Ex Nihilo

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 2, 2013 0 comments

While I am creating this blog post by writing it, I am starting with something and not creating it “ex nihilo.” Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that literally means “out of nothing.” It is most commonly referred to when discussing how God created the universe. Naturally, this concept is hotly debated, and has been for many centuries.

The ex nihilo view of creation means there must be a Creator - a being who existed before the creation of our world, but yet absolutely nothing existed before that. The Creator didn’t create the world out of something; there was totally, absolutely nothing to start with. The Creator started with nothing and ended up with something - everything that exists today in our world.

We see evidence of creation ex nihilo in Genesis 1:2 which says, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The words for “formless” and “empty” in Hebrew imply a state of complete void, where absolutely nothing existed, not any form of matter or particles or anything. We see the presence of the Spirit of God, but that’s it.

There is a logical approach of thought to the idea of ex nihilo, which goes as follows:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe must have a cause.
The cause in this case is the Creator, since nothing else could have caused the universe to come into existence out of absolutely nothing.

But, naturally, there are also opponents to the ex nihilo view of creation. One opposing view is that it’s impossible for us to conceive of absolute nothingness, so this view doesn’t make sense to us. My response to that would be that I don’t want to believe in a God I can understand, or He wouldn’t be the almighty God!

Another opposition is that we have no evidence that our universe originally came into being from absolutely nothing. But, I would counter that we also have no evidence that our universe came into being from something; basically, we have no physical evidence one way or the other, and either position has to be taken on faith.

One more opposition is that if God once had the power to create from absolutely nothing, God essentially retains that power. But a God of love with this capacity appears at fault for failing to prevent evil. My response to that is that God loves us enough that He allowed us the free will to turn against Him and sin, thus bringing evil into the world. If we didn’t have free will, then we could not make the choice to love or deny God, and our love to Him would be meaningless. Even though evil did come into the world through mankind’s sin, God loves us so much that He gave us a way out through His son Jesus, who died and was raised to live again! All we need to do is believe in Him, and after this life we will experience one where there is absolutely no evil.

There are many other arguments both for and against the idea of ex nihilo creation, and I would encourage you to wrestle through them on your own. What do you believe about how our world came to be? Did God create it ex nihilo, out of nothing, or did He start with something and work from there? Seek out the Truth on this subject, wherever that may lead you.