alien righteousness

No Grace Before the Fall – J. Van Genderen and W.H. Velema

I’m back at it with Concise Reformed Dogmatics (CFD) took a little turn into Timothy Keller’s living room and then took a quick glance at Geneva.  In a bit I’ll visit again with the Prodigal God and Calvin’s Institutes (1541).

Meanwhile, J. Van Genderen and W.H. Velema in CFD make an important point regarding Creation and Redemption  in the chapter “God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth: The Creator and His Work.” Here is a quote from the book:

Creation – fall into sin – redemption

The Bible teaches us to retain the distinction between creation and redemption. Creation is theocentric; redemption, which was necessary on account of sin and made reality through grace, may be called christocentric.  Creation does not rest on redemption or on the plan for redemption, but redemption presupposes creation and the fall into sin.  Ontologically, creation has priority.

To Barth as well as others the unity of God’s work is an important factor.  Everything stands in the light of grace.  But the unity of God’s work is not broken if the redeeming work of Christ does not begin at creation but subsequent to the fall into sin.  For there is indeed a unity in his acting prior and subsequent to the fall in sin, implied by the fact that he seeks the salvation of his creatures, which can only be  found in communion with him.  In addition, the sole aim of all of God’s ways and works is his glorification.  this is true of both creation and redemption.  We recognize these as works of the same God, whom we know as Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, however, without considering them to be two sides of the same work of God’s grace in Christ.  Put differently: “If we take a panoramic view of God’s plan up to and including the finale of the re-creation of heaven and earth, then creation, redemption, and consummation constitute one mighty, consistent oeuvre” (Wentsel, Dogm., 3a: 508). (262)

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