N.T. Wright and the dominion mandate

Mick found a great quote from N.T. Wright’s book, Evil and the Justice of God (pp. 138-139). Wright, a highly esteemed Anglican bishop, is not a full preterist, but what he says is very much in line with stuff I have written. One of the many books I’m going to eventually get around to reading is his The Coming of the Son of Man: New Testament Eschatology for an Emerging Church.

Hope you don’t mind, Mick, but because of its covalence with a recent topic of mine, I’m going to reproduce your quote here on my blog, too. Enjoy!

The four living creatures are singing “Holy, holy, holy” and the elders are casting their crowns before the throne; but the one who sits on the throne holds a scroll…sealed with seven seals, and nobody can be found worthy to open it and break its seals. The way to God’s unfolding purposes to put the world to rights, to complete the whole project of creation, appears to be blocked, since God made a world in such a way that it must be looked after by human stewards, and no human being is capable of taking God’s plan forward. This is Revelation’s statement of the problem of evil: God has a plan for the world; but unless He is to unmake creation itself, which is designed to function through the stewardship of God’s image-bearing creatures-the human race-it looks as though the plan cannot come to fruition. And that is Revelation’s statement of the answer: the lamb has conquered, has defeated the powers of evil. And now (Revelation5:9-10) the Lamb has ransomed people from every nation in order to make them a royal priesthood, serving God and reigning on the earth.

This theme, so frequent in the New Testament and so widely ignored in Christian theology, is part of the solution to the problem (of evil). It isn’t that the cross won the victory, so there’s nothing more to be done. Rather, the cross has won the victory as a result of which there are now redeemed human beings getting ready to act as God’s wise agents, His stewards, constantly worshiping their Creator and constantly being equipped to reflect His image into the his creation, to bring his wise and healing order to the world, putting the world to rights under His just and gentle rule. A truly biblical ecclesiology…the church is the community of those who, being redeemed through the cross, are now to be a kingdom and priests to serve God and to reign on the earth. Our fear of triumphalism on the one hand and on the other hand our flattening out our final destiny into talk merely of “going to heaven,” have combined to rob us of this central biblical theme.

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