Fretheim on a Relational Theology of Creation

"[B]oth God and the creatures have an important role in the creative enterprise, and their spheres of activity are interrelated in terms of function and effect. Traditionally, God is seen as one who is independent, with the creatures only and absolutely dependent upon God not only with respect to origins but also regarding their continuing life. The various Old Testament texts regarding creation, however, want to speak in a more complex way about what is entailed in this relationship.

It seems clear from the texts that God is not only independent and the creatures only dependent. All creatures, of course, are deeply dependent upon God for their existence and continuing life. At the same time, God has freely chosen to establish an interdependent relationship with the creation, with respect to both origins and continuation and with overlapping spheres of responsibility. Indeed, God has freely chosen to be dependent upon both human and nonhuman in the furtherance of God's purposes in the world. All creatures have a God-given vocation within God's creation-wide purposes; in other words, God has freely chosen to rely upon that which is not God to engage those purposes" (Terence E. Fretheim, God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of Creation, 269-270).

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