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Friday, March 8, 2013

Wholism 203

Genesis 1:26-28 says the purpose God has in mind for humans is for us to rule over Planet Earth. But I can hear someone saying, “That command came before the Fall! The world has been messed up by sin, and God can’t possibly have the same purpose in mind for us that He had in the beginning! Why should we concern ourselves with ruling over a broken world, creating culture that’s destined to be burnt to a crisp? Our purpose now is to get as many souls saved as possible. For Heaven! There’s no sense polishing brass on a sinking ship. It’s going to be The Late Great Planet Earth someday. Didn’t you read that book?”

Indeed, I read that book. My wife and I were young married students attending the University of Washington when it came out. After reading it, we dropped out of school. There was no reason to pursue a degree, or to even look five years into the future. I spent my days reading the Bible, working just part-time to feed the two of us and to keep a cheap roof over our heads. That was 1970.

Later, in another Book, I read about a New Earth with a great city. I read about an Earth containing fruit trees, and pruning hooks. Lions and lambs. I read of a city having commerce. A city where God’s raw material is not all there is, but the “kings of the earth” will “bring their glory into it.” (Revelation 21:24)

What is this? Could the “glory and honor of the nations” brought into that city be cultural "goods" made by human Earth-Rulers in years prior? Could this “glory” be works of art? Technological wonders? Could such things pass through the fire Peter writes about? Could the fervent heat he described be a purging, cleansing fire, rather than a total crisp-job? Could the second great purge, with fire, be like the first great purge with water, that "destroyed the world" but did not wash the planet away? Read II Peter 3 again. Revelation 21 and Isaiah 65-66 give us cause for pause.

I look forward to a whole planet, purged wholly of rot and junk, and to a whole city containing “the glory and the honor of the nations.” If this is human culture, then let's add to it. Now.

That’s wholism 203.

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