Crossing the Creator-Creature Distinction

Whenever the line between Creator and creature is blurred, error and idolatry result. Harold Netland makes this reality plain in his book Encountering Religious Pluralism.  Consider his words,

Eve was tempted by the suggestion that she, a mere creature, could become like God (Gen 3:4-5).  The tendency to blur the distinction between God and humankind–either to bring God down to our level or to deify human beings–is a common feature of religion and can be found in the polytheistic religions of the ancient world as well as in many modern-day traditions (Harold Netland, Encountering Religious Pluralism336).

From the start, mankind was tempted to reduce the distance to the Creator. It is an utter impossibility, like squaring a circle or taking the weight of the infinite, invisible God. But yet, Adam and Eve tried to become like God, and the result was disastrous. Ethically (or better: covenantally), the problem was that they broke God’s law, but metaphysically, they failed to understand that God is sui generis (that is a fancy word meaning ‘one of a kind’). He is not by a matter of degrees; he is in a class by himself. In this way, Satan’s invitation to be like God was not even possible—in truth, they were already “like” God, as creatures made in his image. Continue reading