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Ex Nihilo

We have been reading to our children each morning from The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung. This morning’s reading discussed the first article of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” On God as creator, DeYoung writes:


God created the world ex nihilo, which is Latin for “out of nothing.” In the beginning there was God and nothing else. “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb. 11:3). No stars, no sky, no light, no sun, no creatures, no water, no dust—nothing. It’s almost impossible to comprehend. We can fathom an uninhabited world, even a universe filled with an endless expanse of darkness, but prior to Genesis 1:1 there wasn’t even a dark sky. There was nothing but nothingness. The only something was an invisible, spiritual, eternal God.

—Kevin DeYoung, The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (Moody Publishers, 2010), 55.

This is indeed a most mind-boggling truth. We simply do not possess the mental capacity to imagine nothing, not even empty space. More mind-bending is what that nothingness tells us about God. That God created everything that is from nothing is truly awesome and amazing, but consider this as well: the same triune God who existed in pre-creation nothingness also fills the infinite universe, and yet has never changed.

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