God Aims at the Whole Creation
One of the most helpful books that I have ever read is Albert Wolters work Creation Regained. For me it was one of those instances of being the right book at the right time. I might argue that coming across the right book at the right time is one of the more enjoyable experiences for any regular reader. At the time that I read the book I was being introduced to the concept of a covenantal view of the world and Wolters book offers a clear and powerful case for such an approach to things.
Wolters begins his work by framing everything through the lens of “creation, fall, redemption.” Everything was initially created by good and was good. Everything good that God created was plunged into sin in the Fall. And, Everything that God created finds its redemption in the work of Christ.
This approach had a huge impact on my way of thinking. Rather than viewing the created order as a stage in which spiritual realities take place, creation, in itself, was God’s intended telos for humanity from the start. The world is not a place to escape but rather a place in desperate need of redemption. This redemption, according to Wolters, is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The redemption that Jesus brought about was not something that was merely intended to redeem human souls from sin. Rather, the redemption that is found in Christ was aimed at the entirety of the fallen cosmos (human souls notwithstanding).
The goal is to redeem not just humanity apart from all the other creatures but along with humanity to wrest heaven and earth, in a word, the whole world in its organic interconnectedness, from the power of sin and again to cause the glory of God to shine forth from every creature. Sin has spoiled and destroyed everything: the intellect and the will, the ethical and the physical world. Accordingly, it is the whole person and the whole cosmos at whose salvation and restoration God is aiming in his revelation.
I love the language that Bavink uses at the end! God takes his “aim” at the entire cosmos when he goes about his work of redemption. All too often we tend to “spiritualize” the passages throughout the Old Testament that speak of the trees clapping their hands and other such things (Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 98:8).
But these passages should not be “spiritualized.” NO! The trees were meant to clap their hands to God’s glory! The mountains were meant to sing praise! If we think that the story of the Bible is about escaping this world then how will the trees clap and the mountains sing?!?
Thanks be to God He intends His glory to rest upon every corner of His good creation just like the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Jesus has initiated this glorious redemption and he has ascended to the right hand of God the Father Almighty from whence he has poured out His Spirit on His Church who will continue the work of redemption until all of Christ’s enemies have been made a footstool under his feet (Psalm 110:1). The last enemy to be put under Christ’s feet will be death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Until then, the people of God will continue to live by faith that all things will be made right through the power of the redemption of Jesus!
Food for thought.