Friday, February 09, 2007

Kostenberger & O'Brien: "the notion of rest explains the goal of creation"

“The first indications of God’s plan for the world appear in the creation account of Genesis 1. From the opening verse of this chapter God’s control over all creation is asserted. In the first six days eight acts of creation are presented (vv. 3—3 1). On the sixth day, as his crowning act, God created humankind in his own image and likeness (vv. 26—28). Man as the image of God is installed as his vicegerent over all creation with a mandate to control and rule it on behalf of its maker. Six times God says that specific acts of creation are ‘good’ (vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25), and the divine evaluation of the whole creation is that it is ‘very good’ (v. 31).

“While this has been understood in terms of a perfected creation with complete harmony, or good in an ethical or aesthetic sense, the expression probably signifies that it conformed to the divine intention and purpose. ‘The world created by God and acknowledged as “good” is the one in which history begins and the one that will reach its goal by fulfilling the divine purpose for which it was created’ (Dumbrell 1994: 20). Humankind and the world, as depicted in Genesis 1, corresponded perfectly to the divine intention, the details of which will become clearer in the unfolding revelation.

“Genesis 2:1 ends the account of creation: ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.’ On the seventh day God rested from all his work, not on account of weariness, but because he had completed his creation. The seventh day brings the creation week to an end; the work of creation has been finished. Dumbrell helpfully notes that the verb sabat, rendered ‘stop, cease’, implies ‘the nuance of completion or perfection in the sense of bringing a project to its designed goal’, which in the immediate context is explicit. In other words, the notion of rest explains the goal of creation. God enters his rest on the seventh day, a day in which there is no mention of an evening or a morning. It is open-ended or unending. He has entered his rest and humankind is invited to share that rest with him.” – Andreas Kostenberger, Peter T. O’Brien, “Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission”, p. 26


Matthew Morizio said...

Was wondering, you read more of what these men associated with Moore Theo. in Australia are saying, do there remain reservations about the likes of Goldsworthy, etc.?

Matthew Morizio

Breuss Wane said...

This is another great question. I will answer this in a subsequent post.

Matthew Morizio said...

Looking forward to it, bro!


Brad said...

Some good thoughts. It is interesting if you carry the thought of God "bringing a project to its designed goal"

The Fall did not hinder this as we read the rest of Genesis God is working through the events of man (yes even brothers who sell their brother into slavery) to bring history to its designed goal. All events are ordained by God and the current and future reminder of sabbath rests lets us know that his goal will be reached.

Breuss Wane said...

Good thoughts Brad. Sabbath rest as the "goal" is a reminder that *eschatology*, what we consider to be *last things*, is in the creation account. The ultimate goal of creation, which we find in Rev. 21-22, is already underway in Gen. 1-2. The *last things* are included in *the first things*.