Month: January 2014

Redemption in Creation

Image credit – © 2007 Paul Keller –

The Reformed see the world also as the arena for the biblical drama of salvation, whereby God’s good and perfect universe, which has been marred and besieged by sin, is being redeemed. To save the world, God became human in Jesus of Nazareth, to free humanity from bondage to sin and ultimately to restore creation to its unblemished glory. For the Reformed, then, God’s plan of salvation goes far beyond the personal rescue of human souls; it involves society, nature, and indeed the entire cosmos. Jesus is both the Messiah of oppressed humanity and the cosmic Lord and Savior of the universe.  This theology of salvation has important implications for education.   Some faith traditions are inward-looking and mystical, but Calvinism is world-encompassing in its outlook. This world matters, and learning more about it honors its creator and, redeemer. People whom God has redeemed, moreover, are called to be divine agents in the great drama of redemption.  They serve God’s redeeming purpose when they live according to divine law and when their work anticipates the restoration of God’s reign of holiness,   justice, peace, and the full flourishing of nature and humanity — what the Hebrew prophets called God’s shalom. Such work in the world, to which Reformed Christians feel called, requires much knowledge, both of the world itself and of God’s purposes for it. It takes much learning.[1]

[1] Joel A. Carpenter, “The Perils of Prosperity: Ne-Calvinism and the Future of Religious Colleges,” in The Future of Religious Colleges, ed. By Paul J. Drove (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), 2002, p. 187.