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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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The perfection of the creation.
The word of God and the Fathers of the Church teach that everything created by God was
good, and they indicate the good order of the world as created by the Good one. The irrational
creation, not having in itself any moral freedom, is morally neither good nor evil. The rational
and free creation becomes evil when it inclines away from God; that is, by following its sinful
attraction and not because it was created thus. “And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:4, 10,
12, 18, 21, 25). “And, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
God created the world perfect. However, Revelation does not say that the present world was
perfect to such an extent that it had no need of, or would be incapable of, further perfecting,
whether in the days of its creation or in its later and present condition. The earthly world in its
highest representatives — mankind — was fore-ordained to a new and higher form of life. Divine
Revelation teaches that the present condition of the world will be replaced at some time by a
better and more perfect one, when there will be “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13),
and the creation itself “will be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21).
To the question: How did the life of God proceed before the creation of the world, Blessed
Augustine replies, “My best answer is: I do not know.” St. Gregory the Theologian reflects, “He
contemplated the beloved radiance of His own goodness. . . . Inasmuch as one cannot ascribe to
God inactivity and imperfection, what then occupied the Divine thought before the Almighty,
reigning in the absence of time, created the universe and adorned it with forms? It contemplated
the beloved radiance of His own goodness, the equal and equally perfect splendor of the Triply-
shining Divinity known only to the Divinity and to whomever God reveals it. The
world-creating Mind likewise beheld, in His great conceptions, the world's forms devised by
Him, which, even though they were brought forth subsequently, for God were present even then.
With God, everything is before His eyes: that which will be, that which was, and that which is
not” (St. Gregory the Theologian, Homily 4, On the World).
To the question, How was God's omnipotence expressed before there was a world, St.
Methodius of Patara notes, “God Omnipotent is outside every dependence upon the things created