John Webster on creation

The latest issue of The International Journal of Systematic Theology contains a paper by John Webster that he’s apparently been delivering around the place. It’s called ‘Trinity and Creation’. And it’s classic Webster.

Here’s a taste of what I’ve read so far — having hammered the fact that God didn’t need to create the world, Webster draws out ‘two corollaries’ (p 13):

First, such is the plenitude of life enjoyed by Father, Son and Spirit that God does not create out of need, making good some deficiency. The world cannot complete God; creation is not theogony, because created being is derivative not subsistent being. God’s perfect triune life is not mere formless abstraction standing in need of realization by positing another as its counterpart. Second, God’s triune self-sufficiency means that his relation to created being is gratuitous. This marks the radical difference between, on the one hand, the immanent activities of generation and spiration, and, on the other hand, the transitive act of creation

Well-worn ground, no doubt. But worth treading again: creation doesn’t fill up some lack in God or make (necessarily) concrete some unrealised potential; rather, it is the gift of God’s grace from beginning to end.

I’m loving it!

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