Darrow Miller and Friends

Creation Laws: Wisdom Sustains the Universe

Wisdom and its fruit—shalom—is found when we live in synch with God’s order.

God governs the universe through a set of laws and ordinances. You could call them creation laws. They fit broadly into three categories: Truth (physical and metaphysical laws), Beauty (aesthetic laws), and Goodness (moral laws).

Truth

Truth is another term for reality. This concept encompasses both the physical and the metaphysical realms.

creation laws are something like speed limitsGenerally, when we speak of “laws” we mean regulations. Speed limits are an everyday example. Such laws make good sense and serve a society well. They are not arbitrary, but neither are they universal.

Creation laws, on the other hand, are universal, as well as immutable (unchanging) and inviolable (unbreakable).

When we speak of “creation laws” we are not talking about regulations. God’s creation laws define and direct the physical universe. Webster’s 1828 defines them as “the determination of a body to certain motions, changes, and relations, which uniformly take place in the same circumstances.”[1] Among these are the law of motion, discovered by Johannes Kepler, the law of gravity discovered by Isaac Newton, and the laws of thermodynamics. All these laws are necessary for sustaining human life on earth.

Metaphysical laws are the “internal framework.” Our worldview, our mental infrastructure, these are the metaphysical[2] laws. These include our understanding of the nature of the transcendent universe—it is relational, the nature of man—we are made in the image of God, and the creation itself—it is more than material, it is an open system.[3]

Beauty

Beauty circumscribes the aesthetic order. Beauty is an ordinance – the nature of God reflected in his creation, an objective standard, just as truth is an objective standard. Does that sound unlikely? Many people, even those who believe in absolute truth, are relativists when it comes to beauty. It’s fashionable to believe that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I have said that in the past, until I was challenged by a wonderful book by Thomas Dubay, The Evidential Power of Beauty. Dubay argues that beauty comes from God. Of all that is beautiful, God is most beautiful. Thus God’s nature of beauty establishes the criterion for beauty. Beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder. Yes, we all have our favorite colors; some people prefer red over blue. But that does not admit the notion that beauty itself is a wholly subjective matter. This is a concept of modern relativism. Beauty is in the glory of God.

Goodness

That brings us to Goodness, the moral order. Again, relativism has shredded much of the notion of goodness. The loss of an objective moral code in the West has wrought unspeakable grief and harm.

The moral boundaries of the universe are summed up in the Decalogue, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments. These are creation laws. To keep them is the path to thriving; to abandon them leads to death.In these ten laws, the Creator drew a circle around human behaviors which lead to flourishing, behaviors which bless others and bring joy to one’s self. Like gravity, these are not arbitrary moral codes, on the order of “no shirt, no shoes, no service.” When we violate this moral boundary—by committing adultery, for example— the law “thou shalt not commit adultery” is not broken; after all it is immutable. But in violating the moral law we ourselves are broken, we bring grief and injury to ourselves, our spouse, children and to others. Just as we can be physically injured by ignoring the law of gravity, we will be personally (and often permanently) injured when we ignore the moral boundary.

Proverbs 29:18b (KJV)  reminds us “but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The people are mistaken when it seeks happiness through “license” – living outside God’s moral framework. No, the pursuit of happiness is a good thing, but it is found by order our lives within the framework of God’s holy ordinances.

The uniformity of the laws of  creation is a constant revelation of the immutability of God. What they were at the beginning of time they are still today. They are the same in every part of the universe. No less stable are the laws which regulate the operation of the reason and conscience. The whole governance of God, as the God of nature and as moral governor, rests on the immutability of his counsels.

The universe was formed according to God’s purposes. Human beings are to live within this form to flourish. We are subject to real laws and ordinances – the decrees of God’s creation order that govern our lives.

Freedom is found when we recognize this truth and live within this design; when we discover the form and live within its bounds we are most alive On the other hand, to ignore or reject this truth, to refuse to live within this design, results in enslavement. In the water, a salmon is perfectly free. It has the ideal environment for finding food and thriving. A salmon that decided to abandon that environment, to live on a grassy riverbank, would not be free. Nor would it survive. A pelican freely flying over coastal waters in the company of his fellows seeking a mouthful of anchovies is the picture of a creature living in the freedom of God’s design. If such a bird could decide I want to swim under the sea he would very quickly lose all freedom. A fish is made to swim, a bird to fly.

Even in the world of technology the same is true. Boeing makes vehicles for flight, not for running on parallel steel tracks. That’s the domain of locomotives.

When we choose to live outside the framework of creation laws, we experience horrible consequences: alienation, ugliness, destruction, and death. By the same token, living within that framework generally results in a more abundant life. E. Stanley Jones, in his book, The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person, records the observation of a Swedish surgeon, “I’ve discovered the kingdom of God at the end of my scalpel – it is in the tissues. The right thing morally, the Christian thing, is always the healthy thing physically.”[4] The surgeon sees reality, the kingdom of God, evidence of God’s creation, in the human body. He does not see simply tissue, but God-ordained life.

The universe, contrary to the belief of some religions or philosophies ,is real. And more than that, it is good, beautiful and true. The Creator so declared it. It is good, in contrast to Eastern faiths that see the world as something that is broken, something to flee. The creation is a comprehensive and integrative whole, material and spiritual. It is marked by order and not chaos.

Furthermore, the Creator considers progress in the material world to be normal. History—whether that of an individual, nation, or the world—is not to be static. Nor are humans to be destroyed. They are to flourish.

From a forthcoming book by Darrow Miller and Gary Brumbelow 

[1] He goes on to point out that “These tendencies or determinations, whether called laws or affections of matter, have been established by the Creator, and are, with a peculiar felicity of expression, denominated in Scripture, ordinances of heaven.”

[2] With reference to “metaphysical,” Webster notes the following: “The natural division of things that exist is into body and mind, things material and immaterial. The former belong to physics, and the latter to the science of metaphysics.”

[3] For more on this see Miller, Darrow L. Discipling Nations: The power of Truth to Transform Culture; YWAM Publishing, Seattle, Washington; 2001

[4] E. Stanley Jones, The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person, (Abingdon Press: Nashville, 1972), p 54

See these related posts:

What Wisdom Has to Do with Wealth

Poverty: The Fruit of Neglected Wisdom

Gaining Wisdom in a World of Folly

print this page Print this page

About 
Shares
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: