This week’s Exposure to Edwards comes from his book The End for Which God Created the World. Edward’s book is printed in its entirety and original form in John Piper’s God’s Passion for His Glory. It is well worth picking up and working through.
This is a hard section to meditate and let rattle around the ole brain. Let me encourage you to read and re-read it and spend some time doing some hard thinking. Don’t run away from a wonderful section of his book. He really is saying that the creator is not dependent upon the creation for anything. There was nothing that the creator receives from creation.
“As to the first of these (reasons) I think the following things appear to be the dictates of reason:
God’s acting for the sake of his ultimate end implies no insufficiency in himself.
That no notion of God’s last end in the creation of the world is agreeable to reason, which would truly imply any indigence, insufficiency, and mutability in God, or any dependency of the Creator on the creature for any part of his perfection or happiness. Because it is evident, by both Scripture and reason, that God infinitely, eternally, unchangeably, and independently glorious and happy; that he cannot be profited by, or receive anything from, the creature; or be the subject of any sufferings, or diminution of his glory and felicity, from any other being.
The notion of God creating the world, in order to receive anything properly from the creature, is not only contrary to the nature of God, but inconsistent with the notion of creation; which implies a being receiving its existence, and all that belongs to it, out of nothing. And this implies the most perfect, absolute, and universal derivation and dependence. Now, if the creature received its ALL from God, entirely and perfectly, how is it possible that it should have anything to add to God to make him in any respect more than he was before, and so the Creator become dependent on the creature?
Taken from John Piper’s God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards, (Wheaton: Crossways Books, 1998), pp 138-139