universe arose from a kind of quantum vacuum—that beyond the universe there is a reality that generates multiple universes, of which ours is just one. This multiverse theory takes a leap of faith, to assume that the laws of THIS universe have always existed. Dr. Paul Davies, not a Christian, recognizes that, “The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.” Science cannot explore beyond the bounds of the universe; only faith can go there.
The third answer is simpler: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (=the universe).” Doubters might say that we have merely shifted the problem up a level. In a sense, we have, but we are honest when we do so. The origin of the universe is creation by the infinite, eternal, glorious God we worship.
Our faith is as reasonable as any faith about origins. In fact, it is more reasonable, because it aligns with what can observed within the universe. Even though we can’t fully comprehend God, we see reflections of his glory in the intricacy and beauty of nature. We see patterns in the history of his people that indicate his nature: the Father, Almighty. We also see his glory as he enters the universe, in the Son, Jesus Christ—but that is later in the creed.
If we believe in God, the Creator, the next question is…
WHAT IMPACT DOES OUR FAITH IN GOD AS CREATOR HAVE ON US?
We believe a lot of things that don’t have much impact on us personally. If I hear that a new frog species has been discovered in a rain forest, I might say, “That’s interesting.” If I hear that a meteor is on track to destroy the earth in 6 months, I will say, “That’s changes everything.”
What we believe about God as Creator changes everything.
Recognizing God as Creator GIVES LIFE MEANING.
Imagine an Amazon Alexa and a Google Assistant talking to each other, perhaps through devices in your family room. Alexa asks, “What is the meaning of life?” Assistant searches the internet, and provides an answer. Assistant then asks Alexa whether the answer is consistent with answers people give across the vast human platform monitored by Amazon, and Alexa explains the nuances of what people say and do through their devices, and what it indicates about the search for meaning in life. Alexa and Assistant are conversing, with artificial intelligence, but what gives their conversation meaning? Humans are the source of meaning for machines!
What gives meaning to human life?
Carl Sagan was the well-known host of the PBS series, Cosmos. He famously said, “The universe is all that is, or ever was or ever will be.” Sagan understood what that meant for humanity, as he said, “Whatever significance we humans have is that which we make for ourselves.” Sagan died in 1996. How often do you think about him? Do your children or grandchildren even know who he was?
I don’t know what you have planned for today. Maybe you will spend time alone, or with family or friends. Maybe you will watch a ball game, or read a book. What gives meaning to those activities? Is it your own self-fulfillment, or the people in your life? What will be the meaning of your life when those people are dead and gone? Even if they remember you, or their lives are changed because of you, how can they be an ultimate source of meaning?