Seldom, indeed, is it that I find three of my esteemed and beloved siblings in Christ in disagreement with me on so fundamental point as to whether ex nihilo creation was -- or was not -- uniquely confined to "the creation week".
(Point of distinction: I said, "was not", rather than "could not be" ...)
Therefore, I must re-examine my position and ask myself a few questions:
While I cogitate on these questions -- and (re)-search Scripture for answers -- I hand them to you, my Sisters and Brothers in Christ, so that you can be ready to deal with whatever conclusions I reach...
For those who have access to it, I refer you to
Schroeder, Gerald L., Genesis and the Big Bang -- specifically the chapter, "THE SOUL OF LIFE", PP 149-152.
FWIW, marron my discussion of "created" vs "formed" was not nearly so much a disagreement with you as it was intended to be a lead-in to discussion of a couple of points I raised in my (mostly ignored) #143... But, I was "blindsided" into this "sidetrack" by my esteemed and beloved Sisters... ;-)
Yet, in all of this, my intended focus remains on the subject of this thread: "evolution vs creation"...
If I had to pick instances of possible ex nihilo events in the Bible other than creation week, I’d go with these:
water to wine
multiplying loaves and fishes
healing any leper insofar as there is the assumption that any missing body parts were restored.
widow’s oil multiplied
Aaron’s rod becoming serpent
water becoming blood (depending on if that means “red” or “blood”)
The operative part, IMHO, is this:
8. Does God perform a new act of ex nihilo creation every time a human is born? Every puppy? Every seed that germinates? Every microbe that undergoes mitosis?
Indeed, the physical body seems first relevant to me in Gods covering Adam and Eves shame with coats made of skins:
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Hebrews 9:22
Concerning the spiritual body, Jewish mystics point to the Hebrew words nephesh, neshama and ruach in Scripture used to describe the soul/mind/spirit.
More specifically, nephesh is the ordinary soul which all living creatures have (Genesis 1) and is returned to the earth upon death.
And neshama as you pointed out, is the breath of God which Adam received in Genesis 2 whereby he became a living soul.
Further, according to the mystics, the ruach is the soul pivot whereby the man chooses to be Godly-minded (neshama) or earthly-minded (nephesh.) That choosing parallels Romans 8.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. John 1:33
In that view, everything returns to the earth at death and new epiphenomenons begin at birth or conception.
But the Scripture speaks of creation being mindful:
Conversely then, the living souls which have ruach (choice) and/or neshama (breath of God) would "phase shift" (if P.S. Wesson is right) and continue onwards "in" the creation past the death of the physical body.
Moreover, we creatures called Christian being indwelled by ruach Elohim already exist "beyond" anything physical at all (including a phase shift):
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:1-9
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19
God's Name is I AM.
I didn't read any of the replies as particularly a disagreement so much as a continuation of the discussion started in 143, trying to draw some distinctions that I did not make, between “ex nihilo” events and divine interventions that do not (apparently) generate something from nothing but rather redirect or choreograph events. The latter might fall under your “formation” heading.
One question is whether the “big bang” was a single explosion that carried within it the basic formula from which everything we see has unfolded, or was it rather more like the opening of a valve from which a steady stream is emitted (though still with those same basic formula governing physical behavior). I couldn't even begin to answer that kind of question.
My belief is that “creation” is a fundamental element in God's essence, like love, it is in part who he is. Furthermore that, since we are made in his image, it is a fundamental part of who we are. And to push my line of reasoning a bit further, that it is an important part of why he created us; first, because thats what he does, but more as a way of furthering the process of creation. We are tools who are intended to join in creation.
Its important to notice that parts of the process are mechanical, and are predictable, and parts of it have been given independent intellect and will which adds an element of spontaneity to the process. This seems to be by design. Rather than a universe of telephone poles he seems to prefer forests of unique trees whose final shape is not entirely predictable or controlled.
He can work with that kind of uncertainty the way a sailor uses winds he doesn't control to go to a destination he does control. He doesn't need to control everything to remain in control of everything.
Most people picture heaven as a kind of static place but I don't. If creation is, as I say, fundamental to God's nature then it continues today and on into eternity. We have roles to play and will continue to have roles to play on into eternity. I could be wrong, but I hope to find out (and hope to see you all when we get to the other side).
With this, I have batted the ball back over the net. I look forward to the responses.