Saturday, May 29, 2010

Creation and covenant

In his beautiful book, Barth, John Webster has a helpful summary of hundreds of pages of the Church Dogmatics 3.1 (Doctrine of Creation). Concerning Barth's exegesis of Genesis 1&2, Webster states (2nd edition, p. 98):
The whole discussion revolves around two propositions.
First, creation is ... the external basis of the covenant; that is God's work of creation, "have in view the institution, preservation, and execution of the covenant of grace, for partnership in which he has predestined and called man," (CD 3.1, p. 43).
Christian talk of creation is not preoccupied with cosmological questions (such as the first cause of all things, or the nature of contingency) but with the history which is creation's purpose, for "Creation sets the stage for the covenant of grace." (CD 3.1, p.44)

Second, covenant is the internal basis of creation. Covenant is not an accidental modulation of created reality, but the fulfilment of its essential nature as established by the creator.

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