Thursday, March 26, 2020

Much more than sin

Yes, many humans, though not all, are deeply aware of problems in their own lives, of pains and fears and sorrows and deep—rooted puzzles, and that may well bring them to the foot of the cross. But the message ought never to be simply about me and my salvation. It ought to be about God and God’s kingdom. That’s what Jesus announced, and so should we. The full good news is that in Jesus, and through his death and resurrection, God has become king of the world. We look out at the world and see it in a terrible mess, and we are aware in our bones that we want to do something about it. But our own sin, our greed, our pride, our arrogance get in the way, and we rush off and try to do it in our own strength and (worse) our own way, like Moses trying to liberate Israel from Egypt by Egyptian means. He first needed liberating himself. We humans know in our bones that we are called to bring God’s wise order into the world. That is our Adamic inheritance, just as much as the entail of evil. But for that to become a reality we need, ourselves, to be rescued from the same problem that afflicts the rest of the world. We are rescued by the blood of the Lamb in order to be a royal priesthood; and the way in which that works, according to the New Testament, is the same way it worked for Jesus: taking up the cross, a suffering but joyful witness. That, too, is part of Paul’s picture of the redeemed Adam: we suffer with him, that we may (in line, remember, with Psalm 8) also share his glory. The distortions Western theology has introduced into Paul’s Adam-theology are cognate with the distortions, or the downright ignoring, that have happened in relation to the kingdom of God. They belong together; and together they may give us a sense of how to talk wisely both about salvation and about origins.—The Lost World of Adam and Eve, p. 180

No comments: