There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Models of Eschatology Part 5: Answering Questions about the New Creation Model (1)

Those who know me already realize that I spend a lot of time discussing and emphasizing the New Creation Model for understanding God’s purposes. Plus, I have already offered some blogs on this topic.

What I would like to do now is address some issues regarding the NCM so that you may better understand why this concept is important. I will do this in the form of Question and Answer:

Question 1: Where does the designation “New Creation Model” come from?

Answer: I found this title in Craig Blaising’s defense of Premillennialism in the book, Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (Zondervan, 1999). Here Blaising introduced and contrasted two models of eschatology that have been held in church history—the Spiritual Vision Model and the New Creation Model. Russell Moore uses these designations in his book, The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective (Crossway, 2004, pp. 49-52).

These models are simply two broad approaches that Christians have had when it comes to understanding God’s purposes. Even within these two models there can be variations.

Question 2: What is a simple explanation of the New Creation Model?

Answer: In a previous blog I offer how Blaising defines it and I agree with his explanation of this concept. Here is what I believe are the main elements of the New Creation Model:

1.       God created both the immaterial realm and the physical realm as “very good” (Gen 1:31; Col 1:15-20).
2.       The Fall of Man in Genesis 3 marred God’s creation but this does not mean that physical things in themselves are now evil or need to annihilated.
3.       God’s covenants promises foretell of both spiritual and physical blessings with spiritual salvation being the basis for experiencing spiritual blessings and physical blessings (see Deut 30:1-10; Gen 12; 13; 15; Jer 31–33; 2 Sam 7).
4.       God plans to restore all things (Acts 3:21; Col 1:20) which includes every aspect of our environment, both spiritual and physical. This includes glorification for believers in real resurrected bodies and the planet itself (Rom 8:18-25). God will restore every aspect of existence including the spiritual, social, political, economic, and agricultural realms. Also, in the midst of spiritual harmony among all believers, nations and ethnic diversity will exist (Rev 21:24, 26).
5.       The final form of this restoration will take place in the Eternal State (Rev 21–22).

Question 3: What the New Creation Model Is Not?

Answer:  The New Creation Model is NOT:
1.       An elevation of physical and national matters over spiritual matters. This is a ‘both/and’ not an ‘either/or situation.’
2.       A claim that the Eternal State has no differences from the present form of the heavens and earth.
3.       An assertion that there will not be singing or worship in the Eternal State or that direct worship and praise to God are not essential. What I am claiming is that our existence will be multi-dimensional and that we will be serving and glorifying God in many ways. Singing is one of these ways but not the only way.

I’ll be addressing more questions regarding the New Creation Model in upcoming blogs.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Dr. Vlach. This is a helpful clarification, and I look forward to more.

    God will restore every aspect of existence including the spiritual, social, political, economic, and agricultural realms.

    Could you give an example of each of these? What will it mean for God to restore the "social realm"?

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mike, It would take too long here to give an example for each with Scripture references but I think you find these areas collectively in passagaes like Isa 2:2-4; Isa 11; Isa 65:17-25; Psalm 72; and Rev 21:24--22:3, etc. I probably should have added the animal kingdom to the original list sinced this area will be restored as well.

    By "social" I mean personal and community relationships. Rev 22:3 indicates that the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations--this indicates social, racial, national harmony.

    ReplyDelete