The Patristic Understanding of Creation

An Anthology of Writings from the Church Fathers on Creation and Design


Edited by William A. Dembski, Wayne J. Downs, and Fr. Justin B.A. Frederick


Paperback: 612 pages
Size: 6 x 9
Print ISBN: 978-1-64542-700-1
Print Price: $29.99
eBook ISBN: 978-1-64542-701-8
eBook Price: $29.99
Category: RELIGION / Religion & Science




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The Patristic Understanding of Creation encapsulates what the Church Fathers had to say, in their own words, on the topic of creation. Going back to Roman and Byzantine times, the writings of the Church Fathers are basic to Christian theology and provide a benchmark for how Christians have traditionally understood creation.


This understanding of creation, however, faces tremendous challenges in our day, especially in discussions at the intersection of science and religion. Process theology and other efforts to reconceptualize creation have explicitly opposed key elements of the Christian doctrine of creation: creation ex nihilo, the transcendence and immanence of God in creation, “the absolute creatureliness and non-self-sufficiency of the world” (to use a phrase of Fr. Georges Florovsky), the goodness of creation, and the openness of the world to divine action. All of these the Church Fathers not only held but also ably defended. This anthology is therefore not merely of academic or historical interest. In reasserting a theologically sound understanding of creation, this anthology fills a need that is both practical and urgent.



William A. Dembski holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary as well as a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has authored or edited more than twenty books at the intersection of creation, evolution, and intelligent design. He is a past fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and is currently an entrepreneur who builds educational technologies.


Wayne J. Downs holds an M.Div. from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University and an M.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M University. He has also done doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Kentucky. His hobby research interest lies at the intersection of cognitive science and philosophy, focusing on the dynamics of pain in its relation to establishing moral values. He currently manages educational websites that deliver higher education news and information.


Fr. Justin B. A. Frederick holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and also studied at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he focused on Patristics. During his time at Princeton, he was an editor of the Princeton Theological Review. He is a fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture as well as a priest at St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church (OCA) in Denton. Texas. He has traveled extensively in Russia, speaks Russian fluently, and ministers to the Russian community in Dallas.