How is God seen as a Craftsman?
Creation is not just mentioned in Genesis One and
Two but throughout the Bible.
"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them
male and female.'
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of
the ends of the earth.
God as Craftsman
• God as the creator of the
• God’s Word is the creating agent
• World comes about through his
• “Divine Fiat” - creative command
of God. Latin word fiat, "let there
• Hebrew ‘bara’ = "create".
• Hebrew ‘asah’ = "make".
• Hebrew ‘yasar’ = "form".
• Relationship between
God and man
• God gave man
stewardship over the
animals and plants
• First covenant made
• Epistemic distance
(Fall of man from
• More poetic account,
• Think about one thing that you have achieved
or made that you are really proud of.
1. What is it?
2. Why are you proud of it?
3. Describe the process of achieving it
This is evidence of craftsmanship not just a
Throughout both stories
God is seen to be
• To a plan.
• With purpose and
intention behind his
• Towards a deliberate
Therefore he is not only a
creator but a craftsman.
God is seen to take certain
pride over His creation.
This is why creation is
Creatio ex nihilo
• God created the whole universe, along with
everything in existence, out of nothing.
• This is a deliberate action by God and one that is
• It means that God is the master of the world
• God is active, yet remains outside of his creation.
“In the beginning…the raging ocean that covered
everything was engulfed in total darkness.” Genesis
• Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing".
• Also appears in classical philosophy as “ex nihilo nihil
fit” which means “ Out of nothing comes nothing”
• This is not a view necessarily found in Genesis.
• Could be seen as added later by the Fourth of the
Lateran Councils “His omnipotent power made from
Part B) Evaluation
Creation not that far fetched…
• Many argue that the Creation and
Genesis is a far fetched story ,
little accuracy, no indication of
purpose but compared to other
Other view point against Creatio ex
Many argue creation was started out of pre-
existent matter or “Creatio ex materia.“
This not only removes God’s omnipotence but
also God’s deliberate action (craftsman).
Problem: where did the pre – existent matter
come from? = infinite regression.
Chinese myth ‘Pan Gu’ - giant’s
body decomposes after his
Various parts of his body become
parts of the world (the
parasites living in his hair
become the people of the
But if this is a deliberate action by God and one that is
Good what does it mean by good? G. E. Moore
Where does goodness come from?
• Autonomy Thesis: morals already
there – God loves them cause
they are good, independent of
Diminishes God ‘s omnipotence
Implies even God obeys rules
• Divine Command thesis: morals
good because God says they are
God could have said anything
New dilemmas – no guidance
Euthyphro Dilemma: Plato’s origin of morality:
“God commands things because they are good or whether
things are good because God commands them.”
It is a dilemma because it questions where goodness comes
•If goodness is from God what is the problem?
•If Goodness is separate from God what is the problem?
= Hence the dilemma.
Challenge the teacher!
1. How many attributes of God can you write down in
2. Go through and highlight all the words that could
be also used to describe a human being.
• All the words highlighted are examples of
‘anthropomorphic’ language or words that describe
God in human terms.
• Sometimes people of faith describe God as
‘ineffable’ = beyond words.
Attributes of God
Omnipotence of God
Omnipotence = all powerful
• “And when the Israelites saw the
great power the LORD displayed
against the Egyptians.” (Exodus
• Plagues/ Parting the Red Sea
• Creating Universe by words and
• Creatio ex nihilo
Omniscience of God
• All knowing = Omniscience
• Limitless nature of God’s
knowledge of both the act
of creation and everything
that happens within
• “Nothing in all creation is
hidden from God's sight.”
• God is present throughout his creation at the
same time is transcendent (separate.)
• Answers Hannah’s prayer for a child
• Stops Abraham before killing Isaac
• Helps the Israelites to escape slavery
• Gives the Decalogue as guidance when needed
• Miracles that Christ performs = God
acting/present through Christ.
• Feeding of 5000 (Matthew 15:29)
• Healing the blind "According to your faith will it
be done to you"; and their sight was restored.”
Judeo Christian God
God as source of Ethics
Responsibility of God
• Many argue that as God is
creator God is therefore
responsible for his creation.
For example if you design a car and
sell it to the public you will be
held responsible if the car
Two main views:
1. God is designer therefore
responsible = not an
2. Earthquakes, volcanoes are just
part of the design, fulfilling a
purpose and not deliberately
there to cause humans harm.
Earthquake only evil when hurts
humans – egocentric view.
God as source of ethics
God is morally perfect
Goodness of God: Psalm 145
“The LORD is good to all; he has
compassion on all he has made.”
Protector: Psalm 116
“The LORD protects the simple-hearted;
when I was in great need, he saved
(protects Isaac but removes protection
All Loving Omni - Benevolent: Psalm25
“All the ways of the LORD are loving and
faithful for those who keep the
demands of his covenant.” (promise)
(gives Hannah a child, rewards Job for his
loyalty, gives Abraham a nation)
God is source of human ethics
Ten Commandments (Decalogue): Exodus
“The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on
the mountain and stay here, and I will give
you the tablets of stone, with the law and
commands I have written for their
The first four commandments are about the
relationship between God and mankind. (E.g.
1. You shall have no other gods before me. )
The other 6 are how mankind should treat
each other. (E.g. 10. You shall not covet.)
• Note: God is not creating new
commandments but rather reminding
his people of the ways of righteousness
they had forgotten.
Question: What do you think the terms
lawgiver and judge mean?
God as Lawgiver
• 613 Mitzvot
Lawgiver: James 4:
“There is only one
Judge, the one
who is able to save
Guide: Exodus 15
“In your strength you
will guide them to
God as Judge
The Fall – God expels Adam and Eve from
Vengeful and bitter God? No = God clothes
them + gives humans free will to turn
back to = fair
Noah flood: Genesis 6:13
“So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an
end to all people, for the earth is filled
Moses/ Egyptians: Exodus 14:26
“Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out
your hand over the sea so that the
waters may flow back over the
Egyptians and their chariots and
“And they were judged, every man
according to their works.”
1. Creation and the Fall
2. Plagues + parting Red Sea
4. Job's Test
5. Hannah’s Prayer
Activity: Using the print out summarise the key points
of each story, linking each to the main attributes of God
(omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, lawgiver,
judge, good, omnibenevolent)
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