The Not Created

I was looking at Genesis today, and noticed something I had taken for granted. Ever notice what was there before God starts to create? The first thing God created was light, the energy that is radiated from a light source, God created light before the sun and the stars, He of course is the original light source. For light to exist, it had to be created. If you go back, you see before there was light, it was dark. This is sort of a “duh” sort of thing, if there is no light, it’s dark. Darkness, however, exists before creation, it’s not a created thing. It is, in fact, the absence of a thing. It’s not stated, but cold probably existed before creation because God created the sources of heat. Darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat, when there is no light, there is total darkness, no heat is absolute zero.

So, did God create evil? We are a society who believes more and more in duality, but are good and evil really opposing forces? Light and dark seem to be, yet there is no power in dark, just it’s existence without light. We don’t let cold in, we simply let heat out, the absence is then cold. It is not the cold floor we feel, it’s the heat leaving our feet, flowing from areas of high concentration to low concentration. Evil then is not a dual force, but the absence of the good.

In the garden, God created good in the form of obedience. Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil, yet they did good and were able to walk with God. They were simply good, and by being obedient they were good. In the moment of sin, they chose to forsake good, leaving the void where good once was. God did not create evil, just as He didn’t create darkness, it is the void left in the absence of good.  Simply put, evil exists where there is no good.  This was an ah ha moment, when I realized something. Energy is required to create both heat and light. Without an energy source, there is no heat, there is no light and cold and darkness reign.

Evil too has the presence of cold and shadow. Even with the brightest flashlight, it is dark everywhere the beam doesn’t shine. You lose heat the farther you get from the source. The energy must be present, or the emptiness will fill the void. God has given His energy to His elect, just as Romans 8:33 says “Who will bring charges against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” His power is poured into our lives, as long as we use the power that flows in. There is an outlet, there is a blast heater. There is a powerful light source, ready to be switched on. The lost world doesn’t have it, they walk in darkness with cold hearts. Will the children of God let the heat go out and shut off the light?


  1. Truth Unites... and Divides says

    “There is a powerful light source, ready to be switched on. The lost world doesn’t have it, they walk in darkness with cold hearts. Will the children of God let the heat go out and shut off the light?”

    Some will.

    An unwillingness to deny oneself and take up one’s cross of wrongful accusations and betrayal and mockery and derision and scorn will shut off the light. Such human cowardice is understandable, and as the mass cowardice grows, the light will grow dimmer and dimmer, but thankfully, never extinguished.

  2. says

    Prior to creation, there was neither darkness or cold. The first thing God created wasn’t light, per se, but generic stuff – the universe as such. In this new creation, darkness and cold existed. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth – generic blobs of something chaotic that God turned into something orderly in the creation account that followed. After his initial creative act, everything he had made was without form and void. From there he shaped it and made it the heavens and earth we know today (well, without the effects of sin, etc).

    • says

      Yes, I will definitely concede that point, and you are correct. so my post should say “in the generic, formless existence of creation, God first created light. . . “. Thanks for the correction.

  3. Bruce H. says


    Man has created “gray areas” so he is not defined by who he really is. The opposite of the fruit of the Spirit is Hate, Sadness, Confusion, Anxiety, Harshness, Treachery and Atheism. No man wants to be defined like that. We always want the light dim, Spring like weather and the water lukewarm so that we are comfortable. That is the nature of the beast till Jesus comes to dwell within.

    Great philosophical post.

    [Comment partially deleted by moderator]

  4. Christiane says

    Darkness would have had to have a space to inhabit, but space itself (as we know it) did not exist prior to Creation, so there is that to think about.

    • says

      I think that is the key, dark does not inhabit any place light does not. You wouldn’t say the inside of a solid object was dark, the mass is there, so no light can occupy the space, so there is no void for darkness.

      • Christiane says

        this from Isaiah 42:

        I will lead the blind on their journey;
        by paths unknown I will guide them.
        I will turn darkness into light before them,
        and make crooked ways straight.
        These things I do for them, and I will not forsake them.”

        Turning darkness into light . . . and not being forsaken . . .

  5. says


    Part of me agrees with what you are saying. I know that Christopher J.H. Wright (whom I have a great deal of respect for) makes a similar argument about evil in his book The God I Don’t Understand. He basically says–following Augustine and others–that evil is a privation, a non-being, and by it’s nature it doesn’t make sense.

    So, philosophically speaking I think I like that. But I’m not confident that evil/darkness do not have an ontological being themselves. Take Isaiah 45:7 for example when the Lord says, “I form light and create darkness. I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things”. It seems to me as if the Lord is speaking of darkness having some sort of ontological being in itself–and it’s something that out of the nothing God created.

    • says

      In Genesis, God separated the light and dark, but since darkness is a non-object, it needs an object to define it. Darkness is not-light, but without light, there is nothing to create darkness. We know darkness because of the energy of light, when that energy is gone, we perceive the darkness. We don’t realize a lack of something that doesn’t exist.

          • Christiane says

            In Eastern Christianity,
            Our Lord is often spoken of as the ‘Uncreated Light’. :)

          • Christiane says

            The most ancient of Christian hymns is the Phos Hilaron, ‘the Gentle Light of Christ, that remains among Christians when night has fallen’ . . .
            This has been sung to Christ through the millenia as an evening prayer, ‘at the setting of the sun’.
            It may have meaning for someone of the Southern Baptist faith, and they would be able to share in something that was a part of their heritage from the oldest Christians,
            who were at that time in Jerusalem, where a lamp was kept perpetually burning in the empty tomb of Christ, its glow a symbol of the living light of Jesus. As Christians gathered to worship, the hymn was sung and, in a tradition known as the lighting of the lamps, a candle lit from the lamp was brought forth from the tomb, its bright, solitary flame calling the Church to celebrate the Risen Lord:

            The words are translated here:
            “Gentle Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal and Heavenly Father, Holy and Blessed O Jesus Christ
            O JESUS CHRIST
            Having come to the setting of the Sun, beholding the Light of evening We sing to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – GOD
            THE HOLY SPIRIT – GOD
            Thou art worthy at every moment to be praised in hymns by reverent voices
            O SON OF GOD – GIVER OF LIFE All the world glorifies Thee”

    • says


      I agree with your second paragraph. And one of the reasons is because God is establishing order. I will agree with Dan that God creating light without “a source” points to the beautiful origin of God in the created order. But like the waters being separated, the earth and water being separated and woman coming from man, the light and darkness are being contrasted for the establishment of an order. This order is used to base our days. But God establishes Himself as the only thing that sets in motion time, history and order.

      This removes or at least lowers the priority of seeing the darkness defined by the light. That is not the purpose in the separation. The two are ontological real and created. They are delineated from each other for the purpose of order. And this order points to its origin in God as Creator. This I feel correlates well to the Isaiah passage.

      • says

        Thanks Joshua,
        That is kind of what I’m attempting to say. I don’t understand why we wouldn’t transport the same logic into the creation of water and land. We don’t say things like “land is simply non-water”. Though I could see how from the text you could almost say that because God says, “and let the dry land appear”.

        I’m just not convinced that light/darkness, land/water, heat/cold, etc. do not each have ontological being in themselves.

        • says

          I think we are stuck in this dualistic view that says everything has an opposite force. You can’t compare land and water with light and dark. The structure of the narrative sets up the process of creation, but there is no substance in dark and cold. You can hack, close read and examine the text all you want, but there is a limit to darkness and cold. Total darkness and absolute 0, the absence of the energy of heat and light. You can add the energy of light, but once all the light is gone, you can’t add more dark. Your arguments are literary, but fail to take the nature of energy into account.

          • says


            That’s always been my problem. I’m ridiculously horrible at taking the nature of energy into account. That’s why I get shocked occasionally when working on our house.

            Like I said earlier, philosophically I agree with you. I agree that as the Lord has created it darkness doesn’t create stuff. It is in a very real sense the absence of light. But what I am saying–and what I think you are failing to take into account–is that the way that Scripture speaks of darkness it seems to give it more ontological existence than you are.

            You said in your article, “…just as He didn’t create darkness”. Yet, God Himself said, “I create darkness”.

          • says


            There is nothing intentionally dualistic at all. I’m pointing out what the point of the passage is not the internal workings of the nature.

            And this point is that this story describes creation of order and being. Darkness did not exist before God “created the heavens and the earth”. To affirm it did would be ontological dualism with God Himself. Darkness only exists inside of the realm of a created order which came about out of nothing. Darkness had a “coming into being” that is dependent upon the permissions, authority and power of God. Something that has such a dependence upon God has ontological weight. Just don’t ask me how by using nature! :-)

          • says

            While I am not disagreeing with you both, Mike I think you are taking a literary device to extreme, and Joshua, it’s true that darkness only exists in creation, so without creation there is nothing. To follow your logic, God would have had to create this nothing, because nothing would be a think. Darkness is basically nothingness, no energy in the form of light. Mike, God created the void of darkness by creating the void, because the earth was void and without form and darkness was over the face of the water. Darkness is the nothingness that filled the void. Turn the breaker off next time you do wiring.

          • says

            I don’t think your charge of hacking at the text or of closed reading is really warranted. You are making an argument about darkness/light and you are connecting this in some way to the existence of evil as the absence of good.

            There is a sense in which I agree with that position. And it was one that I held myself for quite some time. But somewhat recently John Frame has helped me to see that it might not be quite that simple. And we might be sacrificing a few things by going about it this way.

            Consider this:
            “Van Til often warned against ‘reducing ethics to metaphysics’, or ‘confusing sin with finitude,’ for such reduction depersonalizes sin. In such reduction, sin becomes a defect in creation itself…rather than the rebellion of created persons against their Creator. And this conception grants sinners a new excuse for their sin, the finitude and mutability with which God created them”.

            I’m not saying that this is your position. But consider this statement that you made, “The lost world doesn’t have it, they walk in darkness with cold hearts.” One could take from this that the problem with the lost world is that they do not have the light and they do not have heat. And I agree with that…in part. But it’s not the whole truth. They are in rebellion. They have rejected the light. It’s not just that there is an absence of light and so they are dark…no they have actively decided to remain in dark. (see John 3) And that is what I’m attempting to say…I don’t think you are giving enough weight to what the Scriptures say about there being some sort of ontological existence to darkness.

          • says

            I apologise if you felt like I said you were hacking scripture. I just look at the couplet nature of the verse you quoted and don’t believe the intent is to explain creation. Close reading is different from closed reading, but I am sorry for the felt insult.

            I also feel that John 1 is exactly what you are I are agreeing on. The light came to the darkness, but the darkness did not rreceive it. Those who did believe, he gave the right to become children of God, born of the will of God.

            There is much more and a great deal more than what I have dealt with. What I am looking at is the reality of evil and a good God who is creator of everything. Did God create evil? God created the world with the reality of evil, allowing man the opportunity to choose evil, without creating man as evil or with evil. There is a great deal more to deal with than what I covered. I see your point, but I much of that comes from going farther in the dialogue than this blog goes.

          • says

            Personally I believe you are attempting to make sense and answer questions that God himself did not seem to care to answer for us.

            Evil exists.
            God is good.
            God created everything.
            He will eventually conquer all evil.

            How those things relate together He didn’t seem all that concerned with answering for us. And when we think we’ve maybe got it figured out he likes to throw verses in there like Isaiah 45:7 and make our heads all loopy.

          • says

            Personally I believe you are attempting to make sense and answer questions that God himself did not seem to care to answer for us.

            I don’t think this is wholly accurate. I think Dan had an illumination from scripture about the isegetical mindset of the average member of Western Culture: namely our understanding of Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion — for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

            We tend to think that way and can take a literary construct (Gen 1) and apply it too far. Taking into account our understanding of the physical laws, light and dark are not opposites; they are complimentary in revelation. Light illuminates the darkness; darkness defines the absence of light.

            I won’t recreate what I posted below to Ken (March 28, 2013 at 12:20 am), but the physical (physics) reality of light and dark are complimentary to Paul’s teaching on law and grace. Until there is law, there is no sin/condemnation; when the light came, the darkness was defined.

            There is not an opposite to God a la As God is in charge in Heaven, so Satan is in charge in Hell. Satan opposes God, but he is not His equal in ontology. Satan’s actions and being are defined by God’s goodness and righteousness. Satan does not define God in any way shape or form… because he is not an equal and opposite force.

          • Dave Miller says

            Who said anything remotely like that?

            Satan was created by God. That is not an issue at stake.

  6. Jess Alford says

    I think the reason God separated the light from the darkness, is that both light and darkness have energy.

    Dark energy makes up about 70% of the universe, dark matter makes up about 25%, and everything else makes up the other 5%.

    Only God can separate the light from darkness. We have an awsome God.
    Everything in the universe would cease to exist without Christ.

    Scientists claim dark matter has more energy than light. What scientists
    neglect to take into consideration is God created both dark and light.

    When God said let there be light, darkness had to yield to the awsome
    power of God.

      • Bob Pederson says

        I heard a pastor on the radio this evening state that God intended for Adam and Eve to dwell eternally in the garden without sin. I wonder if He said to Himself when he put an ultimately evil, highly intelligent, supernaturally powerful being in the garden with them, “I sure hope he doesn’t bother my pets.”. And this after He gave Adam and Eve the capacity to sin by giving them the ability to choose to disobey, thereby bringing sin into the world. Scripture says that in our future, eternal state, we will be perfected. We will no longer have the capacity to sin, ie. we will no longer have free moral agency, so to speak. God will be surrounded by creatures that only have the capacity to worship Him. Adam and Eve were innocent, but they were not perfect. To introduce choice is to introduce the ability to do evil, and perhaps that is what God intended when He did so. He certainly seems to have intended perfection to come only through the cross.

  7. Bruce H. says

    It is difficult to think eternal thoughts. God created time and soon time will end. In His creation there was no time until plants, beast and man were created. Light, earth and the firmament were created in eternity and will continue into the new millenium with a new earth.

    • says


      Time will never end. There is only one Being who can exist in a timeless state, and that is God. The rest of us think one thought after another, and will have an everlasting existence.

      Time began prior to any creation, since creating the heavens and the earth was an act within time. Time is the only part of creation that is generated from eternity.

      • says

        Very thought provoking Ken. I’m in agreement though I’d never heard it expressed that clearly. Have you read any of the writing by William Lane Craig on this subject?

          • says

            Thanks for the recommendation. I have “Time and Eternity” and hope I find the time to read it. I’ve read enough to know the general idea but look forward to some deeper readings.

      • Bruce H. says


        I believe time ends when we have our new bodies and exist in the Kingdom living on the new earth. Angles existed and moved in eternity and we will too. Time will end when Satan is finally chained and thrown into the abyss.

        • says


          Time exists as a succession of events. God does not exist in time (though he has entered time in the incarnation) but lives in the eternal now, something none of us can really understand. But for humans, things will continue to be a succession of events, so we will always exist within time. Duration will have much less meaning when we live in paradise forever and ever, but that does not end time itself.

          • Bruce H. says


            Based upon the following verse we could both be wrong.

            “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

          • Bruce H. says


            You are right. Of course, it is speaking about the difference between man’s wisdom and the Spirit’s wisdom which doesn’t really fit our argument here. As I mentioned to Ken below, I see movement in heaven in the presence of God. How would you see that? I think it can be done inside and outside of time with God. It is just one more of those paradoxes we find ourselves in with our God.

        • says


          I think you’re confusing eternity with everlasting time. Eternity is timelessness. It describes the non-sequential thinking of God. God never has a new thought—and neither does He ever gain new knowledge or come to a new decision. Angels and man think sequentially, one thought after another. If time were to stop for us, our existence would be paused, waiting for the next moment of time so that we could experience the next thought.

          • Bruce H. says


            Too many places in scripture use the word eternal when it speaks of our salvation. The kingdom will not be anything like it is here on earth. I’ll buy into your reasoning, however, I cannot believe time will exist with the similarities of what it is now.

          • says


            Look up the word in Strongs and you will find that in every verse that speaks of our eternal future, the word eternal is really everlasting—-without end and not without chronological movement. Many things will be different, as you point out, but the fact of chronological progress will not be one of the differences.

          • Bruce H. says


            When I read Isa. 6:3 I hear angles saying Holy Holy Holy in a chronological movement in the presence of God in heaven. Time does not exist there even though there is movement. Are we talking about the same thing?

          • says


            Time began when God created. Only God is timeless; anything he creates exists within the sequential ordering of events – thus, within time.

          • says

            Ken & Bruce,

            I think you are talking past one another, though not intentionally.
            Consider this: you are discussing two distinct time/space realities; almost if not exactly two different dimensions with two different sets of physical laws.

            They cannot be compared. You cannot take the time/space concepts with which we are familiar (quantum theory, E=MC2, gravity) and apply it to an alternate dimension. God exists outside of our reality, but interacts within it.

            Time has different definitions in different dimensions.

          • Bruce H. says


            Your answer is closer to my thinking. Whatever heaven is will be a whole new concept for us to experience forever with Jesus.

  8. Bob Pederson says

    Scientist: “I have postulated a theory that states that 95% of the universe actually exists. I call it dark energy and dark matter, although there is no known way to perceive it. I would love to tell you more about what we don’t know for sure exists, and have no way of perceiving!”

    Me: “Good luck with that.”

  9. says

    God created not only light but the concept of light. Until such a fundamental thing is created by God, not even its absence exists. What is light but a certain kind of radiation that burns images onto biological retinas? Light enables sight in creatures with biological eyes, but neither God nor angels need it in order to see. To God, the darkness is as the noon day, as He has no problem seeing everything.

    • says


      I like your comment here and want to spring-board off of it. I think this is exactly what the OP is stating:

      God created the light and that revealed or illuminated the dark. that does not make DARK a power, force or presence, but it does make DARK the ABSENCE of light.

      We tend to see them as opposites due to a literary construct in scripture, but if we view them through the literary construct AND through the lens of physics, then there is new illumination into the nature of God and His universe.

      Paul says as much when he speaks in Romans about living without guilt and shame until the law came, which pointed out what he was doing was wrong. Then the law brings death and condemnation.

      The physical universe reflects this: light is not opposite of dark, but is the absence of light. Before the light, everything was in the dark, without form, and void. Not bad, just… there. This physical reality (physics) reflects the nature of salvation in scripture that the light reveals the darkness, the law reveals sin.

      I think this is what Dan is getting at.

  10. Bob Pederson says

    I heard a pastor on the radio this evening state that God intended for Adam and Eve to dwell eternally in the garden without sin. I wonder if He said to Himself when he put an ultimately evil, highly intelligent, supernaturally powerful being in the garden with them, “I sure hope he doesn’t bother my pets.”. And this after He gave Adam and Eve the capacity to sin by giving them the ability to choose to disobey, thereby bringing sin into the world. Sorry I accidentally posted this in the wrong spot earlier, so here it is again.

    Scripture says that in our future, eternal state, we will be perfected. We will no longer have the capacity to sin, ie we will no longer have free moral agency, so to speak. God will be surrounded by creatures that only have the capacity to worship Him. Adam and Eve were innocent, but they were not perfect. To introduce choice is to introduce the ability to do evil, and perhaps that is what God intended when He did so. He certainly seems to have intended perfection to come only through the cross.

    • Jon says

      Good. And the best, most classic Christiain thought on the matter echoes what you said. Augustine, in The City of God, describes the new creation as an improvement upon the first, indeed the perfection of that edenic scenario. And yes, the future world will never entail sin because choice will never tend in that direction.

      So one gets the idea that because God anticipated everything, he set up Eden as a testing ground knowing he would have to provide redemption and in that way perfect his creation. I don’t get the sense that Eden was suppose to be a place where things would work out and people would live gloriously and perfectly forever. I think it was a starting point.

  11. says

    Since evil is merely agency operating against God, and God created all agency, then yes, God created evil through the second causes of those agencies. Evil is more than a lack of light. Evil is turning from the light—hating the light.

  12. Jon says

    I’ve always found St. Augustine’s view of evil interesting. He seems to feel as you do about it, that it’s more an absence of good than any reality in itself. After all, the creator didn’t make it. It’s a privation? I don’t know. But where do you see a rise in duality? I haven’t caught that.

    • says


      To answer your question, I think it stems from Sir Issac Newton:

      Third law: When a first body exerts a force F1 on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force F2 = ?F1 on the first body. This means that F1 and F2 are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

      “ Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi. ”

      “ Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions. ”

      These are laws of motion, but they have been so ingrained in our post-enlightenment thinking, that we (western civilization) have applied it to scripture: If God is good, there must be an equal and opposite force opposing Him. This is why Satan rules in Hell in most people’s minds (and in Hollywood) rather than being the star guest at the Center for the Study and Application of God’s Eternal Judgment.

  13. Jon says

    That’s what makes it so curiously interesting. In the case of sin which was not created, what can we say regarding its existence? I guess I’m getting philosophical about it. I wonder also, what we could say about darkness, chaos, the void. Do these things exist even though not created?

  14. Christiane says

    We remember that ‘teshuva’ is a ‘re-turning’ towards God, when someone acknowledges that they have chosen to turn away and have repented and sought forgiveness . . . the theme of ‘teshuva’ is deeply interwoven in Judaism.

    The rabbis taught that God is sovereign, yet permits choice.
    The rabbis illustrate this teaching partly from this verse:

    ” This day,
    I call the heavens and the earth
    as witnesses against you
    that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.

    Now choose life,
    so that you and your children
    may live ”
    (Deuteronomy 30:19)