An intriguing speculation about Genesis 1 and the trinity

I have enjoyed the mental/theological workout of reading through Colin Gunton’s A Brief Theology of Revelation.

At one point he quotes from Frances Watson’s Text, Church and World: Biblical interpretation in Theological Perspective. Watson observes that there are 3 types of creation in Genesis 1:

  1. By divine speech out of nothing: ‘let there be light’

  2. By divine fashioning out of existing matter: ‘let there be a vault between the waters’

  3. By divinely ordained bringing-forth out of another kind of matter: ‘let the land produce vegetation

And Watson goes on to draw out an incipient trinitarianism in these modes of creation:

This God is first transcendent, but the function of this concept is still to express something of the relationship between creator and creation and not to postulate a deity who is so wholly other as to be incapable of creating. Second, this God is wholly involved in his creative activity and his involvement takes the intimately bodily form of labour; God acts not only through the immaterial medium of speech but also in the corporeal work of making and shaping things with his hands… God is not so wedded to his spirituality as to be incapable of bodily exertion. Third, in the most intimate relation of all, this God indwells her creation, not in the form of a passive, static presence but in an active, dynamic, self-transcending movement towards the emergence and reproduction of life and breath…

(Page 70)

There’s plenty to question and reject in this quote. But some fun insights to ponder, too.

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