Every year as a church we go through the New City Catechism from ages two through our college age students. For the preschool kids they go through one catechism question a month. At the bottom of the post I will link previous catechism questions that I have written about. This month with my daughter we have been going through question two:
Q2. What is God?
God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything.
Some that have gone through the New City Catechism will notice that I have added "and sustainer" to the children's answer from the adult answer. This is purposefully because I want my daughter to know that God has not just created everyone and everything, but He is actively sustaining all that He has created. God is not like a watchmaker who makes a watch and sets it and forgets His creation to function as He created. Rather He is intrinsically involved in every aspect of creation sustaining everything by His powerful hand. The two theological terms to describe God in this sense is He is both transcendent and immanent in regards to His creation. God is transcendent, meaning He is independent from creation and far above it. He is also immanent, meaning that He "remains in" creation. This catechism question focuses on the aspect of our origins. When it comes to our origins the main questions that we must face are: where did we come from, who are we and where are we going. These are the questions that all of humanity ask themselves and try to figure out. There are two main thoughts of our origins. We are either the result of evolution or the result of intelligent design. Some may object and try to throw in the idea of theistic evolution, however the moment you add intelligent design into the process of evolution you no longer have evolution.
"Theistic evolution is really a child of embarrassment, which calls God in at periodic intervals to help nature over the chasms that yawn at her feet. It is neither the biblical doctrine of creation, nor a consistent theory of evolution." - Louis Berkhof
As Christians we believe and affirm the Bible and hold to the biblical doctrine of creation. One of the reasons we believe this is by faith: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (Hebrews 11:3 ESV). Let me says this as a side note because skeptics reading this could laugh at the idea of believing creation by faith. However when you look at the concept of evolution it is also received by faith, just not in the same way in which I speak of. We also believe this by creation "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made..." (Romans 1:20 ESV). When we look at the doctrine of creation from the biblical sense, it reminds us that God is sovereign over the universe that He created. This gives us hope because we can rest in knowing that nothing is outside of His control. There will never be anything that we face in our lives that is too big for God because He is the creator of everything, he is transcendent. It also helps us to view all of God's creation as good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:4-5: "For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected, because it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." It is important to teach our kids that God is their creator and sustainer because it reminds them that they owe everything to God. That their lives are not their own but they belong to God, the one who created and sustains their life. The one who by His breath, breathes life into our lungs and sustains it. May we always stand in awe and marvel at all that God has created and may it always lead us to a place of worship and thanksgiving!
Read more of my Catechism Reflections here: