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The Patristic Understanding of Creation

An Anthology of Writings from the Church Fathers on Creation and DesignWilliam A. Dembski, Wayne J. Downs, Fr. Justin B.A. Frederick

The Patristic Understanding of Creation encapsulates what the Church Fathers had to say, in their own words, on the topic of creation. Going back to Roman and Byzantine times, the writings of the Church Fathers are basic to Christian theology and provide a benchmark for how Christians have traditionally understood creation. This understanding of creation, however, faces tremendous challenges in our day, especially in discussions at the intersection of science and religion. Process theology and other efforts to reconceptualize creation have explicitly opposed key elements of the Christian doctrine of creation: creation ex nihilo, the transcendence and immanence of God in creation, “the absolute creatureliness and non-self-sufficiency of the world” (to use a phrase of Fr. Georges Florovsky), the goodness of creation, and the openness of the world to divine action. All of these the Church Fathers not only held but also ably defended. This anthology is therefore not merely of academic or historical interest. In reasserting a theologically sound understanding of creation, this anthology fills a need that is both practical and urgent.

William A. Dembski

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
A mathematician and philosopher, Bill Dembski is the author/editor of more than 20 books as well as the writer of peer-reviewed articles spanning mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology. A past philosophy professor, he retired in 2014 from active research and teaching in intelligent design (ID) to focus on the connections between freedom, technology, and education — specifically, how education helps to advance human freedom with the aid of technology. Bill Dembski is presently an entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites. He lives near Denton, Texas.