It’s incredible how a book can come to you at just the right time. Just the other week I was teaching a Bible Study class on the topic of creation. The question came up about what God was doing prior to creation. I responded that that was a difficult question to answer because we’re not given much to go on and that generally we just concerned ourselves with what happened following Genesis 1:1. About all we have to say prior to that is that nothing at all existed but God. God existed, he wasn’t created and he always existed. He then began to create ex nihilo “out of nothing.”
Well then I get this book Jesus: A Theography. The whole aim of this book is to tell the story of Jesus. But, the authors don’t start in Bethlehem. They don’t even start in Nazareth at the annunciation. They start before creation…they start in the time when there was nothing at all but there was God. I must admit that chapter one is some pretty heavy stuff; the pay off is that your mind will almost certainly be blown on just about every page! What they work through is some pretty meaty Trinitarian Theology. Prior to creation God existed, God the Father existed, God the Son existed, and God the Spirit existed. (Note: the Son existed in his pre-incarnate self) The Bible speaks of this in both testaments…usually you find it referenced in verses that talk about God existing before the foundation of the world.
So, what was God doing before the foundation of the world? Well the authors have a great deal more to say but at the core the Father and the Son and the Spirit loved one another. In theology we call this kenosis. It is the pouring out of himself in love from one member of the Trinity into the others. This is the very nature of God. And, I might editorialize, this is the very stuff of creation and a topic that Christians would do well to internalize and practice with regard to ourselves and our Christ centered lives together.
There’s so much in this chapter; it’s a feast! If you’re thinking about reading this book it is well worth it from what I’ve seen so far. I’m on to chapter 2. If you want to discuss this chapter or find out more just post a comment and we’ll have a conversation.