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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.4 Pretoria  2011


Concerns about the future of creation order


Besorgdheid oor die toekoms van skeppingsorde



A.H. Verhoef

School of Philosophy, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom. E-mail:




The theological background to the notion of the law of nature/ creation order is indispensable to the reformational tradition, which recognises that these laws are the Creator's will, and therefore holds a "necessity" view of these laws. There has, however, been a longstanding debate about the nature of law within the reformational tradition, where its origin and its status as boundary between God and creation have been questioned. In this article I will investigate how Trinitarian theology, specifically that of Robert W. Jenson, relates to process philosophy and theology, and how together they create some theological concerns about the future of creation order. Some of the concerns include the following: that the necessity of order is questioned (the disappearance of a Creator who wills these laws); that order is temporal and in constant change; and that the boundary between God and creation is weakened. I will raise some objections to these aspects, but will also highlight some questions the reformational tradition has to answer in terms of its understanding of the immanence of God and of the implicated theological basis for the creation order. These questions are of the utmost importance for the understanding of the future of creation order.

Key concepts: creation order, Jenson, Robert W., process philosophy, Trinitarian theology


Die teologiese agtergrond van die idee van 'n skeppingsorde is onontbeerlik vir die reformatoriese tradisie. Volgens hierdie tradisie is die natuurwette die Skepper se wil en daarom word hierdie orde as noodsaaklik beskou. 'n Voortslepende debat binne die reformatoriese tradisie bestaan egter lank reeds ten opsigte van die aard van die skeppingsordening, waarvolgens die oorsprong en status daarvan as skeiding tussen God en die skepping bevraagteken word. Ek gaan in hierdie artikel ondersoek instel na die Trinitariese teologie, spesifiek hoe dié van Robert W. Jenson verband hou met prosesfilosofie en -teologie, asook hoe dit gesamentlik sekere teologiese bekommernise oor die toekoms van 'n skeppingsorde laat ontstaan. Sommige van hierdie kwessies sluit in dat die noodsaaklikheid van 'n skeppingsorde bevraagteken word (die verdwyning van 'n Skepper wat hierdie ordeninge wil); dat orde tydelik is en gedurig verander; en dat die grens tussen God en skepping vervaag. Ek sal sekere besware oor hierdie kwessies opper, maar ek sal ook sekere vrae uitlig wat die reformatoriese tradisie moet beantwoord in terme van hulle begrip van die immanensie van God en van die geïmpliseerde teologiese grondslag van die skeppingsorde. Hierdie vrae is van die uiterste belang vir insig oor die toekoms van 'n skeppingsorde.

Kernbegrippe: Jenson, Robert W., prosesfilosofie, skeppingsorde, Trinitariese teologie



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