Charles’s quotes

"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Friday, 23 December 2016

Creation And Christ

When we think of the relationship between creation and Christ, we become more strikingly aware of the inadequacy of the word, 'reconciliation' as a replacement for the word, 'revelation.' Christ is the centre of divine revelation. It is in Him alone that there is reconciliation or salvation. While seeing Christ as the centre of divine revelation, we must be careful not to make Christ the sum-total of revelation in such a restrictive way that we lose sight of the important Biblical perspective on creational revelation (more commonly known as 'general revelation.')
By strongly emphasizing the centrality of Christ in God's work of revelation and reconciliation, we are able to go beyond the vagueness of much modern theology when it attempts to speak of God. We must, however, take care not to present Christ in a restrictive way which fails to bring out the comprehensiveness of God's revelation in creation, which forms the indispensable background to God's mighty work of salvation in Christ. The powerful evangelistic significance of a proper emphasis on creational revelation is brought out by A. W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God, pp. 73-82; The Best of Tozer, pp. 20-26). Tozer, concerned to emphasize "Not God spoke, but God is speaking", highlights the danger of thinking of creational revelation as 'natural' and the Bible as 'supernatural.'
This kind of contrast gives the false impression of a silent God who suddenly began to speak only to retreat again into silence after He had spoken. Concerning creational revelation, Tozer writes, "His speaking Voice ... antedates the Bible by uncounted centuries ... that Voice ... has not been silent since the dawn of creation." Tozer stresses the integral relation between creational revelation and biblical revelation: "The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe." Tozer insists  that if we fail to appreciate the powerful speaking of God in creation, our witness to Christ will be weakened: "To jump from a dead, impersonal world to a dogmatic Bible is too much for most people. They may admit that they should accept the Bible as the Word of God, and they may try to think of it as such, but they find it impossible to believe that the words there on the page are actually for them." 
Careful to avoid "a divided psychology" which "tries to think of God as mute everywhere else and vocal only in a book", insists that "much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence forever. Now we read the book as the record of what God said when He was for a brief time in a speaking mood. With notions like that in our heads how can we believe?" By grounding the unity of creational and biblical revelation in the conviction that God is "by His nature continuously active", Tozer goes on to stress that the Bible is "not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking" and that "a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken."
In our understanding of the Christian message, let us be quite clear that any friction between creation and salvation must be recognized as an unbiblical fiction (the change from 'friction' to 'fiction' is deliberate - it's not a typing error!). Let us see clearly that there is no competition between creation and Christ. Let us rejoice that the salvation of God in Christ opens our eyes to see the glory of God in creation. How we need to allow the glory and the majesty of God to fill our preaching of the Gospel - so that the world cannot turn away from the message we preach with the snide remark, "Your God is too small." 

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