creation of man

creation of man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past two or three hundred years people in the west have spent vast wealth, energy, and time trying to scientifically explain all aspects of human existence, from origins to the psychology of the human predicament. In the process there have been discoveries that have not only provided some explanations but have changed the way human beings think about the reality and nature of their environment and life processes. We have functioned (and are functioning still) like an OCD version of Star Trek’s Commander Spock seeking to find the logical answer to each and every question. This ongoing onslaught of (post) modernity to universalize its story over and against every other has put the Judeo-Christian story (as well as other stories) in an uncomfortable and marginalized position. What this means essentially is that it is not popular or intellectually acceptable to reject modernity’s story for that of an ancient “myth” (yes, I hear the protests for using this term). In this blog post I simply want to ask “what if.”

What if this grand story of a God who lovingly creates out of a delighted sense of playfulness and when things broke worked with unsurpassed love to mend and heal the brokenness was real? What would a creation that was intrinsically bound and dependent upon the relational connections to God look like if every aspect of creation was then affected by dysfunctional distortion born out of separation from God and the ensuing self-absorption and self-centeredness to which it led? What if the effects of this brokenness infected every aspect of creation from the compounded relational institutions of humanity down to the molecular fabric of reality? Is it plausible that every seemingly violent and destructive occurrence (systematic or systemic) in creation, which underscores the relevance of Darwin’s stated theory “survival of the fittest,” is an effect of such a break and separation of creation from the Creator? What if this story told how these destructive efforts were aided by a personified antagonist and allies who rebelled against this God? How would such a grand story affect the interpretive imaginaries of a people who make such claims?

Imagine a people whose liturgy is drawn from this story takes them from their current brokenness and destructiveness to a kingdom in which God is intimately present and relationally reconnected to creation and in which all creation flourishes in wholeness, health, wellness, and is sustained by the ongoing care of the God of life? How would such a people look having been shaped by a story in which this creating God was willing to send his own Son to his death proclaiming the good news of this plan to mend, heal, and re-establish this shalom kingdom? Imagine the hermeneutical effects of a grand story like this which tells of a God who out of his love, chose to forgive the ultimate transgression of murdering his son. What if this story told of how instead of destroying creation after such an act, that the God chose to transform the act into a redemptive event that could save all creation, an act that conquered the destructiveness of death? How would a people live who believed such a story?

What would a story that foretold of a time when war and the struggle for life would cease create in its hearers? How would a people live who hold to this story that foretells this amazing hope which is dependent upon God’s ability to bring it about and not upon theirs? Living in a world that seems to be bent on oppressing, torturing, and destroying itself, I wonder to what extent the effects of a hope-filled story would have. If a people’s identity is essentially formed by this story, then in what ways would they affect their surroundings? It seems to me that a people who find themselves in the midst of a story that tells of God conquering death through resurrection and promising peace would be a people who live according to such hope.

I wonder how the church’s perspective would change corporately if it denied the universalizing story of modernity (which also tries to retell this story in its own likeness) and once again enters into this scandalous myth that resists and rejects the Cartesian ego and Hegelian dualisms of modernity. What if instead it embraced the incomparable resurrection life of peace which broken creation rejects? What if . . . ?

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