Calvin on Creation



                                  FOREWORD TO THE FIRST 1985 EDITION

As is evident from what the author has published, Dr. Lee is a man of astounding erudition and – of greater importance – one who humbly and unreservedly accepts the authority and infallibility of Holy Scripture.   He is one of the few scholars of our day who has really probed the literary heritage of the great Reformer John Calvin.

One particularly welcomes this book, on the interpretation of Calvin on creation as narrated in the first chapters of Genesis.   At this juncture, evolutionism is being acclaimed a philosophy of life — and as such becomes a surrogate for divine revelation concerning the origin, essence, and consummation of all of reality.  

Calvin as it were proleptically exposed the falsehood of some of the basic assumptions of evolutionism.   Strikingly enough, he stated that "the First Cause (i.e. God) is Self-sufficient; and intermediate or secondary causes have only what they borrow from this Cause."   Consequently, the earth had no "germinating principle" or creativity in itself (Commentary on Genesis 1:11).

In other words, the fundamental presupposition of consistent evolutionism – that reality possesses the inherent power to create something new – is repudiated.   In the same place, he says that the "herbs and trees…then created…, were endued with the power of propagation – in order that their several species might be perpetuated."

That amounts to a negation of a second basic notion of evolutionism:  the transformation of primal protoplasm, eventually culminating in man.   Suffice the above, to illustrate the relevance of Calvin’s insight into revealed truth.

May this book underline the actuality of the Reformer’s explication of the Bible!   And may it act as a compass, to direct a confused (and rudderless) world to the living God!

                          (Rev. Professor Dr.) F.J.M. Potgieter (Th.D., Ph.D.),                                Professor-Emeritus of Apologetics,                                     Reformed Theological Seminary,                                          University of Stellenbosch, 2nd April 1985.

[Professor Potgieter authored many publications.   His Th.D. dissertation was under Kuyper’s successor Rev. Professor Dr. Hepp at the Free University of Amsterdam, and entitled Calvin on the Relationship of Theology to Philosophy (Kok, Kampen, 1939).   He later promoted Dr. Lee’s 1966 Th.D. dissertation The Covenantal Sabbath Scripturally and historically considered.]



                                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1.   The importance to Calvinism of God’s creation and the Noachic Flood today.  2.   The Church’s understanding of creation before John Calvin (1540f A.D.).     3.   John Calvin’s historic-prophetic-patristic view of creation.     4.   Basil and Calvin on creation.  5.   Ambrose and Calvin on creation.  6.   Augustine and Calvinism on creation.  7.   Calvin said only the Father-Son-Spirit was before creation.     8.   Calvin said God Triune exnihilated the universe in the beginning of time.     9.   The heavens were finite and the world was global from the start. 10.   Calvin on the great global flood before earth’s formation week.   11.   Calvin said after Genesis 1:1-2 God formed the earth gradually (Genesis 1:3-31).   12.   Calvin on earth’s unequal formation days or ‘light-periods.’   13.   Calvin on earth’s first formation day of light (Genesis 1:3-5).   14.   Calvin on earth’s second formation day of rainclouds in the air.   15.   Calvin on earth’s third formation day when the dry land appeared.   16.   Calvin on earth’s third formation day when the mountains arose.   17.   Calvin on earth’s third formation day’s first plants.   18.   Calvin on earth’s fourth formation day when the sun was made a timekeeper.   19.   Calvin advocated a fifth day’s formative development opposed to evolutionism.   20.   Calvin on earth’s fifth day’s animals and their prehuman food and mortality.   21.   Calvin never taught all animals herbivorous ere man’s fall nor on the new earth. 22.   Calvin on man’s dominion over the humanly-edible and unedible animals.   23.   Calvin said man is the unique and immortal image of God.   24.   Calvin on man’s immortality and the two central trees on God’s sixth day.   25.   Calvin said not even 6000 years elapsed since Adam was made.   26.   Calvin on the age-long creation sabbath.   27.   Calvin on the location of Genesis 2:8-16’s "paradise."   28.   Calvin on the effects and redemption of man’s sin.   29.   Calvin on the world’s climate before and after Adam’s fall and Noah’s flood.   30.   Calvin on the Noachic deluge, its effects, and Ararat. 31.   Calvin on the great ‘re-creation’ at Genesis nine. 32.   Calvin on the continuation and consummation of creation. 33.   Summary of Calvin on creation. Footnotes Bibliography About the author

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