Creation and New Creation: Understanding God's Creation Project
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Creation and New Creation: Understanding God's Creation Project

Hendrickson Publishers / 2017 / Paperback

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In keeping with the scriptural witness and the theological heritage, Creation and New Creation examines the doctrine of creation alongside new creation. The connection between the two - creation and new creation - has drawn renewed attention in the last several decades; but the burden of Sean McDonough's argument is that this emphasis on creation and new creation has been a feature of the doctrine since the beginning, whether in the eschatological reading of Genesis 1 that predominated at least until early modern times, or the intertwining of the narratives of creation and redemption in thinkers from early church father Irenaeus to modern theologian Karl Barth. While covering the traditional elements of the doctrine, McDonough treats this important subject with a special emphasis on how these unfold in the story of what Colin Gunton has called God's "creation project."

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.0 X 6.0 (inches)
ISBN: 1683070267
ISBN-13: 9781683070269

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    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 22 Reviews

Publisher's Description

In keeping with the scriptural witness and the theological heritage, this remarkable book examines the doctrine of creation alongside new creation. The connection between the two--creation and new creation--has drawn renewed attention in the last several decades; but the burden of Sean McDonough's argument is that this emphasis on creation and new creation has been a feature of the doctrine since the beginning, whether in the eschatological reading of Genesis 1 that predominated at least until early modern times, or the intertwining of the narratives of creation and redemption in thinkers from early church father Irenaeus to modern theologian Karl Barth. While covering the traditional elements of the doctrine, McDonough treats this important subject with a special emphasis on how these unfold in the story of what Colin Gunton has called God's "creation project."

Author Bio

Sean M. McDonough is professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor of arts from Harvard College, a master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell, and a PhD from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Editorial Reviews

"Sean McDonough blends profound biblical exposition with rich theological and philosophical reflection. This wide-ranging study not only addresses both classical concerns and contemporary questions, but stimulates worship and faithful participation in God's creation project."

--Michael O'Neil, director of postgraduate research, Vose Seminary, Western Australia

"Surely, one of the most important theological issues of the day is creation, and scholars have rightly focused in particular on the connection between creation and new creation. Few scholars bring more to the topic than New Testament theologian Sean McDonough. His book explores the Christian doctrine of creation by drawing upon a broad array of theologians, Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic--from Irenaeus to Barth. The result is a book of astonishing breadth and impressive learning."

--Richard Clifford, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

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  1. Bob on Books
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Listening to A Conversation about Creation and New Creation Throughout History
    January 7, 2018
    Bob on Books
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Summary: A work on the doctrine of creation with particular attention to the connection between the creation and the new creation in Christ, but also focusing on other aspects of creation including issues of time, space, Platonic ideas and their influence on the doctrine, in each case tracing relevant scripture, and the theological contributions of theologians from the fathers to the present day.

    "Creation" over the past couple centuries has been treated more as a point of contention than as one of the significant doctrines of the church, explored for what it may reveal about God and God's relation to his world, and humanity, our relationship to the rest of creation and why it, and we, exist. Yet, in recent years, theologians have been writing more and more about the connections between creation and the new creation in Christ.

    Sean McDonough contends that this is, in fact, not a new development. He writes:

    "The burden of the present volume is that this emphasis on creation and the new creation has been a feature of the doctrine since the beginning, whether it be in the eschatological reading of Genesis 1 that predominated at least until modern times, or the intertwining of the narratives of creation and redemption in thinkers from Irenaeus to Barth" (p. vii).

    As promised, this volume, first a part of the Christian Doctrine in Historical Perspective series, and now published on its own, elaborates the connection between creation and the new creation in its first chapter, beginning with the New Testament connections back to creation from John 1 throughout the epistles and Revelation. McDonough then introduces us to the theologians from the fathers to the present who made this connection, and explores how the end will be like, and unlike, the beginning.

    Building on this base, and having established the methodology of this volume, McDonough proceeds in subsequent chapters to explore often neglected matters such as who the God is who creates, why the creation, matters of time and space, Platonic ideas and how they relate to both process and structure of creation, the place of humanity in that creation, and finally beauty and the creation. McDonough reflects both upon biblical testimony and the wrestlings of theologians to articulate these aspects of the doctrine of creation.

    We join these theologians in wrestling with some of the big questions of the ages. How do we understand the work of each person of the Trinity in creation in a way consonant with our Trinitarian theology? What does it mean that God created the world in freedom and did God create for redemption or did God redeem for his creation? How do we understand the when of creation with a God who is eternal and outside time. Similarly, where are we as creatures inhabiting space in relation to an infinite God who transcends that space? And where did the stuff of creation come from?

    Platonism has had a big influence on the life of the church (for which I thought McDonough made a convincing case) and this is certainly the case as we discuss how ideas in the mind of God and the structure of creation correspond. Also, rather than creation being a once and for all event, we find revealed a process of continuous creation, "de-creation" and new creation in Christ. How does this process unfold in the material fabric of the universe? What is the role of human beings in all this, beginning with Adam (and what are we to think about a historic Adam)? What is our destiny as creatures in the image of God redeemed in Christ? Just how far are we warranted to take talk of "deification"? Finally, what does God the creator have to do with beauty? What does beauty have to do with the presence of ugliness in the world, and what can we learn from Christ's redemptive work?

    Part of the delight of this work is seeing contemporary theologians like C. S. Lewis, Karl Barth, and Colin Gunton in conversation with Athanasius and Irenaeus, Origin and Augustine, and down through the ages with Aquinas, Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. We often wrestle with holding truths of Christ's true humanity and full divinity in tension, or God's sovereignty and free will. What this volume helped me see is how such things are rooted in creation, where the eternal God creates in time, where the God who is spirit speaks matter into existence, where God creates humans in God's image, imparting a freedom that goes with that image while remaining sovereign creator. I realized afresh that as one human with a very puny brain, I am in the presence of things too wonderful for me, and yet to wrestle with such things, to listen to the conversation of others, is to think great thoughts of God, to stand in wonder afresh of God's creative work, and to marvel that such a God would set his love and include in his purposes the likes of me! That is the value of reading good works of theology. That is what I found here.

    ____________________________

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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