Ok, so this may not be a huge-big deal for you, but it is for me, so deal (or I guess you could just not read it that would be ok too).
So, now that you’re still with me (like a good blog-friend or blriend if you will [frog just won’t work]). I’m sitting in theology class and we’re chatting away (translation: being lectured) about eschatology (a schmancy way of saying: study of the end things). So we get to talk about fun things like the state of the soul after death, but we’ve also discussed the holistic nature of redemption. God created all things and they were good. God created people as whole beings and they were good. Sin entered into the world and messed it all up.
In Genesis 3 we get the ‘curse’ which has been variously interpreted. A couple of things stand out to me. The curse is not on people, but on animals and the earth (reflected in Romans 8 where Paul says: “creation was subjected to frustration . . . the whole creation has been groaning”). People have to deal with their own curse on themselves—by trying to live by our own views and it just doesn’t work. Our ways lead to death and pain and suffering for us and for the people around us.
So God sends Jesus to set things straight (read the book if you need more details right now) and eventually that redemption will be complete. But here’s the thing, redemption isn’t just for our souls. Heaven won’t be a bunch of spirits floating around. God will redeem our bodies and raise us to have new bodies (1 Corinthians 15) and then at the end he will create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21).
So what just hit me is that not only will I be full redeemed, but so will our screwed up environment and our animals and our plants and everything. God created with world and it was good – the stars and the moon and the sun and the oceans and the land and the birds and fish and animals and plants – it was all good. I guess it just doesn’t make any sense to believe that God created the world just to give us a place to stand while we were being redeemed. His vision is bigger than that (bigger than we will ever know).
Do you want to be a whole person? I think I’m ready to sign up. This whole mess about just saving our soul seems so shortsighted and . . . well lame. It just doesn’t work. I want my whole self to be changed by God and I want the whole world to be changed too. I’m not just concerned about people’s souls, because their bodies are a part of them. I’m not just concerned about people, because we are a part of the world. I’m not just concerned about humanity, because we are a part of creation.
I’m really going to need to do some work to make this real.
Romans 8:20-23 (NIV) “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”