Is the Ex Nihilo Doctrine of Creation Unique to Christianity?
Question of the week: What do you make of assertions by skeptics that there are several religions and mythologies that include in their doctrines an ex nihilo creation event and that Christianity is not unique?
My answer: Creatio ex nihilo is Latin for “creation out of nothing.” It refers to the belief that space, time, matter, and energy are not eternal but were created by a supernatural act of God.
It is the kind of ex nihilo creation event that sets the Bible apart from nonbiblical holy books. In the eastern religions and in ancient mid- and near-eastern, African, European, and American creation myths God, Gods, or creative forces create the universe within space and time that eternally exists. The Bible teaches that space and time did not exist until God created the universe.1
Where the Bible also stands unique is in its description of God and in how God fashions the universe, Earth, and Earth’s life after the cosmic creation event. The Bible describes God as a triune Being: one essence and three persons. Only Christianity among the world’s religions asserts the doctrine of the Trinity. As I wrote in a blog several years ago,2 science only makes sense if God is triune. Furthermore, only the Bible among the world’s foundational religious books accurately and consistently predicts future scientific discoveries.
- Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First!
- Does the Bible Teach Big Bang Cosmology?
- Navigating Genesis (book), pp. 25–108
- I provide a review of the relevant biblical texts in The Creator and the Cosmos, 4th ed. (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2018), 25–26, https://support.reasons.org/purchase/the-creator-and-the-cosmos-fourth-edition.
- Hugh Ross, “How To Persuade a Skeptic Than God Must Be Triune,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (blog) July 13, 2016, https://www.reasons.org/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/todays-new-reason-to-believe/2016/07/13/how-to-persuade-a-skeptic-that-god-must-be-triune.