Creation & Freedom
In the proclamation of the Creed, we begin by speaking of God in his eternal being ("the Father almighty"), and then we go on to declare what God does outside of his eternal being ("Creator of heaven and earth"). Two things are affirmed here: With respect to eternity, God is the Father almighty. With respect to time, he is the Creator of heaven and earth.
The first affirmation has a "metaphysical" quality; it affirms that God cannot not be other than the Father Almighty. This is what he must be. The second affirmation, however, involves God's free decision: "Let us make. . . ." What God does outside of himself—his Creation—he is not obliged to do. It is his free act.
The biblical doctrine of Creation finds the root of all created things in the intelligent freedom of the Creator. Things are, because God freely caused them to be.
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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