Treading too Close to Creative Thinking

Anytime you sit down to put “pen-to-paper” in the process of recording your thoughts, you run a risk of exposing yourself. Whether it is a creative work such as a poem or prose, or some form of essay, you are opening yourself up to strong criticism. Nowhere is this more true than when we begin to wax philosophical about theology and the finer points of doctrine.

Being creative when you address issues of objective biblical truth is tantamount to walking a high-tension line without a balance bar, shoes, or a net, in hurricane force winds. In-other-words, it requires a massive amount of care and consideration.

However, what I want to say, is that the precarious place one can find oneself in these creative moments doesn’t mean one should shy away from being creative. If fear is the thing holding you back, I hope that this essay will be of encouragement to you. Even if only in a small way.

What Does it Mean to be Created Imago Dei?

There are varying opinions about what it meant when God said “let Us make man in our image…”

Some argue that this is speaking almost exclusively about the relational status of human beings as spiritual creatures. Still others argue that it focused primarily on the taking and subduing aspects of the command given to Adam and Eve. The primary focus of this aspect is that we model or image God in molding and shaping the earth to suit our needs and even our aesthetics. Much of this can be tied to the variances in eschatological positions.

I argue that being Image Bearers of God is a balance of the two most commonly held positions. I believe that God did create us to be spiritually relational and also to take dominion of Earth. This dominion reflects His dominion as He owns all things.

What we see play out in those that are children of God and those that are children of the enemy is tension. Sinful proclivities have a great influence on how we see taking dominion and even in how we interact relationally with one another and with God.

Consider the ballot initiative in Colorado in the General Election of 2020. Voters in Colorado were asked to vote on measures to save the wolves and to restrict abortion. Colorado voters chose to protect wolves and murder children freely. Talk about missing the forest for the trees…

Are You Creative? If Not, Have You Looked?

I have met people that claim no sense of creativity. Outside of the rare case of severe cognitive impairment I do not believe that to be true. Are there people that are more talented than others by way of creativity? Certainly. But I think, that all-too-often, we severely limit what it means to be creative. Frequently, creativity is only understood in terms of specific arts. Music, drawing, painting etc. …

Instead, I would urge you to look at your natural inclinations. I had a friend years ago. (Literally I had one friend.) He could approach a car engine and dismantle it and put it back together without batting an eye. Moreover, this guy could tell you what was wrong and how to fix it just by listening. But he could also come up with creative modifications to improve performance. Tell me, does that sound creative to you?

Consider the person that isn’t a culinary professional that presents every meal with some sense of “artistic flair”. Instead, she or he (I insist on using the binary terms) knows how to take the items they are working with to produce amazing flavor and texture combinations. So-much-so, that just thinking about it makes your mouth water. Is that being creative?

Christians Image their God in Creative Endeavors

Simply put, we are creative because of our God. He is the Creator, who made all things Ex Nihilio. As the old joke goes. An atheistic scientist said he was going to prove to God that he could create life in a laboratory just like God did. The scientist reached down and grabbed a handful of dirt. God stopped him, “Nope. Make your own dirt.” We are not that kind of creative. We have restrictions and parameters within which we can work.

While we are not capable of creating Ex Nihilio we can mold and shape aspects of our world on a small scale. Sometimes even on a large scale. Consider the Victoria Damn on the Nile. The Panama Canal.  Even consider the way in which mankind has bred so many species of dogs almost all of them starting out as working dogs of some sort. (The Chihuahua being an example of creative failure.)

For the Christian, it is an act of supreme laziness to not endeavor to tap into our creative traits. No matter what they may be. We create because our Creator created. It is an act of worship to strive, even in our fallen flesh, to be like Him. To strive to add beauty and meaning into an increasingly ugly world. When we strive to bring the chaos surrounding us into organized beauty, we are taking dominion of the world He created.

If you are a baker then bake to the glory of God!

Likewise, if you are mechanic be creative in solving engine problems!

Also, if you are a carpenter build and construct projects with finesse and durability. That was my dad his whole life.

Christ Came into the World to Redeem the Elect So They Could Be Molded into His Image…

The Gospel came into your life because God ordained it. Christ came to save sinners and see them changed. There is no excuse to not actively pursue being molded and shaped into the image of the Son.

Sometimes I think we don’t consider this broadly enough. We think of Christ’s suffering and His selflessness and His kindness. Then we narrow our focus and think that this is all there is to being molded into His Image.

But maybe we all need to be reminded that He is also the Word. Furthermore, Scripture is clear He is the Word by Which all things were made. So, follow me here…

God created all there is Ex Nihilio through the Word…

Adam and Eve were charged with subduing the Earth and stewarding it…

This applied even after the Fall…

God promised to send the Savior into the World to redeem man…

Christ came to save sinful man and to see them molded into His Image…

Therefore, while you strive to image all the things He is and was during His earthly ministry, also strive to image Him as you create to His glory…

The Gospel is as much about that as it is anything else…

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Todd