Sunday, September 18, 2005

Restoring creational norms

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost wrote a post Sept. 12 outlining the basic components of his worldview. It's well done and worth looking over.

I particularly like his use of the term "creational norms," elsewhere called the "creation order," which is basically a foundational, normative structure of creation - the way things are supposed to be - that's rooted in God's purposes. When sin entered the world, society began deviating from this designed structure.

Carter writes that "humans are responsible for discerning...creational norms and for applying them in all areas within our domain, our 'rule'. I believe this is the first task of what Christians often refer to as the 'cultural mandate.' "

Indeed, the Christian calling isn't just about saving souls; more broadly, it's about restoring what's broken - and that also includes the creation order.

As Carter says, "while the ultimate redemption of creation will only be completed at the time when Christ returns...we have a responsibility to restore the parts of creation under our sphere of influence by discerning and applying God's creational norms."

As one would imagine, the creation order applies most obviously to things like government, marriage, and family.

Also, the biblical mandate for this culture-reforming work is taught in many books, including this one from Tom Minnery.

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