So far, in exploring an all-encompassing Christian worldview using Al Wolters' book, Creation Regained, we've seen how all areas of reality, including all areas of human social reality, derive their existence from God, how God intended his creation to be developed, and how the whole created order has been distorted as a result of the fall.
Chapter 4 brings us onto the third major theme of this worldview, after Creation and Fall, namely, Redemption.
The words used in the Scriptures to describe Christ's work speak tellingly of restoration, not of rejection or replacement. We read of redemption, renewal, salvation (the Greek word is linked to health) and regeneration. And this restorative work is cosmic in scope: "If the whole creation is affected by the fall, then the whole creation is also reclaimed in Christ" (p.72).
What are the implications of this?
The recurrent temptation is to look for Christ's redemptive work within only a part of creation. Many people would think of spiritual renewal as taking place only within "the sphere of personal piety, the inner life of the soul" (p.78). Or the work of the kingdom of God might be seen only in the life of the institutional church. But "The Scriptures present matters in a much different light. Both God and Satan lay claim to the whole of creation, leaving nothing neutral or undisputed" (p.81). This means that when we are working through the implications of Christ's redemptive work, all areas of life will be affected—church, family, politics, business, art, education, journalism, thought, emotion—because "there is need of liberation from sin everywhere" (p.83).
Helpfully, Wolters distinguishes between restoration and repristination.
Repristination would entail the cultural return to the garden of Eden, a return that would turn back the historical clock. Such a move would be historically reactionary or regressive.
That is not the meaning of restoration in Jesus Christ. In the terms of the analogy of the teenager who had been sick since babyhood, a return to health at a later stage of development would not entail a return to the stage of physical development that characterized the youth's earlier period of good health. Genuine healing for the youth would be a matter of healthy progression through adolescence to adulthood. By analogy, salvation in Jesus Christ, conceived in the broad creational sense, means a restoration of culture and society in their present stage of development (p.77).
When Christ returns to the earth to accomplish the complete victory, we should not expect him to destroy all of civilisation, and to discard all the healthy growth that he has brought about by his Spirit.
Before looking at the implications of this worldview in the next chapter, a summary:
The sum of our discussion of a reformational worldview is simply this: (1) creation is much broader and more comprehensive than we tend to think, (2) the fall affects that creation in its full extent, and (3) redemption in Jesus Christ reaches just as far as the fall. The horizon of creation is at the same time the horizon of sin and of salvation. To conceive of either the fall or Christ's deliverance as encompassing less than the whole of creation is to compromise the biblical teaching of the radical nature of the fall and the cosmic scope of redemption (p.86).
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about 1 year ago - No comments
The final chapter of Al Wolters' Creation Regained (1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5-6) is a postscript that was added for the second edition of the book in 2005, 20 years after the first edition was published. It is authored jointly by Mike Goheen and Al Wolters, with the title Worldview between Story and Mission. The reason…
about 1 year ago - 2 comments
[Jesus' parable of the talents] means that ... Christians must now employ all their God-given means in opposing the sickness and demonization of creation—and thus in restoring creation—in anticipation of its final "regeneration" at the second coming (Matt. 19:28) (p.76). Chapter 5 of Creation Regained by Al Wolters (1, 2, 2, 3, 4) works through some…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
Al Wolters' Creation Regained traces out the themes of Creation, Fall and Redemption, and how they shape our understanding of everything. Having looked at Creation in Chapter 2 (1, 2), we're now onto Chapter 3, on the Fall. The effects of sin touch all of creation; no created thing is in principle untouched by the corrosive effects…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
Back to Al Wolter's book, Creation Regained (1, 2), and the rest of chapter 2, on Creation. We're trying to gain a biblical perspective on the whole of reality, and the task in this chapter has been to look at the basic structure of all that God has made, before looking in the following chapters at the…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
...is the title of a talk I'm due to give later in April, to a Christian group in Leeds. Here's the summary: Is there a distinctively Christian view of astronomy? Or is astronomy "neutral", and untouched by Christian faith? The Reformational stream of Christian thinking emphasises that all areas of life, reality and culture are…
about 1 year ago - 5 comments
Chapter 2 of Creation Regained covers the first theme of the creation-fall-redemption triad: creation. It's quite a lengthy chapter, so I'll cover it in two parts. We might talk about "the story of creation" (in the beginning) and "the beauty of creation" (now), but in either case, Christians believe that God is intimately involved. Searching…
about 1 year ago - 6 comments
I've been reading Creation Regained, a little book (117 pages plus postscript) by Al Wolters. It's really very good. I thought I'd share a few extracts with you (both of you). First, the cover: After the cover, the first chapter—What Is a Worldview?—introduces the theme of the book, which is "an attempt to spell out the…
about 2 years ago - 2 comments
Thinking aloud, I wonder if we could characterise consumerism as being a view of the world in which the sensory aspect is the only aspect that matters. (In that sense consumerism would be reductionist, not in denying that the other aspects are real, but in denying that they are ultimately significant.) So we could ask a…
about 2 years ago - 5 comments
I've now reached the end of Roy Clouser's book, The Myth of Religious Neutrality. Normal service will now resume, with long periods of silence punctuated by assorted trivia, pictures, videos, and other musings. But just in case you want to read it all over again, here's an index to my posts on the respective chapters,…
about 2 years ago - 1 comment
The final chapters (11-13) of Clouser's The Myth of Religious Neutrality (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) present a brief overview of Dooyeweerd's philosophy, applying it in particular to society and the state. I'll try to give the gist of it here. This "law framework theory" starts off by recognizing that reality as we experience it has many different aspects,…