“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Paradox of ‘Beauty Marred’: A Fallen World

…So far I have been describing paradoxes in the being of God himself. From here on, I will focus on paradoxes that involve not only the Creator, but also creation. First, the fallen world we live in is paradoxical. It is created by God, and therefore fundamentally good and beautiful and majestic, revealing its Creator and shining his glory (Genesis 1:31, Romans 1:20). But it is also corrupted by evil powers which hold the world in bondage and have bound it to decay and death (Romans 8:20-22). Ours is a dying world (see my posts on “Integrating Scientific and Biblical Eschatologies” as well as “Death and Resurrection,” parts II and III), marred, wounded, and filled with evil, and yet its author is God, and it has not wholly lost its original beauty. Satan is “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30. 16:11; see also 2 Corinthians 4:4); indeed, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19, see also Ephesians 2:2). And yet God is sovereign over Satan’s every move, and even in this dying world, seeds of renewal and resurrection are being planted. The world is dying and being raised to life, under Satan’s power and God’s, scarred deeply with pain and evil and yet still beautiful. This is the paradox of a fallen world.

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