Whatever did God get up to before Creation?

I must confess that I have not really pondered this terribly much before the recent Forge intensive. This question was neatly posed by John Franke,an American theologian. The answer (and how significant it is or isn’t) is wrapped up in your concept of God. A basic understanding (albeit source of incredible mystery) of God is that he is triune. As in, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There is enough in the bible for us to safely assume that God is both triune, and always has been – even before we enter the story of the universe through creation. Miraculously, ‘the beloved disciple’ John seemed to have figured this out (see John 1). Ok, so what did the Triune God pass the time, however long that was, before deciding to create life as we know it? We can assume some kind of interplay between each person within the Godhead. John Franke put it this way – life within the trinity is characterised by the “giving, receiving and sharing of love”. The ontology of God is relational. He is social, not solitary. Sociality within God can be referred to as “perichoresis” – close fellowship, interdependence”. John went on to say that God desired to extend this relationship to that which is not God (a missional activity), thus providing the impetus for creation. Just as God is in essence social, we too are created as social beings – it was not good enough for Adam to be alone (and most of us would agree with this sentiment). Here comes the main reason I have chosen to write about this here – John suggests that this is how we image God. We reflect the image of God in our “interdependent relationality, in the giving, receiving and sharing of love”. In this way we reflect the essence of the triune God, not individually, but relationally. I had figured out that God is probably not 5″3 with brown hair like me, but aside from some vague concept of a spiritual likeness, I have generally struggled to understand what it means to be made in the image of God. This definition means that my reflecting of God’s image may not really be about me individually after all. Dominion, creativity, conscience, will – the usual list of attributes said to reflect the image of God are individual attributes. All about me. There are many Christians out there with little opportunity to express some of these things – attributes like dominion and creativity are so readily mitigated by socio-economic and other cultural determinants. But together, we can give, receive, and share love”. As we do so, we move away from an western individualist imaging of God, to a reflection of the incredible relationality within the triune God.


5 thoughts on “Whatever did God get up to before Creation?

  1. I am fairly devout Christian, and I do hold that there was communion within the Trinity before the creation of the Cosmos as we know it.

    There are however powerful allusions in the scriptures to “beings” that were not apart of the Trinity that existed before our earth came into being, and who either existed or continue to exist before the presence of God and either around his throne or banished from fellowship around this throne.

    I see the entire scheme of the existence of the earth and even people themselves as the means by which God both initiates the creation of fully living eternal beings and then how he brings them to “maturation.”

    The maturation process either reveals the Sons of God or it doesn’t. Like an uncut and unpolished crystal is cut and polished to reveal the inner beauty of the gem, so God is in the business of revealing those who would be the Son’s of God, and who will work and to do His will in agreement.
    Those who strive to prevent or undo this plan of revealing the Sons of God, actually do His work and will by being in opposition to his plan.

    If our desire is to see God reveal those who are the Sons of God, we will find redemption through his only begotten Son Jesus. (In this sense I see how Judas might actually not be lost for eternity.) If it our will to oppose God revealing those who are the Sons of God, we shall be thwarted in the end. H
    What did God wake up to? He never sleeps. He only rests until time to finish what he started.

  2. Thanks for your comment Karl. I am interested to know more about what you mean by “the sons of God”. Are you talking about angels (eg in the sense referred to in Job)? What do you mean by “revealing” the sons of God? I feel as though I need to understand where you are coming from better to make any substantial response to your comment…

  3. All but one of the Sons of God are created beings that come to realize that they are either in agreement with the creative work and will of God or not. In this regard by coming into agreement and acceptance of God’s work and will they declare their faith in the one true God, or not.

    What ever manner God chooses for each order of creative beings to reveal those who are the Sons of God for that order of created beings is part of the design and plan of God.

    Some beings are given (or seem to have) no opportunity to reconsider their choice regarding faith in God or not. For example, as far as we know the angels do not get a chance to reconsider their position regarding their lack of faith in the one true God, at least not in any time frame that we are aware of.

    The one uncreated Son of God is Jesus Christ, the first born Son of God of every created order of beings. Thus according to the design and plan of God the created orders of beings are not fully brought to their Sonship through the same process.

    This may sound heretical but If Satan is the first created being of his order of created beings, then there may be a way for God to bring Satan back into the status as a Son of God, but it would be such a mysterious thing that we as people would just sit back and not understand it, just as the angels don’t fully grasp how God is bringing people to maturity as Sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

    The angelic beings which have great influence in the spiritual realm can however also manifest their presence in physical ways. Human beings have their spiritual nature hidden in “jars of clay” that means their primary existence is dual in nature until they are absent from their “jars of clay.”

    In this regard there are Sons of God among all of the many orders of created beings. Some are primarily spiritual in nature and accordingly men who possess an obvious physical nature in this material world consider these beings as supernatural in regards to what man understands of these creative beings.

    There are principalities and powers that do not have a purely physical form of existence so they are not considered real to many naturalistic scientists. This does not mean they do not exist. Just as atheists try to claim of God himself.

    I hope this helps clarify my previous comments.

  4. Did anyone ever consider that God, and this Universe, always was. Just because we know the earth has a finite life only means the earth is relatively new in the universe. It only makes sense, that what we see always was…just ever-changing — naturally. It is no different than viewing life and death. You are here — ever changing — and will be gone and the universe goes on. Appearances change, but that is the nature of the entire system we live in. A star dies, a new one is born. Space and time are literally beginningless and endless.

  5. Thanks Karl and Jim for your thoughts on this topic. We certainly do bring our groundedness in the finite to any thoughts about this. Inherent in these questions is our own place in the created order of things, and how we fit in the bigger picture beyond creation itself. Too lofty a thought process required for me I think!

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