Thursday, October 01, 2020

God's initial (and continuing) intent (hint: It's not what you think)

God’s intent from the beginning is thus for a cooperative world of shalom, generosity, and blessing, evident most fundamentally in his own mode of exercising power at creation. In the New Testament, Jesus even grounds love for enemies in the imago Dei, suggesting that this sort of radical generosity toward others reflects the creator’s own “perfect” love toward all people, shown in his causing sun and rain to benefit both the righteous and the wicked (Matt. 5:43-48; cf. Luke 6:27-35). In the end, nothing less than God’s own exercise of creative activity ought to function as the ethical paradigm or model for our development of culture, with attendant care of the earth and just and loving interhuman action. By our wise exercise of cultural power we truly function as imago Dei, mediating the creator’s presence in the full range of earthly activities, thus fulfilling the initial narrative sequence of the biblical story.—J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 52

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