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    Quotables: Creation Regained

    June 9, 2011 by Brandy Vencel
    Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
    Creation Regained:
    Biblical Basics for a
    Reformational Worldview
    by Albert Wolters

    Creating activity and created order ought not to be confused. {p. 13}

    The fact is that the same Creator God and the same sovereign power that called the cosmos into existence in the beginning has kept that cosmos in existence from moment to moment to this very day. {p. 13}

    God’s daily work of preserving and governing the world cannot be separated from his act of calling the world into existence. {p. 14}

    We are all familiar with the laws of nature, the regular order in the realm of physical things, of plants and of animals. These include the laws of gravity, motion, thermodynamics, photosynthesis, and heredity–all the “natural laws” discovered by physics, chemistry, biology, and the other “natural sciences.” We are not so familiar with, or feel less sure about, God’s laws for culture and society, which we call norms. {p. 16}

    The modern Western mind is exceptional in this view, however. For all of the divergences among worldviews throughout the history of mankind–primitive or “higher,” cultic or philosophical, pagan or biblical–nearly all worldviews are united in their belief in a divine world order that lays down the law for both the natural and the human realms. {p. 18}

    [T]here is no distortion of God’s good creation before man’s sin: formless means “unformed,” not “deformed.” {p. 22}

    [C]ivil authority belongs to the created order; the state is founded in an ordinance of God. {p. 26}

    Creational law speaks so loudly, impresses itself so forcefully on human begins, even in the delusions of paganism, that its normative demands are driven home into their inmost being, are “written on their hearts” like the indelible inscription of a law code on a clay tablet. This does not refer to some innate virtue of “natural man,” unaffected by sin, but to the finger of the sovereign Creator engraving reminders of his norms upon human sensibilities even in the midst of apostasy. {p. 29}

    An implication of the revelation of God in creation is that the creation order is knowable. That is also the significance of the call of Wisdom to all–she appeals to everyone to pay attention and learn from her, for insight and understanding are genuinely available to them if they heed her. {p. 33}

    This is a point at which worldviews divide. Christians, too, differ on this fundamental point of the knowability of creational law. Many will argue either that the creational scheme of things has been altered by the fall {or at least so obscured as to be inaccessible to our knowing} or else that human powers of cognition have been so corrupted by sin as to make them unable to discern God’s will for such areas as art, economics, or politics. Such views either fail to do justice to the constancy of God’s will for creation {or to its revelatory power} or else they downplay the renewing power of Christ in restoring our faculty of discernment. {p. 34}

    [I]nsofar as the Mosaic law is addressed to a particular phase of the history of God’s people it has lost its validity, but insofar as it points to the enduring normativity of God’s creation order it retains its validity. For example, the legislation concerning the year of Jubilee, applying as it does to an agrarian society in the Near East, is no longer binding for the New Testament people of God, but in its reflection of a general principle of stewardship as a creational norm it should continue to function as a guide for the new Israel. {p. 40}

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  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts June 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    You can borrow it when I’m done, if you like. I *really* enjoy reading it. I feel like I’m back in college, in a Christian Thought 101 course, which is just about perfect for me when it comes to Reformed theology!

  • Reply Jennifer June 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm


    Case for a Creator.

  • Reply Jennifer June 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Brandy, I have got to get this book. I am wading through Strobel’s Case of A Creator just because it was sitting on my bookshelf, and his case is too “physics”- cal and esoteric for me. I just thought it would be an interesting read, but I feel like I should be reading this book instead.

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