09 October 2009


In a comment posted below, MightyMom (who isn't my mom, btw) asks, "WHAT is all this "co-creator with God" crap? I've heard or read it about 15 times in the last 2 weeks and it gives me morning sickness!!"

After Mom finishes washing her mouth out with soap. . .  :-)

Good ideas in theology quickly become bad ideas when a few basic distinctions aren't made.  Lots of Goofy Catholics have latched on to the "co-creator" idea and turned it into something it was never meant to be.

Are we "co-creators" with God?  Yes, properly understood.  The improper way to understand this is to say that since we are co-creators with God we are also the final cause of all creative acts and therefore any and everything we want to create is of God and Good.  You can see where this line of thinking is going.   This misunderstanding is essentially a way to sneak neo-pagan piffling about us being gods into Christian theology.  We are not gods.  With Christ, we can become God--share in His Divine Nature.  But this sharing is a grace, a gift not something we possess or use as a matter of our given natures. 

So, how are we to understand ourselves as "co-creators" with God?  Two things first:  1) we are not God's equal in any shape, form, or fashion.  "Co" here means "with" not "equal to" or "same as;" 2). we create nothing--all we can do is reshape what has already been created by God.  Given those two points, we are co-creators with God in so far as we freely cooperate with the gifts He has given us in order to serve others so that His love is perfected in us.  In the same way that we are co-creators, we are also co-redeemers; that is, when we cooperate with God's grace we participate in our own redemption.  In all cases of our cooperation with God, the initiative always belong to God.  He acts; we react.  God never imposes His will on us.  Gifts must be received and used.  This is the "with" part of the co-creator--we do all things with God.

The key to sniffing out the B.S. in co-creator rhetoric is pretty simple:  is the emphasis on God's freely given gifts to us and our cooperation with those gifts?  The B.S. usually smells like "I Am a Co-Creator and I Can Do Whatever I Want."  Almost immediately after this announcement, some fav sin (usually sexually-oriented) will be declared Good and Holy.  Or some other infallible Church teaching will be declared null and void.


  1. "Co" here means "with" not "equal to" or "same as;"

    Precision in language makes a big difference ...

  2. Put good theological ideas and goofy Catholics together (and not just the ill-catechised laity, either) and you get the whole mess that we are in now: two outstanding examples - the priesthood of all believers and ecumenism.

  3. thanks padre!

    but I'll have to susbtitute Sopa Paraguaya for that soap....okey dokey?? ;-)