Christ and Creation – Early Christian theologians on Christ’s ownership of creation

Abram Van de Beek


Confessing a good creation was not an independent issue for
early Christian theologians. They stressed creation because according to their
opinion only an independent Creator can be truly God (Athenagoras). The eternal God
can deal with temporal things because He is acting by his Word and Spirit
(Irenaeus). The core of the doctrine of creation, however, is its Christological
focus: if Christ would not be the Creator He would not have come to his own and thus
would be taking someone else’s property. That would not be salvation but a crime
(Irenaeus). Only after the conflicts on creation had been settled could Christian
theology deal with the topic in a more relaxed sphere. That is the case in the
catechetical lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem who teaches his pupils to enjoy the
beauty of creation in the freedom of Christ. The early Christian approach might be
an eye opener for Christians’ dealing with creation nowadays.


creation, independent Creator

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ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

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