Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 August 2019
In the first of five opening chapters on participation and divine causation, we look at 'efficient' or 'agent' causation: what it means, from a participatory perspective, for God to be the cause and agent of creation. The chapter situates the idea of participation within the foundational doctrine, common to the Abrahamic faiths, of creation as being ex nihilo. Nothing is coaeval with God; nor did God rely upon anything else for creation: on eternally existent matter, for instance. Creation is not some past event, now over, but should rather be seen as a relation of dependence upon the creator. This is explored in terms of gift and of the relation of the doctrine of creation to the doctrine of God. This leads on to a discussion of theological apologetics.