Pannenberg on the embrace of Creatures by God the Creator

If God is Creator, what does this mean for His Creatures?

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...
Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Talk about the means and ends of the divine action, then, simply expresses the relations between finite events and beings as God himself wills them, though naturally from the standpoint of their reference to a future that transcends their finitude. We will have to support and expound this more fully later Here we may simply state that the temporal order in which creaturely things and events stand as such enables us to describe their relation to the divine action in terms of a plan (Isa. 5:19, etc.) — a plan that God himself follows in the process of history. If the destiny of all creaturely occurrence and existence is oriented to fellowship with God himself, then this idea takes the conceptual form of a plan of salvation. At this point the relation of the outward divine action to a goal acquires the form of trinitarian mediation inasmuch as the fellowship of creatures with their Creator is to be thought of as participation in the fellowship of the Son with the Father through the Spirit. The saving decree or plan (Eph. 2:9ff.) that lies behind the course that the history of creation follows and into which all events are integrated can thus be proclaimed as already manifest in Jesus Christ, in his obedience to being sent by the Father. In this context we may also say that though God is independent in himself, yet with the act of creation and in the course of the history of his creatures he makes himself dependent on creaturely conditions for the manifestation of his Son in the relation of Jesus to the Father. It is not as though God were referred to different means for the accomplishing of his ends. The point is that this is the actual way in which a multiplicity of creatures will be brought into the eternal blessedness of the fellowship of the Son with the Father. For God’s action no creature is merely a means. By the ordering of its existence to the kairos of the manifestation of the Son, each creature has a part in the saving purpose of the Father.1

Pannenberg goes on to say that God’s nature not only embraces the Creation of the World, but because of this, the themes of reconciliation, redemption, and consummation.

To read more on Pannenberg and Creation, see this post by George Plasterer.

  1. Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology.

What? We can blame the fundamentalists for Historical Criticism?

You have to read Craig Adams’ post. It is good stuff… but to quote,

“For what is today called historical-critical exegesis is, according to its goal, simply the endeavor to understand the biblical writings — the intention and content of their statements — out of themselves. The doctrine of the clarity of scripture necessarily led to the demand that each theological statement should be based on the historical-critical exposition of scripture.” –From Basic Questions in Theology (Volume 1).

I’m okay with that… you?