What happens if your Bible begins with Genesis 3 and ends with Revelations 20? The story of sin that leads to judgment. What is the good news if that’s your story? The Good News is an escape route out of that story; of not being tossed into the lake of fire. The problem – it neglects the beginning and end that scripture gives. When we neglect the first and last two chapters, we end up with a very distorted picture. If you begin in Genesis 3, culture is just rebellion. It’s just an expression of sin. What if we begin in Genesis 1?
Where we discover a very good world, that is not actually very good until God’s image bearers are in it.
• They are asked to till the earth and keep it.
• To do culture; to fill the earth and multiply.
• To do cultural creativity.
• to expand through the world, discovering and unfolding its possibility.
What if your Bible includes Revelation 21? The best that human beings would do will have some eternal part in the eternal good world that God gives His redeemed people as a gift at the end of history. It does not say the redeemed world will be filled with Christian culture. Are the things that I’m creating the kinds of cultural artifacts that have a chance of being called the glory and honor of the nations and brought into the New Jerusalem? It’s about the restoration of God’s image bearers through the one true Image Bearer, Jesus Christ (not to just escape from sin).
1. Why do you think most Christians focus on Heaven instead of the New Earth?
2. In the beginning God called creation “good.” How should that inform our teaching and preaching?