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Creation and Redemption (Volume Three in the Collected Works by Georges Florovsky

By Georges Florovsky

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What is created is outside of God, but is united with Him. The Fathers of the fourth century, moved by the Arian controversy to define the concept of creation in a clear and precise manner, stressed above all else the heterogeneity of the created and Creator in counterdistinction to the "consubstantiality" of generation; and they corrected this heterogeneity with the dependence of creation upon the will and volition. Everything created, wrote St. 17 Will and volition precede creating. Creating is an act of will [εκ βουλή μ α τ ο ς ] , and therefore is sharply distinguished from the Divine generation, which is an act of nature [ γ ε ν ν ά κ α τ ά φύσιν].

Although paradoxical, this distinction of types and kinds of eternity is necessary for the expression of the incontestable distinction between the essence (nature) of God and the will of God. This distinction would not introduce any kind of separation or split into the Divine Being, but by analogy expresses the distinction between will and nature, the fundamental distinction made so strikingly explicit by the Fathers of the fourth century. The idea of the world has its basis not in the essence, but in the will of God.

On the contrary, the created nucleus of things must be rigorously distinguished from the Divine idea about things. Only in this way is even the most sequacious logical realism freed from a pantheistic flavor; the reality of the whole will nevertheless be but a created reality. Together with this, pan-logism is also overcome: The thought of a thing and the Divine thoughtdesign concerning a thing are not its "essence" or nucleus, even though the essence itself is characterized by λ ό γ ο ς [ λ ο γ ι κ ό ς ] .

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