This was an assignment given in response to a faculty guest speaker we had in our Christian studies/worldview class. The speaker mused philosophically on a number of topics, but the response focused on his premise that Christians tend to minimize the Creation aspect of the Creation-Fall-Redemption cycle. I went into the assignment thinking that it would be merely another busy-work writing prompt, but through a number of circumstances, I ended up quite intrigued with how it turned out–and so I decided to share it with you, though in no way is it high-quality writing.
The message of the Gospel is greater than Christ’s redemption of fallen Man. These components are necessary, but not sufficient, to fully understand the “Good News.” Creation, too, has a role. To neglect Creation is to limit God, to place him in a box. What is created by God is declared good. The Fall marred Creation; the Fall did not destroy Creation. Though corrupted, its intended goodness may still be seen, albeit as an obscured reflection, not unlike observing an image through a steamy bathroom mirror or across a foggy valley.
Creation, Good, was an act of Love. God did not need to create the universe to prove His power nor create humans to execute His will—He is God: omnipotent, awesome, heeding no other in His might. Paul writes that of Faith, Hope, and Love, the “greatest” is Love. Faith did not exist (at least as we, in the era of Creation Fallen, perceive it) in Creation Perfected, since God was immediately present. Hope, likewise, was unnecessary: in a nascent, perfected Creation, for what was there to hope? Love, then, is all that remains.
Love drove Creation. Man fell: out of Love. Love drives Redemption. God’s Love, unlike Man’s Love, never waned.
Yet, neither did Man’s Love ever wane. Or, his love never waned. True Love—Love as God intended—was corrupted, abused, misdirected. Fallen, Man loves material, loves pride, loves money, loves to hate.
He desires material, desires pride, desires money, desires to hate. Just as Man was created for Love but fell for love, so he was created for Desire but fell for desire. True Desire desires God, the ultimate Good, and the good Creation He created.
As a staunch Calvinist raised in an Evangelical church, my tendency is to overlook Creation in favor of Fall (the T in TULIP) and Redemption (-ULIP), just as it is easy for me, leaning naturally towards legalism, to overlook Grace, seeing only Law. Yet, as I am reminded of Love—expressed through God’s Providence, in the Scriptures, by others’ actions—my consciousness of Love is refreshed. The bathroom mirror is defogging.
It’s funny, but in the wake of my little existential crisis last autumn, one of the things that has helped me at least begin to grasp what Christianity is/who God is/what it means to “be a Christian” is hearing the simple Gospel. Somehow, I think I’d gotten to the point where I thought that more complex/more theological/more apologetic/more philosophical/more intellectual was better: but, perhaps, that’s not always true. Yet, at the same time, my interest in philosophical subjects–Beauty, Love, Eternity, and so on–has augmented noticeably. I’ve always been–and probably always will be–more of a math/science person than a humanities person. There’s always room for expansion, though, and considering these themes and fields, not unlike my exploration in the included writing assignment, has been informative both about higher realms and about myself. But back to the Gospel. There’s a church that I attend occasionally that does a superb job of preaching–and living–the Gospel in its purest form, and somehow, tying that back to my life has made things begin to “click” for me, ever so slightly. My mirror is defogging.