Archive for the ‘reformed dogmatics’ Tag

Theology of Mediation

I’ll be writing some posts in the weeks to come on a theology of mediation. Many are familiar with the need for Christ to mediate redemption to sinful humanity in order to reconcile us to God, but what of Christ’s mediation of creation? It is only with the development of the NT that we get a clear theology of mediation, particularly Christ’s role in creating all things. If Christ mediates creation for the good of all humanity, then doesn’t it follow that he would mediate redemption for the good of all humanity? If not, what is the difference between Christ’s mediating creation and redemption? J. van Genderen and W. H. Velema in their forthcoming Concise Reformed Dogmatics state:

Without knowledge of Christ, who is the Word made flesh, and without considering his glory, the evangelist would not have thus referred to the Word in the beginning. But this does not mean that creation by the Word and redemption through the Word incarnate should be identified with each other or thought to coincide in principle. Then there would be no distinction between creation and re-creation. Salvation in Christ would already be implicit in creation. In believing this, one would open the door to the “monism of grace” with far-reaching consequences in the direction of universalism.

Do you agree? Is there a distinction to be made between Christ’s mediating of creation and redemption? What is this distinction? How does his agency differ between the two? What difference does this make for our engagement with culture and people? Contra Barth et. al, van Genderen and Velema respond:

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.