Thursday, April 26, 2012

Creation Mandate and the Tension of Power

". . . to be made in the image of God and to be charged with the task of working in and cultivating, preserving, and protecting the creation, is to possess power. The creation mandate, then is a mandate to use that power in the world in ways that reflect God's intentions. With the Fall, however, the divine nature and potential of human power was compromised. While Christ's life, death, and resurrection does fundamentally alter the relationship of believers to the 'powers' and to power itself, in the time while believers wait for the eschaton, power is inherently tainted and its use inherently compromising of the standards to which Christ beckons.

What this means is that faithful Christian witness is fated to exist in the tension between the historical and the transcendent; between the social realities that press on human existence and the spiritual and ethical requirements of the gospel; between the morality of the society in which Christian believers live and the will of God. These oppositions are a fact of existence for the church and each Christian believer and they pull in conflicting directions- one toward the necessities of survival and the other toward the perfect will of God. There is no place of equilibrium between these oppositions and no satisfying resolutions. In this world, the church can never be in repose. The tension is not lessened by the fact that there are unavoidable ambiguities that inhere in the application of biblical promises, values, and ideals to everyday life. Nor is it lessened by the fact that the love required of the Christian is unlivable, except in flawed approximation."

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