Christopher Wright Four-Fold Framework of Creation

God’s Redemption Mission

The Bible depicts a history of the world through four stages of creation, the fall to sin, redemption through Christ and the new creation restoration. The stages in the bible talk about the realities that happen to human beings every day. The Bible uses these phases to show the love of God towards his creation and his mission to make sure that the human race is redeemed. The story of the Bible provides an outstanding narrative that shows how God continues to redeem his people despite their sinful ways. The Bible begins with the good intentions that God depicts with the creation of all the world’s creatures. However, humans fall and rebel against the rules of God, but God still pities them and redeems them. The redemption of the human beings sets out the main theme of the Bible throughout the old testament to the new testament, which ends with hope for redemption with Jesus’ second coming. In the discussion of the bible and redemption, Christopher urges Christians to view the bible as a missionary text that depicts the mission to redemption. Wright argues that the Bible is about God, his people and the future of the world. Therefore, the bible comes out as a grand narrative that talks about every event that God continues to take care of his people. Therefore, this paper will explore Christopher Wright’s four-fold of creation, the fall, redemption and the new creation.

Creation

According to Wright, the story of creation in the Bible does not start in Genesis or end in the revelation. Therefore, the bible does not only talks about the survival of human beings and how to avoid the day of judgment. As such, the mission in the bible is encompassed in the notion that God did not stop creation in Genesis or in Revelation (Wright, 2010). Notably, the creation narrative only provides the important aspects for the Christian global view, as it helps answers the philosophical and religious questions. The book also provides answers to where the human race came from and who the human race is. The people are also able to understand the reason of existence, the creation and the mission of God. The answers to these questions provide profound effects on how human beings understand God.

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Wright argues that the Bible has a mission to humanity. God has always loved his people and has always redeemed them regardless of their sins and falling all the time. In the beginning, God created the world and all the creatures of the world including human beings. However, God’s relationship with human beings has been a close one, with many falls and redemption examples (Wright 2010). Each time humans have shown rebellious tendencies and disobedience, God has shown mercy and redeemed them. Wright considers various stories in the bible in the argument on God’s mission. Humanity is considered God’s most precious creation, as he places them in charge of all the other creation. As such, human beings are the pinnacle to the creation, but they keep falling and messing up the duties assigned by God. Humanity rebelled and messed God’s plan for creation (Wright, 2010). In the book of Genesis, God created Adam and Eve and ordered them not to eat from the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden of Eden, but humanity did exactly what they had been told not. Consequently, God chased them out the garden and gave them harsh punishment. In order to redeem his creation, God decided to redeem the whole of humanity.

The old testament provides the creation narrative and God’s intentions. Go wanted humanity to obey him and live happily. God involved humanity in his plan and blessed them, as he expected them to obey him. When humanity disobeys God too much, he sends a flood and decides to start over with Noah. However, for some reason, humanity has kept of rebelling. When God calls Abraham, he seeks an obedient man and teaches him about redemption when he told Abraham to sacrifice his son. God’s intentions were to bless Abraham’s descendants and the nation of Israel as he worked to restore all creation. In his mission, Israel is the central place selected for God’s redemption mission. Wright (2010, p. 375) argues that Israel was identified as a priestly kingdom set for the mission, and thus regarded to as the holy nation. Wright illustrates the indivisibility of God in the old testament when he discusses Israel’s history and God’s universal will for humankind all through history. Wright implies that the law and the institutions that God gave to Israel were instrumental in the history and geographic context and God’s desire for mankind in the world. God and Israel’s relationship throughout history, provides the argument that God wanted to redeem humanity.

Further, Wright argues that the mission for humanity can be seen throughout the Bible, from creation to the revelation. Mathew 28: 18-20 stamps this argument that the bible is a missionary. Wright implies that the mission in the Bible is informed by the great commission and the commandments, which reveal that the identity and the saving grace that God has towards his people. The monotheist concept of God is seen in how the Israelite’s faith from the very early age when they were obscured and comprised by the variety of religious practices (Wright, 2010, p.73). God redeemed them and ordered them to worship him alone and they would be blessed. The uniqueness of God is revealed in the Old Testament and his intentions are depicted as intentional.

Fall

The fall is attributed to human disobedience. Wright states that when human beings rebelled against their creator, God brought disastrous outcomes (Wright 2010). Evil and sin is part of the whole story of God’s mission in every dimension of human life. Notably, physically, human beings are meant to death and decay as well as living within an environment that is under God’s curse. Using intellect, human beings are able to logically, to explain and interpret their evil. From a social perspective, human beings’ relationship is broken by issues of sexual parental, societal and ethnic issues that are seen in different cultures. Spiritually, people are alienated from God when they reject his goodness and the authority. Roman 1: 18-32 gives a deep analysis of how human beings fall of God’ favour as it analyses the fruit story in Genesis. The Bible contains different dimensions that discuss the issue of the sin and evil that has led to the destruction of the human existence and creation. Therefore, the mission on earth is to use the bible as a guide in redeeming ourselves before God.

The people in the bible fells different times. For example, in the case of Sodom, a model for human wickedness and the judgement. God punished the people of Sodom and only saved Abraham because he was obedient to him and his laws. The tower of Babel represents another instance when people were disobedient to God and thrived in evil deeds. God heard the cry of evil and destroyed the evil as he saved the people that obeyed him. When the Egyptians cried over slavery, God heard their cry and destroyed the evil pharaohs as he saved them from the years of slavery. The model of failure in humanity as seen in the Old Testament is based on the evil deeds and the rebelliousness of the people.

Redemption in history

God did not want to abandon or destroy his creation, despite the rebellious tendencies. Instead, God purposes to redeem human beings, which he does through various people. For instance, the first the person that God uses is Abraham. God blesses Abraham and makes him the father of the nation, thereby blessing all his descendants, which is basically the whole human race. God later uses Moses to save the Israelites, whom he uses to show his mission for redemption (Wright 2010). In the New Testament, God finally uses his own son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the whole human race. Christ saves human beings from sin and destruction as he dies for their sins at the cross.

Wright used the book of Exodus to argue out the mission of God and the church today. Wright interprets Exodus as an example of the redemption of humanity through the example of the Israelites (Wright 2010). He argues for the political, economic and social dimensions of the narrative. The book of exodus provided how God redeems his people. Exodus has been used in the old and new testaments as a key to the understanding the true meaning of the cross of Christ. Exodus 15:13 Show how people have been redeemed through God's unfailing love and strength that helps them to seek God. During Exodus, Moses and Israelites celebrated deliverance from the army of Pharaoh at the crossing of the red sea. The story presented in the bible using the metaphor redemption, as it explains how they were and he was swallowed by the water as the Israelites crossed for the other side of the red sea. Yahweh redeemed the Israelites by also bringing out the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Exodus 15:16 explain how God redeemed the Israelites once again as they celebrate in song for what to them despite being doubtful in the first place. God asked Moses to take the Israelites from Egypt he was pessimistic due to pharaoh’s power and ruthlessness. As such the Lord had to redeem Moses’ courage, as he told him to go and tell the Israelites that He is the love that will bring is going out from under a year of the Egyptians god also told moss to tell the Israelites that he would free them from slavery and redeeming them with an outstretched arm as he judged the Egyptians harshly (Exodus 6:6).

The historical events in the Exodus, as the Israelites exited Egypt are used metaphorically to depict the act of redemption. The Pharaoh and his soldiers go after the Israelites in the desert, but when they almost get to them in the red Sea, God returns the water and drowns them. This action ensures that the Israelites go on their journey to the promised land of Canaan. In the desert, the Israelites still rebel against God even after he had redeemed them from years of slavery. Therefore, God creates a covenant with the Israelites at the mount of Sinai when he gives them the ten commandments. The covenant was meant to be a guide into shaping the newly redeemed humanity to obey God. As the history of the Israelites continued, the nation was led and shaped by the commandments and the covenant that God had made with them. During the years that Israel obeyed God, the nation faced years of prosperity and grace. In the New Testament Paul uses the redemption of Israel to explain the importance of God’s redemption to the human race. From Wright’s argument, it is evident that Israel was redeemed to be the light of the world for all humanity had sinned before God (Wright 2010). The Old Testament shows a continuation of God’s blessings as God continues to keep his promises that he made in the covenant with the Israelites. God works through the prophets such as Jeremiah and Samuel to lead the nation to his will.

New creation

The return of Jesus Christ is expected to be the grand finale of the Bible’s storyline and redemption story of humanity. The return of Jesus Christ will be the ultimate fulfilment of the redemption mission of God. For this to happen, the judgement day is expected to be revealed, something that is constantly warned about in the Bible. The visions seen in the book of Revelation brings to light the realities of the judgment day.

Wright outlines the basic principles of the model of Israel to the modern applications. To understand the application in the modern world, the people must comprehend general and wide definitions of the Old Testament laws and understand Israel’s society and the laws that governed the nation (Wright 2010). Understanding Israel as a whole will help in comprehending the context in the modern world. According to Wright, Israel intended to function as an ethical archetypal for the secular world today in which Christians live. The relationship between Israel, the redeemed society and today’s community is evident with the mixture of believers and unbelievers in the contemporary world (Wright 2010). Wright argues that in light of this connection, Christian’s today should use the examples of the law in Israel’s society in its plan for redemption (Wright 2010). Notably, God, Israel and the land are seen as the pillars in the perception of Israel’s global view. This view was important in the way God viewed his relationship with Israel. God was concerned with the relationship with the covenant land of Israel, as he continued to show deep concern for humanity.

Wright also emphasizes the importance of the continuity of the old testament to the new testament in the influence of the modern church. The Old Testament laws and influences are known to continue into the New Testament. Jesus also gave references to the Old Testament during his teachings (Wright 2010). Wright argues that although the Old Testament laws are not practised in the New Testament, the main reason for continuity to the new testament should not be lost. God’s plan for redemption is still evident as He brings his own son, Jesus Christ to take humankind’s sins and redeem them (Wright 1992). Therefore, Israel’s paradigm serves as a continuity for the New Testament society.

The Old Testament redemption that connects God, Israel and the land are reflected in the New Testament. From the Old Testament, God has always been on a mission to save the people. Wright begins explaining this concept from the Abrahamic covenant (Wright, 2010, p.189). In Genesis 12, God’s intentions are apparent as he is seen blessing Abraham and his descendants and making him the father of all nations. Through this blessing, God redeemed people from the old testament up to the new testament (Robinson, 2012). The covenant between God and Abraham is based on obedience and love. The same is replicated when Christ forms a covenant between the people and God. The covenant is sustained through the promise of the enduring love of Christ and love for his followers.

God’s mission and intention for all nation is further revealed in the cosmic plans and through the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Wright implies that God’s plan is meant for all creatures of earth including human beings, animals and the environment. The restoration of the creation through humanity encompasses the restoration of human beings logically, spiritually, socially and physically (Wright 2010). Therefore, Wright offers a holistic mission concept in which human beings are caught up in the middle.

Therefore, the human kind mandate in the world is to evangelize the bible as a whole. All human beings are responsible as they are the creation of God and God is compassionate and loving. God dwells in the human race, therefore, there is a need to spread the mission of God and talking about his mission to redeem his creation.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Wright provides an explanation of God’s plan to redeem humankind through the four-fold of creation, the fall, redemption and the new creation. The story of the Bible begins with the creation of human beings, who then disobey God leading to the fallout between God and human beings. God loves his craton so much and decides to redeem them. He makes a covenant with Abraham and blesses all his descendants. God also makes the covenant with the people of Israel after freeing them from Egypt, where they had been held as slaves for many years. Wright interprets this event in Exodus as an example of God’s plan for the redemption of the human race. Wright equates the Israelites’ life as an example of how all people behave and rebel against God. However, God’s will to save humankind leads him working through people such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus to redeem people from their disobedience. The New Testament, although different, also shows the same mission from the Old Testament, whereby God wants to save humanity. The New Creation continues to see God’s mission to save humankind by redeeming them every day. Wright implies that the new creation and contemporary society can use the teachings and the events that happened in the Old Testament to understand the will and mission of God. The modern society is guided by the commandments given in the Old Testament. Therefore, this is evidence of the connection between the Old Testament and the Old Testament in God’s redemption mission.

References

  • Robinson, G.G., 2012. The gospel as story and evangelism as storytelling. Global Missiology English, 4(9).
  • Wright, C.J., 2010. The mission of God's people: A biblical theology of the church's mission. Zondervan.
  • Wright, N.T., 1992. The New Testament and the people of God(Vol. 1). London: SPCK.

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