7

This question is more theoretical than anything, but I wanted to ask the following:

If God is a perfect being, one can safely infer that he has no needs, because of the nature of his existence is already 100% fulfilled. One can also infer, under the same preconception, that he should have no real wants. A true want for something more would mean that you are, at least in your own perception, incomplete.

With this in mind, one can assume that God had no real reason to create humanity. I have heard the argument that God "wanted" to create humanity, in the same manner that human parents "want" to have kids. But if God is perfect, with no needs and no reason to want more, than this argument doesn't hold a lot of weight.

So, does the bible explain the "why" of God creating humanity? I wouldn't expect to have a direct answer, but does it at least give us clues as to God's reasoning?

5
  • 4
    Augustine, in City of God, says that "God saw that it was good" is the explanation of the purpose of creation in Genesis. God did it because it was good. As I recall, he goes on a little rant about how we don't need to come to a more sophisticated reason than that, since that should be sufficient. If you're interested I can dig up the quotation and post an answer. Aug 29, 2023 at 17:41
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I would also recommend reading the Help Center's sections on asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Aug 29, 2023 at 17:41
  • 1
    This sermon by John Piper directly addresses the question: desiringgod.org/messages/why-did-god-create-the-world . His answer is that God created the universe to show forth His glory. He quotes Jonathan Edwards: "Tis no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain that it is inclined to overflow.” Aug 29, 2023 at 19:38
  • Good question. Up-voted +1. Answered below.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 29, 2023 at 22:13
  • Another good article that addresses this question: ses.edu/why-did-god-create-anything Oct 2, 2023 at 17:43

6 Answers 6

3

Knowing, aforetime, what the created creature (Serpent, Adam, Eve and all of creation) would, inevitably, do ; simply because they are created (and not eternal) : yet, nevertheless, provision was made in the counsels of Deity, by unanimous determination, and, notwithstanding the cost (to Deity himself) . . . . creation went ahead.

The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. [Psalm 33:11 KJV]

The 'cost' was the necessity of a future redemption, which divine wisdom (and divine wisdom alone) evaluated and determined.

by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. [Hebrews 9:12 KJV]

Before the foundation of the world, choice was made, in Christ :

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [Ephesians 1:4 KJV]

Because the love of God is not temporal, it is from everlasting :

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. [Jeremiah 31:3 KJV]

Why creation ?

Why do it at all ?

Because of the immensity of the everlasting love of God. . . .

. . . . whose purpose ever was to bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10) who should, through divine mercy and divine grace, be brought into being , be saved effectually and should discover the Father and the Son, in one Holy Spirit and should be one in God, for ever and ever, age without end.

1
  • 2
    He created so as to bring you to glory (you being each individual you who will believe unto salvation as well as the collective you which is the bride of Christ). +1 Aug 30, 2023 at 12:24
0

if God is perfect, with no needs and no reason to want more, then this argument doesn't hold a lot of weight

True, but there are several possibilities:

  • "this argument" is wrong.
  • God isn't perfect.
  • God is perfect, but perfection doesn't imply being incapable of having needs or wants.

This "begs the question". It assumes that the first case is true, and then uses that assumption to prove that the assumption was true. But there is no reason for simply ignoring the third case.

Imagine you're lying on a beach, hearing the sounds of the surf, rereading your favourite book, and thinking this is perfection. But that doesn't mean that half an hour from now you won't want another beer.
Perhaps someone will bring it for you without your having to ask them, confirming that this really is perfection, but nevertheless you still wanted it.

0

OP: So, does the bible explain the "why" of God creating humanity?

The reason, the why for God creating humanity is for His good pleasure. It started at the beginning.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Gen 2:19

As Paul explained it,

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph 1:5

To expand the definition, the "why".

Desire (Noun and Verb), Desirous:

lit., "good pleasure" (eu, "well," dokeo, "to seem"), implies a gracious purpose, a good object being in view, with the idea of a resolve, showing the willingness with which the resolve is made. It is often translated "good pleasure," e.g., Eph 1:5, 9; Phl 2:13; in Phl 1:15, "good will;" in Rom 10:1, "desire," (marg., "good pleasure"); in 2Th 1:11, RV, "desire," AV and RV, marg., "good pleasure." Vines

Here is Irenaeus on the same reasoning.

  1. There is therefore one God, who by the Word and Wisdom created and arranged all things; but this is the Creator (Demiurge) who has granted this world to the human race, and who, as regards His greatness, is indeed unknown to all who have been made by Him (for no man has searched out His height, either among the ancients who have gone to their rest, or any of those who are now alive); but as regards His love, He is always known through Him by whose means He ordained all things. Now this is His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in the last times was made a man among men, that He might join the end to the beginning, that is, man to God. Wherefore the prophets, receiving the prophetic gift from the same Word, announced His advent according to the flesh, by which the blending and communion of God and man took place according to the good pleasure of the Father, the Word of God foretelling from the beginning that God should be seen by men, and hold converse with them upon earth, should confer with them, and should be present with His own creation, saving it, and becoming capable of being perceived by it, and freeing us from the hands of all that hate us, that is, from every spirit of wickedness; and causing us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all our days,4075 in order that man, having embraced the Spirit of God, might pass into the glory of the Father. Against Heresies Book IV Chapter XX

So yes, the bible explains the "why" of God creating us. It is for His good pleasure.

-1

Great question, I feel like your argument is going something like this, God is defined as a perfect being, A perfect being doesn't have any needs or wants, The only reason God would create is if he had a want. So why did God create if he didn't want to? I think there is a flaw, in the Idea that perfection limits "want" in fact, I think it's quite the opposite. Consider for a second a world where everybody but one person is perfect(where they are content and have no wants or needs), This one person murdered several people in this world. Now the question is do we the perfect people not want this person to turn from their ways or are they just good having no desire to murder whatsoever or would this be an imperfection? the point is that want/desire is a piece of perfection. Most Christians would agree that God wants a relationship with us. It's not that God needs it, it's that God has a desire for good.

1
  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Aug 29, 2023 at 22:15
-1

The "Why" of Creation -- Does the bible explain God's reasoning?

Put in a nutshell: “Deus caritas est”!

The main reason why is that God is Love (Deus caritas est).

The whole of creation was created by God in order to effectively have his Divine Son save humanity from its sins by dying on the Cross of Salvation.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John3:16

God desires the maximum number possible to be saved a share in his Beatific Vision in heaven where we may contemplate God’s eternal love for us forever.

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God, 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its enslavement to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning together as it suffers together the pains of labor, 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. - Romans 8:19-23

Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical letter Deus caritas est has shown this in many different circumstances throughout the Scriptures and using various philosophical manners to explain how creation is an expression of God’s love for the whole of creation and man in particular.

The newness of biblical faith

  1. First, the world of the Bible presents us with a new image of God. In surrounding cultures, the image of God and of the gods ultimately remained unclear and contradictory. In the development of biblical faith, however, the content of the prayer fundamental to Israel, the Shema, became increasingly clear and unequivocal: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Dt 6:4). There is only one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who is thus the God of all. Two facts are significant about this statement: all other gods are not God, and the universe in which we live has its source in God and was created by him. Certainly, the notion of creation is found elsewhere, yet only here does it become absolutely clear that it is not one god among many, but the one true God himself who is the source of all that exists; the whole world comes into existence by the power of his creative Word. Consequently, his creation is dear to him, for it was willed by him and “made” by him. The second important element now emerges: this God loves man. The divine power that Aristotle at the height of Greek philosophy sought to grasp through reflection, is indeed for every being an object of desire and of love - and as the object of love this divinity moves the world - but in itself it lacks nothing and does not love: it is solely the object of love. The one God in whom Israel believes, on the other hand, loves with a personal love. His love, moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses Israel and loves her - but he does so precisely with a view to healing the whole human race. God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape.

The Prophets, particularly Hosea and Ezekiel, described God's passion for his people using boldly erotic images. God's relationship with Israel is described using the metaphors of betrothal and marriage; idolatry is thus adultery and prostitution. Here we find a specific reference - as we have seen - to the fertility cults and their abuse of eros, but also a description of the relationship of fidelity between Israel and her God. The history of the love - relationship between God and Israel consists, at the deepest level, in the fact that he gives her the Torah, thereby opening Israel's eyes to man's true nature and showing her the path leading to true humanism. It consists in the fact that man, through a life of fidelity to the one God, comes to experience himself as loved by God, and discovers joy in truth and in righteousness - a joy in God which becomes his essential happiness: “Whom do I have in heaven but you? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides you ... for me it is good to be near God” (Ps 73 [72]:25, 28).

  1. We have seen that God's eros for man is also totally agape. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives. Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God's love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed “adultery” and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her. It is precisely at this point that God is revealed to be God and not man: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! ... My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos 11:8-9). God's passionate love for his people - for humanity - is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross: so great is God's love for man that by becoming man he follows him even into death, and so reconciles justice and love.

The philosophical dimension to be noted in this biblical vision, and its importance from the standpoint of the history of religions, lies in the fact that on the one hand we find ourselves before a strictly metaphysical image of God: God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being; but this universal principle of creation—the Logos, primordial reason - is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love. Eros is thus supremely ennobled, yet at the same time it is so purified as to become one with agape. We can thus see how the reception of the Song of Songs in the canon of sacred Scripture was soon explained by the idea that these love songs ultimately describe God's relation to man and man's relation to God. Thus the Song of Songs became, both in Christian and Jewish literature, a source of mystical knowledge and experience, an expression of the essence of biblical faith: that man can indeed enter into union with God - his primordial aspiration. But this union is no mere fusion, a sinking in the nameless ocean of the Divine; it is a unity which creates love, a unity in which both God and man remain themselves and yet become fully one. As Saint Paul says: “He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” (1 Cor 6:17).

  1. The first novelty of biblical faith consists, as we have seen, in its image of God. The second, essentially connected to this, is found in the image of man. The biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam, the first man, and God's decision to give him a helper. Of all other creatures, not one is capable of being the helper that man needs, even though he has assigned a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life. So God forms woman from the rib of man. Now Adam finds the helper that he needed: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). Here one might detect hints of ideas that are also found, for example, in the myth mentioned by Plato, according to which man was originally spherical, because he was complete in himself and self-sufficient. But as a punishment for pride, he was split in two by Zeus, so that now he longs for his other half, striving with all his being to possess it and thus regain his integrity. While the biblical narrative does not speak of punishment, the idea is certainly present that man is somehow incomplete, driven by nature to seek in another the part that can make him whole, the idea that only in communion with the opposite sex can he become “complete”. The biblical account thus concludes with a prophecy about Adam: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

Two aspects of this are important. First, eros is somehow rooted in man's very nature; Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”. The second aspect is equally important. From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love. This close connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically no equivalent in extra-biblical literature.

Thus the God of Love desires that his children sojourning in this creation he established for the benefit of all mankind in order to help foster man’s love for his Divine Creator. All things, He created all things, visible and invisible to be an expression of his Divine Love!

The following articles may be of interest to some:

-1

Have you ever created anything? A piece of art.... a delicious meal, a garden, a song? A person often creates out of the desire to express him/herself. A person often creates because its simply pleasurable.

If God has made us in His image, we can understand that God is thee Eternal Artist and He created because it pleases Him to express Himself and be glorified.

Isaiah 60:21 NIV

Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .