There are numerous ways in which Christianity differs from many other world religions, and from ancient mythologies. One of the most significant is the concept of creation ex nihilo. Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that means “out of nothing.” The doctrine of creation ex nihilo asserts that before the creation of the cosmos, nothing existed but God alone. No thing at all. Then God spoke into existence the material universe. It was created by divine fiat, by the order of God. The universe was not created out of any kind of preexisting material, for nothing existed before the creation. Continue reading
In the 17th century a giant intellect arose in France by the name of René Descartes. He is considered by many as the father of modern philosophy. His thinking certainly served as a harbinger for the period known as the Enlightenment that would follow in the next century.
Descartes was a son of the church. He did not set out to reject faith or deny church dogma. What he did purpose to do was explore with his mind the limits of human knowledge. His pursuit of knowledge is said to have begun with a series of three visions, which he believed were divine visitations. Following these heavenly encounters, he began to explore what could be known through reason alone. There is an apocryphal legend that he enclosed himself in a barrel for these ruminations. Although this is a fanciful tale, he did seclude himself in order to explore the power of his own reason. Continue reading