Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creation and Subcreation

After granddaughter Lydia left yesterday, I walked into the kitchen to find this on the kitchen counter.

'Dear Sir,' I said - 'Although now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned.
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned:
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons - 'twas our right
(used or misused). That right has not decayed:
we make still by the law in which we're made.'
- J.R.R. Tolkien

'One could say of a story or a chapter that it is just marks on paper. One could support this conclusion by minute study of the chemical and spectrographic properties of the object in question, buttressed by so many footnotes that it began to look like a proof. But no matter how impressive, this analysis will never be accepted as complete by anyone who has read the words and found inspiration or a message worth receiving there.

'Now contrast the story with a piece of paper on which ink has been spilled. That object IS reducible to marks on paper. The difference between the two is precisely the action of a creator. As a result of the absence or presence of such action, one object is an accident, the other an artifact. If we insist on treating the artifact as an accident, if we refuse to recognize any distinction between accidents and artifacts as even potentially valid because we have denied the possibility of a creator, we will never be able to understand the story.

'So we see that one who does not believe in creators (and hence in artifacts) is forced to be a reductionist, to treat and understand the story as if it were only an accidental and hence arbitrary inkblot. If our worldview precludes the possibility of a Creator, it must therefore preclude creators as well. And this is exactly the approach that secular thought is perforce committed to by its nature.

'The story has a real, nonarbitrary meaning that goes beyond its physical properties because the act of creation ties it to something bigger than it is - the author...

'So Tolkien is saying that human beings themselves are like the story, not the inkblot. Human beings are creatures who can write irreducible stories (either on paper or in the medium of their lives) because they derive their own irreducibility from the Creator. In Tolkien's language, they make because they are made.'

-Mere Humanity

' For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.' - Romans 1:19

'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.'   - John 3:16-17

'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. - John 3:36



Mary said...

Cutest bread creation ever and some great quotes as well. Have a blessed day!

Under Her Wings said...

The Creator--the Divine Architect of the world and all that is in it. One cannot throw bricks into the air for eternity, and never will it come out a building. It takes an architect to make a building. Only by the design of the Creator can one create. A Great post, Judy!

Prairiemaid said...

Love this, Judy, and what a cute thing your granddaughter did. So special!


Yenta Mary said...

I love it! What a fabulously unique and creative way of sharing such a wonderful message! I would be trying to figure out a way to shellack (sp?) it or mount it to preserve it ... :)

J_on_tour said...

Outstanding creative post, I'm with everything that Yenta Mary said.
It must have been a special moment to see that when you entered the kitchen and it gave me a rare picture of how God might feel like when he sees his creatures worshipping him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Judy. And thanks for your comment on my blog.

This is a great post. So often we forget that John 3:36 is in there...


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