Creation’s Agent

Hebrews 1 refers to Christ as both the heir of all things and the originator of them.  Paul, of course, makes the same point by saying all things were created by him and for him.  Creation has its source in God.

We must be careful in how we make that statement.  There has been a tenuous relationship between Christianity and philosophy over the course of history.  Specifically, Platonism carries with it a dualism that Christianity cannot accommodate.  Neo-platonism, likewise, has built within it a theory of emanation that is incompatible with trinitarian Christianity.

The Neo-platonists held that everything must flow from an original source.  So far so good.  The problem is that philosophy (Neo-platonism specifically) is unable to distinguish between source and consequence.  Though we would agree with the philosophers that all of creation flows from a single source, we would not agree that all of creation is equal with that source because we understand that the source of creation remains distinct from creation.

The writer of Hebrews makes the point brilliantly by saying that Jesus is the source of creation and also its heir.  When someone is an heir of something, he is, by definition, distinct from that which he inherits.  Christ inherits all of creation as the heir to the throne in the kingdom of God.  The new heavens and the new earth will be his inheritance.  

The old heavens and the old earth will have been his creation.  They are now serving him.  Creation now hangs on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Christ.  Christ is still the source for the power of the universe, but he remains in a position of speaking to the universe.  The universe does not emanate from Christ; it obeys him.

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