New Creation and Common Ground
“If our goal is to be liberated from creation rather than the liberation of creation, we will understandably display little concern for the world God has made. If, however, we are looking forward to “the restoration of all things” (Ac 3:21) and the anticipation of the whole creation in our redemption (Ro 8:18-21), then our actions here and now pertain to the same world that will one day be finally and fully renewed.”
- Michael Horton The Christian Faith
The Evangelical community, especially as of late, has seemed preoccupied by its differences and divisions.
Now, there is a healthy place for critique and debate. Yet in our focus on the ways we disagree, I fear we begin to forget just how much common ground we share.
This section from Horton’s new systematic theology highlights one of those areas of common ground. Those words could just as easily come from Michael Wittmer’s Heaven is a Place on Earth or N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope. Between the three they represent Reformed, Baptist, and Anglican streams of Evangelicalism, but each is coming to quite similar conclusions about the future of this world.
An ethic shaped by this understanding of new creation gives room for Christians from different traditions to come together to participate in the ways that future breaks into our present, whether that’s in stewardship, worship, or acts of justice.
Even in a theological discussion, the dialogue is enriched by these traditions coming together to grapple with important questions about how we imagine our future.
Differences exist, but so does common ground. It seems like it might be worthwhile for us to exert a bit more energy than we have been on the latter.
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