Placing a book on your “Amazon Wish List” is not the same as reading it. I wish it were that easy. So, I cannot completely speak about a book called The Spirit in Creation and New Creation, by Jürgen Moltmann. I will read this book after I have read a few other books on my “to be read” bookshelf. (The shelf was so full that the books are now spread out over three shelves on a nice cabinet in my office. Will I ever learn to read books and then buy more books?) I expect I will like this book by Moltmann; and some of those who read this blog will like it as well. RJS over at “Jesus Creed” has done us all a service by quoting a few intriguing sections from chapter five.
RJS tells us that, according to Moltmann, creation is a trinitarian act: “God the Father creates through his eternal Word in the energies of his Spirit this non-divine reality, which though it is non-divine is nevertheless interpenetrated by God.”1
Moltmann points to a deeper understanding of creation, one that involves the ongoing creative power of the Holy Spirit.
all created beings are aligned towards their future consummation and are driven towards that through the energies of God’s Spirit. The creation open to the future has to be understood as creation fashioned by the Spirit. In this direction and movement it is not merely a material reality; it is a spiritual one too.2
Moltmann suggests that
Genesis 1 does not describe a perfect world, but only the beginning of a creation which just arrives at its true nature in the “new creation.” Genesis 1 describes only Act I of creation, the beginning of creation history which arrives at its goal and its perfecting in the kingdom of God’s glory. . . . This eternal creation, world without end, is not something lying behind us; it lies ahead of us. Creation in time is aligned towards eternal life. . . . In this respect the “new creation” will bring not only redemption from sin, death, and chaos, but also the completion and perfecting of the first act of creation, and the fulfillment of its initial promise.3
The starting point for a specifically Christian doctrine of creation is the Christ event: the coming of Christ into this world, his lowering of himself and his exaltation, his self-giving reconciliation of the cosmos, and his resurrection for the gathering together of all things (anakephalaiosis). With this event the new creation of all things in their eternal form begins in the midst of this world. … The eschatological perspective of the consummation of all things is the justification for the Christological way of reading the creation stories in the Old Testament.4
The Christian doctrine of creation begins with John 1 . . . . The Spirit of the new creation is understood to be the anticipation of future glory, which will fulfill the promise of creation, the sighs and yearnings of created being, and the human expectation of the redemption of the body from the fate of death. The spirit of creation awaits the Spirit of the new creation, and the Spirit of the new creation takes up this expectation, although this is a new entry of God into the creation process.5
The Spirit was and is poured out on all believers without discrimination. That means equality. Sons and daughters will prophesy – there is no discrimination, and no subordination of women to men. The young will have visions and the old will have dreams – there is no detraction because of age; no one is too young and no one is too old. The Spirit is poured out on slaves; there are no longer any masters and no ruling classes; all are equally endowed with the Spirit. For Paul this equality among God’s children widens out to include ” Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, men and women.” They are all one in Christ and heirs of the new creation (Gal 3:26-28).6
Moltmann is a theologian working out theology that is independent of world-views or variations in scientific fashion. His view of the Spirit in creation and new creation is very helpful. RJS adds that
Raw facts are incredibly limited in their explanatory power. A map of one’s genome tells you very little about the “person-ness” of that individual. Christian theology informs the interpretation of nature, its purposes and goals, not the formulas of physics or the significance of the genome.7
These quotes inspire me to actively seek to see the Spirit in creation and in the new creation.
1 (Moltman 2012, 66)
2 (Moltman 2012, 66)
3 (Moltman 2012, 68) and http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2014/03/04/the-spirit-of-life-rjs
4 (Moltman 2012, 68, 69)
5 (Moltman 2012, 70)
6 (Moltman 2012, 75, 76)
Moltman, Jurgen. The Spirit In Creation and New Creation:The Spirit in Creation and New Creation: Science and Theology in Western and Orthodox Realms. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012.