Writing a book about biblical doctrine of creation as a starting point for Christian dialogue betwen evangelicals and orthodox was a great challenge. This reflection on the embodiment of faith and on the structures of life-styles of the Christian community it was also than reflection on my pastoral experience. Our theology not only shapes the practice of faith, hope and love but it is shaped by it, in mutual reflection. Therefore I want to thank God and all those who have contributed to this process of my theological research. I wish first of all to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Graham Woolfenden for the professional way in which he guided my academic research. I would also like to thank both Profesor Dr. Paul Fiddes and Dr. Nick Wood from Regent's Park College, Oxford, for their personal encouragement during the difficulties of my work. Thier proficiency and friendship have marked me deeply in a the way that only o few people have exercised in my life. Thanks are due to my coleagues from the faculty of Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr Vasile Talpos and Dr Oti Bunaciu for thier encouragement and help in prayer. I am also indebted to my Church, Golgotha Baptist Church in Bucharest, for their continuous support in prayer during my research. Above all, I want to thank my wife Daniela and our children Andrei and Naomi for their encouragement and suppport while I was writing this book.
I. MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY / 9 1. The religious context in contemporary Romania / 9 2. The importance of theological dialog in the present situation in Romania / 15
II. WHAT THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF CREATION IS / 20 1. The biblical story of creation and other stories / 20 2. The biblical narrative of creation, a theistic perspective on the nature and the purpose of creation / 22 III. THE MAIN LINES IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY / 32 1. The differences between Greek philosophy and the biblical thought / 32 2. The Trinitarian shape of the early Christian theology and two representative theologians: Irenaeus of Lyons and Augustine of Hyppo / 36 3. The Reformation, a return to the Trinitarian shape of the doctrine of creation: Luther and Calvin / 51
IV. SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EVANGELICALS AND EASTERN ORTHODOX / 60 1.Creation out of nothing (ex nihilo) / 61 2. Creation in the image of God / 65 3. Creation and Recreation (The doctrine of salvation and the doctrine of Sanctification) / 75
CONCLUSION / 90
How could the biblical doctrine of Creation become the starting point for ecumenical dialog within the Romanian context and how might this dialog go on? / 92