Creation in Christianity: General Beliefs

  • God as Creator: Christians believe that God is the creator of all things. The Bible begins with ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1).
  • Ex nihilo: This Latin phrase meaning ‘out of nothing’ is used to describe how Christians believe the universe was created. God did not use pre-existing materials; He simply spoke and it came into existence.

The Genesis Accounts of Creation

  • Two stories: Genesis, the first book of the Bible, contains two different accounts of creation. They are similar yet distinct, leading to various interpretations.
  • Days of creation: The first account (Genesis 1-2:3) details a six-day creation process, with God resting on the seventh day.
  • Adam and Eve: The second account (Genesis 2:4-25) zooms in on the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.

Interpretations of the Accounts

  • Literal interpretation: Some Christians take a literal approach to the Genesis accounts, believing the world was created in six 24-hour days. These are often called ‘Young Earth Creationists’.
  • Metaphorical interpretation: Other Christians interpret the accounts metaphorically, seeing the ‘days’ as symbolic of periods of time. These Christians often incorporate scientific theories such as the Big Bang and evolution into their understanding.

The Doctrine of the Fall

  • Original sin: The Genesis accounts also introduce the concept of original sin. Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden brought sin and death into the world.
  • Effects on creation: The Biblical accounts imply that this Fall had consequences not just for humanity, but for creation as a whole.

Creation and Environmental Responsibility

  • Stewardship: Many Christians believe they should care for the world as God’s stewards, looking after creation on His behalf.
  • Sustainability: This principle has implications for issues such as climate change and sustainability. For Christians, caring for the planet can be seen as a religious duty.