I'm putting down some notes in case I ever want to write a book something like, "The Common Denominators of Scripture." A few days ago I sketched out what a chapter on God might look like. Here are some thoughts on what a chapter on Creation might look like.
1. First, if we take creation out of nothing by faith, certain things follow. I will assume that it is appropriate for a Christian to read Scripture with the assumption of ex nihilo creation, even though Scripture does not seem to teach it explicitly, as far as I can tell. We might argue that it is the trajectory of Scripture (e.g., Heb. 11:3).
If God created the world out of nothing, then he presumably has all power in relation to it. He will also know every truth about it and its working. Simply as creator he will know every possible eventuality about it and, as we said in the previous chapter, we believe he knows every actuality about it as well.
2. Sovereignty and providence
The Bible teaches that God has ultimate authority over the creation. Nothing happens without his permission, good or evil. There is a strand of biblical language that sounds like God not only has authority over the creation but that he also determines everything that will happen. This is not, however, the only strand, and it fits better with the common denominator of Scripture to consider this language the unclear rather than the language of God's love and the freedom he gives the creation.
Nevertheless, God does work for good in the creation and he works good for us before we even know it. Indeed, he works good for us even while we are his enemies and even on those who are evil. He has been at work to reclaim us long before we existed.
3. Freedom of the creation
The greatest common denominator of Scripture will privilege those Scriptures in which God wants everyone to be saved and in which he gives substantial freedom to humans and the creation. This is more in keeping with his nature as love than to privilege the opposite. We can extend this basic principle to the way God has made the creation to follow the laws that he has planted within it. Some of the suffering and pain in the world could be simply the playing out of natural laws.
Christians disagree on whether this freedom might include the power to generate new life and indeed, a creative indeterminism on the quantum level, a kind of creational free will.