|A Brief Review of
The Love Story of Creation: Book One:
Reviewed by Karen Altergott.
Imaginative interweavings of the scientific story and the God-story of creation make The Love Story of Creation unique. A tale is told with the help of a cast of animated atoms and photons who, along with the Godhead, spend billions of years together. Beginning from before all time and ending with the existence of 92 atom families and bacterium and a eukaryote cell in a mere 322 pages is an ambitious enterprise. Carefully incorporating the best science available and the theology of divine love and creativity is an amazing accomplishment. Ruetz communicates with beauty and delight about a God who is present during the minute transformations of matter into the complex reality we know. This book conveys the miraculous and the true drama of those billions of years! What a miracle today is, when we consider all that came before.
As a visual person, I sometimes wished this book had been embellished with accompanying illustrations from the NASA photographs of deep space and perhaps illustrations of processes. While word pictures are well-developed throughout the book, the combination of cosmic events and invisible processes at the atomic and subatomic level would make illustrations helpful. It is not easy to remember the whole story, but the careful science that underlies the story is revealed in an appealing way.
The characters, both divine and physical, and their relationships are important in holding the reader’s attention through billions of years. The personified atoms, photons and quarks – Quarkie, Quarko, Nitro, Hydrojean, Phoson, Oxyjoy and friends – provide a great education in the science of early creation. Ever teaching about science, the interactions among characters and within communities of particles, quarks, atoms, and photons provide character lessons as well. Throughout the book, these physical beings face situations with personality, and community issues that would emerge in any creative enterprise are faced and resolved. Both scientific and character lessons would be valuable to young readers.
The poetic sensibility that keeps emerging in the divine love story of creation may be an overlay that most deeply expresses the theology of the book. God’s love is the source of everything. While it is puzzling to me that Ruetz chose a Quadernity of Divine Beings rather than a triune Godhead, it is within artistic license. I especially valued the role of Ruah, the Spirit of God, as a non-restrictive but creative presence in the process. Elohim, the Father figure, has some mystery and awe, and is more self-limited than most familiar Creator imagery. The laws of Elohim are the limits within which creation occurs, which is an interesting approach. Dabar, the Son of God, has a role in creation as well. The Godhead is never easy to portray, and I like the way Ruetz handled it here. God’s community of three was so much clearer than in the Matrix or in the Shack, and it was creatively done, with integrity! The addition of Sophia, Wisdom of God, as a sometimes prophetic and initially inspiring source, was done in part to balance the gender of the Divine, and not to deny the Triune nature of God.
After touring the universe, including our galaxy and earth at various times in creation history, and observing the work of creation of all 92 elements and various components of first life, vivified by Ruah, Ruetz brings this amazing description of the love story to the very edge of single cell life on earth. In a detailed 18 page preview of Book Two, the characters all move to earth and begin the process of diversifying life and observing an every-changing environment. I look forward to the sequel. I think it has potential as a graphic novel, one that would appeal to all ages. This author helps us hold the scientific truths and the Divine Truths in harmony in a unique manner. God created all, and science studies and discovers how! Why should there be a conflict between these two approaches?