Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview

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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This is a must read for all believers, a primer regarding worldview and Gospel. Study it with a group of people serious about radical, loving Gospel infiltration of the world, starting at home. Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview" is not your typical worldview book. It comes at this issue from a particularly Reformational angle.

What does that mean? He grounds his thesis in the way of looking at the world rediscovered during the Protestant Reformation: When we consider life everything is considered from this biblical viewpoint. What Wolters presets is a great introduction to three points that can radically change the way we think and live. If you are looking for a worldview book that is heavy on applicable, biblical content rather than a rant about how the world is going to hell in a hand-basket this it the book for you.

One person found this helpful. Be ready to think. This is a must have book for your library! Al Wolters lays out the foundation of the Dutch Reformed school of theology. While many evangelicals grasp the mantra "evangelize the lost," they make this case only for souls. Wolters explains that "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now" Romans 8: This book is a clear and concise explanation that is organized in a progressive way.

It's as though after every chapter I had a question and in the subsequent chapter he answered it. This book not only lays out the theoretical, but helps the Christian draw practical applications for redeeming his world.

Wolters very succinctly lays out an overview sketch of world history: Creation - Fall - Redemption. His perceptions about the Big Story - the biblical meta-narrative - are hopeful and thoughtful. I have found myself referring to his view of history over and over since reading this. I absolutely recommend this as a useful way to help categorize and understand the world as we find it.

And, there is a profound hope that the suffering that we experience is not without meaning that is yet to be resolved. This book is entirely about a biblical worldview and outlook on the world. It follows the structure of Creation, Fall and Redemption to tell construct a biblical understanding of the world as we find it. This book majors on all of creation being God's kingdom, not just church stuff.

Selling cars is as holy as being a pastor. Why I Read It: I read this book because my friend Luke mentioned it to me a couple months ago. The context was we were talking about all of life being under God's rule and regien and how work was holy and he said this book talked a lot about that. I wanted to know more so I read this book. This book is slightly academic, it was originally written as an intro to a philosophy course. As a philosophy major myself I still had to slow down a little bit to read through it carefully.

At just over a hundred pages this book isn't long, but like I said it takes a bit more time to sift through than your average book. That said, you don't have be a PhD to read it. I would recommend this book if you want to know more about how the Kingdom of God rules over all Creation. I would also recommend this book if you have questions about how we should engage culture. Honestly if I had my way I'd probably make this required reading for every Christian in America The problem is you people, you guys just need to read more.

Wolters handles all issues with grace and candor. If you are a teacher of the Bible I would say you should read this book to be sure help give your flock a better understanding of how to engage culture and how to treat their day jobs as service to Yaweh. This book was ordered for a class. I probably would have never ordered it on my own. I did, however, learn to like it and actually feel like I learned a lot, so for that I am thankful!


See all 48 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 6 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on July 12, Published on March 14, Published on December 14, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. Set up a giveaway. At the root all creation and the norms that govern it is good.

Yet there is a major problem: The effects of the fall are comprehensive: Wolters concludes from this that worldliness cannot be restricted to a secular realm of life. It is a danger in every aspect of life. He introduces the categories of structure and direction to deal with this tension. Structure refers to the essence of a thing, and it is rooted in creational laws. Direction refers to the degree to which a creational entity and given Wolters' broad view of creation this can refer both to the natural order and to human institutions is perverted by the fall or is being brought back to conformity to creational law.

The solution to the problem of fall is redemption. Wolters argues that "redemption means restoration" Furthermore, the scope of the restoration is as wide as the scope of the fall. The man, Jesus, plays the key role in restoring creation. The establishment of his kingdom is the evidence that redemption or restoration has begun. And yet the kingdom is not yet consummated. In this already-not yet time, Christians are to attempt to live redemptively in every area of life, that is, they are to live consistent with the restoration that Christ is accomplishing in them and that he will one day fully accomplish in the world.

No utopia is possible before the return of Christ. Instead the Christian seizes on what is good in a particular order and strengthens it; he seeks to bend fallen aspects of life back toward the correct creational norms. The second edition of Creation Regained includes a postscript coauthored by Wolters and Michael Goheen.

They are concerned to locate this talk of worldview in the Bible's storyline.

Because the Christian lives in the era in which the kingdom has been inaugurated but not yet consummated, this is a time of witness. It is not a time in which Christians will finally triumph. In fact, the already-not yet means that Christians presently undergo suffering and conflict because the antithesis between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world is sharpened in this period. This means that the Christian must struggle with the tension of applying the gospel to his specific culture while not allowing his culture to compromise the gospel. The difficulties in living out a Christian worldview are beyond the abilities of Christians, but the Spirit of God is given to empower obedience and faithfulness.

Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview

In sum, Wolters argues that creation extends to all that God creates and maintains it includes the natural order and structures humans develop in obedience to the creation mandate , fall affects every aspect of creation, and redemption extends as far as the fall to restore creation. This is not a triumphalist gospel in the present, for in the time between the ages there is sharp conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world as God's people seek to live redemptively in this fallen world.

He supports this view by highlighting Scripture passages in which these seemingly diverse concepts are brought together 2 Peter 3: On the theological side, the payoff is that this approach to creational law strengthens the canonical links between the Pentateuch and wisdom books by showing that the law and the wisdom books especially Proverbs demonstrate the concrete application of creational norms to specific cultural situations.

The other benefit of this approach is that it forces Christians to realize that various aspects of fallen culture struggle against creational law. Thus awareness of creational law can put Christians on-guard against uncritically accepting fallen aspects of culture; it alerts Christians to the need of applying Scripture with Spirit-guided wisdom to every aspect of life. If all of creation is good, and if the fall has affected all of creation, how does the Christian discern what is good and what is bad. Or, if a missionary must contextualize his ministry in a new culture, how does he discern what is legitimate and what is compromise?

Wolters' discussion of structure and direction does not answer these questions, but it provides categories that make answering these questions possible. The Christian must therefore wisely discern what is structural, what is directional, and how to live in the right direction. Salvation as restoration is a key point of disagreement between Wolters and two-kingdoms theorists such as David VanDrunen.

Wolters is in the right on this issue. Whereas, VanDrunen sees the resurrection body as the only point of contact between this world and the new earth 66 , Romans 8: Those who agree with Wolters that all of creation needs to be redeemed may be tempted to overthrow the present order and seek to establish the ideal. Wolters notes that Christians do not have authorization to effect a revolution. Thus, the Christian should do his best to strengthen what is good and undermine evil when he has opportunity.

Thus Wolters combines modesty in effecting cultural change with the encouragement for Christians to attempt to improve culture as they are able in their situation. Though Wolters advocates a role for Christians in the restoration of the world, he does not do so in a triumphalist manner or in one in which humans are at the center of bringing about the promised redemption.

Instead, in this age, the Christian who presses for redemption can expect persecution and suffering. With this emphasis Wolters taps into a major biblical theme: Christians as sojourners in this present evil age. It is a strength that Wolters is able to maintain this emphasis alongside his emphasis of Christian attempts to live redemptively in the culture. He has presented convincing biblical evidence in terms of marriage and farming and the latter example lends itself to extension in other areas. There also seems to be historical evidence to support his hypothesis.

For instance, communism seems to fail because it violates certain creational norms. The same could be said of certain educational theories or business practices. And yet what does it mean to call agriculture, economics, or science "creation"? Is it the norms that are creational? Some additional clarity on this point is needful. This goes beyond the biblical evidence and seems unnecessary even in a redemption-as-restoration paradigm. Clarification on the extent of creation will help in this matter. Wolters is willing to speak of Christians advancing the kingdom in such areas as "advertising, labor-management relations, education, and international affairs" A Christian who is in a labor union or on a management team must not dichotomize his work from his submission to Christ as Lord, but is working in such a way that the direction of these activities is bent towards their creational norms really advancing the kingdom?

In some cases, perhaps. Part of his sanctification that is, part of his redemption is to conduct himself as befits a citizen of Christ's kingdom in all of these areas. But while he may have a sanctifying effect on his lost co-workers in these matters along the lines of 1 Cor. It would be better to say that he is acting in ways that anticipate the consummation of the kingdom or in ways that are consistent with redemption.

Wolters work would be strengthened by discussion about the role of the church. His book is most helpful for enabling Christians to live Christianly in their vocations six days a week. Yet that is not where the stress of the New Testament lies; its stress lies on the church. It is not wrong to focus elsewhere; indeed theologians have often found it necessary to emphasize things the Bible does not either to defend parts of Christianity that are under attack or to apply Scripture to situations not directly addressed by Scripture.

Conclusion In sum, Creation Regained is full of concepts that will enrich many aspects of Bible study: Wolters' primary weakness is the speculative nature of some of his ideas. The insights he has, however, far outweigh the weaknesses. This is the kind of book that repays repeated, careful, and thoughtful reading. Feb 14, Seph rated it it was amazing. Two themes that stuck with me: First, this book gives the proper questions for interpreting culture. Second, Wolters explains God's redemption cosmically.

Mar 09, Kevin McClain rated it it was amazing. This book changed my life; God used it to speak the Gospel to me afresh. Mar 06, Simon rated it liked it Shelves: Not especially compelling, although some helpful points. Read for teaching purposes. Mar 24, Philip rated it really liked it. Through the lens of the Gospel, Wolters examines the concept of a worldview. In the first chapter, Wolters previews the topic and discusses the concept and implications of a worldview.

The writer answers these and many other questions in the first chapter: What is a worldview? Why is a worldview important? Who has a worldview? Having established these foundational concepts, the following three chapters serve as a guide for a Christian worldview. Wolters uses these chapters as the basis of Through the lens of the Gospel, Wolters examines the concept of a worldview.

Wolters uses these chapters as the basis of a biblical worldview viz.

Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview - Logos Bible Software

In all of these areas, the writer guides the reader to the understanding that the cosmic significance of the Gospel has much to do with the moral and ethical choices of the believer. Throughout these three chapters as well as the conclusion, the reader is driven away from poor paradigms secular vs. In essence, when doing studies in ethics, Wolters would have Christians ask these questions: What was God's creative ideal law in this area?

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In what way has the depravity of fallen man marred this ideal? In what ways can we see the creative ideal restored through the Gospel? These questions will directly affect the life of a believer if their answers are translated into practice. Wolters' conclusion is extremely practical. The summary chapter was very helpful in its added dimensions and explanations.

Overall, the work was an enjoyable and enlightening read. Several flaws may exist in the argument and in the work as a whole. Some of these may be more significant depending on ones' denominational and theological background. First, Wolters stands committedly in the Reformed tradition. One who is outside those bounds may find some disconnect with the views of the writer.

For example, Wolters takes a somewhat unfair shot at Dispensationalism 79 by stating that they only hold to the kingdom as millennial. Also, some of the concepts such as a "cultural mandate" and "redeeming culture" are predicated on an understanding of Niebuhr's "Christ and Culture," and his concept of "Christ redeeming culture. That being said, dispensationalists will not disagree in whole with the premise of the work.

Even the concept of the Church battling towards victory albeit, not accomplished until after the millennium in the realm of ethics is supported by most dispensationalists who are more than willing to combat the pessimistic possibilities of their theology. These concerns are only significant to a select few, so they are of little significance.

The book itself is extremely significant. While only an introduction to redemptive worldviews, the work turns the eyes of the reader to the Gospel in order to find the deepest of ethical implications. Jun 20, Stephen rated it it was amazing. In the tradition of Kuyper, Vollenhoven, and Dooyeweerd, Albert Wolters seeks to describe the framework for a Christian "reformational" approach to the redemption and restoration of the all areas of human life through the power of the Gospel in Jesus Christ. There are two fundamental principles of this often-called "neo-calvinist" position. The first is the rejection of a nature-grace dualism.

The natural, created world pre-lapsarian has its own integrity. It is inherently good, not good due t In the tradition of Kuyper, Vollenhoven, and Dooyeweerd, Albert Wolters seeks to describe the framework for a Christian "reformational" approach to the redemption and restoration of the all areas of human life through the power of the Gospel in Jesus Christ. It is inherently good, not good due to an added supernatural category, i.

In others words, nothing "non-creational" is necessary to make creation good. The fall corrupted nature, and grace is the restoration of nature. The fall was not a removal of grace from nature and thereby making it corrupt , but the event necessitated grace for nature's restoration. The fall resulted not from a loss of grace; it resulted in the necessity of grace. Grace is necessary for the correct "direction" or conformity to these norms.

But it must be stressed that the goodness of pre-lapsarian creation was not due to the presence of a supernatural grace, but due to a simple declaration by God that it was good. The implication is that any work in an area of human life, such as the work of an artist, is potentially kingdom work. It is not just the salvation of souls, or the works of ministers, or the contemplation of the divine by monks in a monastery.

All work is equally good when creation is being redeemed. The second fundamental principles is that Christians presently have a mandate to restore all of creation. Wolters never says that the work of Christians will bring the New Jerusalem down from heaven. But he does insist that the work of re-creation or restoration of all aspects of human life, though hindered by sin, is presently a Christian responsibility. Being united to Christ, the Second Adam, and being his ministers on earth, we are to assume our redeemed position in the second Adam and seek to fulfill the work of Adam.

In other words, we are to seek to form civilization. Every Christian must deal with the fact that being a Christian means being united to the Second Adam; and that Adam, being a creature and the God-mandated lord of creation, was part of the created order, the created norms and laws of God. Obeying these laws and norms would produce civilization. This is a question we must all answer. Aug 02, Sarah rated it liked it. Not for the faint of heart. An outstanding book that takes a fresh approach to the idea of a Biblical world view - a term that has some problems with it. Wolters more theologically oriented approach is much more helpful in laying out a framework for Christians to engage in redemptive restoration.

His use of Structure and Direction are very thought provoking as a means of understanding that the earth is the Lords yet sin has spoiled what God declared good. An essential read for anyone involved in Christian schooling but pro An outstanding book that takes a fresh approach to the idea of a Biblical world view - a term that has some problems with it. An essential read for anyone involved in Christian schooling but probably difficult in style for some. I loved it and found it very helpful. Sep 06, Rachel rated it it was amazing. Though written in a rather scholarly tone, this book is a gem.

There were a few views espoused that I would disagree with, but overall, I did a good bit of underlining and "amen"ing in the margins. Reading it was hard work, but it was worth it in the end. Books like that always have such interesting and unique insights. I wish these types of books could be written in a less dry way so as to be more accessible to laypeople. Mar 08, Brad rated it it was amazing. Jun 09, Martin rated it liked it Shelves: It is belief that plays a decisive factor in all of our lives. Both the purpose and the subject are linked clearly to the sub-title of the book.

However, the main title of the book is a mystery to the reader: His conclusion is succinctly contained in a few pages in a final chapter. God created the world good and He imposes his law on the cosmos through the laws of nature and through norms shaped by involving human responsibility. In both these cases it is God the Creator who has posited the world order, and both are seen as universal laws for all of creation. Creation is further not understood as one act, but is opened up through the historical process. The inclusion of human responsibility and culture in the opening up of creation raises the question how sin affects creation.

Wolters cites several examples to illustrate that all of creation is affected by sin, but that creation itself remains distinct from sin. To explain this position Wolters expouds on the concepts of structure and direction: Every area of the created order seeks redemption. It is through salvation that the original good creation is restored. Wolters ends the chapter with a discussion of this kingdom view against all other views that tends to narrow its cosmic scope. An attitude of renewal and sanctification of all of creation on both societal and personal levels is needed.

Wolters uses thoughtful examples of building on the good in societal order as opposed to revolution, as well as in human emotions such as aggression, in spiritual gifts, in sexuality and in dancing. The book provides a very brief treatment of the content of a biblical worldview to all aspects of our lives. Wolters concludes that the book does not provide answers, but its main contribution lies in the framing of our questions. In the preface Wolters recommends that the book is read as a companion volume to other more extensive treatments of the material. When one reads the book with the postscript in mind, the book comes closer to its own stated goal.

The relevance of a biblical worldview to be obedient to Scripture may at best be in a mediating role. Wolters seems to acknowledge this point by stating that the whole narrative of Scripture is richer than the systematic presentation of creation, fall and redemption. Indeed, being obedient to God by having faith in Jesus Christ is where the real significance for our lives is.

I am impressed by the cosmic scope of creation, fall and redemption communicated in this little book. Wolters is clear on key aspects in Scripture: God created the world, human responsibility has been important right from the cultural mandate onwards, the fall in sin affected not only humanity but the whole of creation, and redemption has a similar cosmic scope. Scripture has a practical relevance for all of our lives: God can be trusted that he will not let go the works of his hands.

I am cautious on our own ability to know, while still in a fallen world not yet fully recreated into Christ. Economic structures, for example, are created through human choices in different times, places and cultures. The pertinent question is how any economic structure conforms as well as possible to the new moral order of Christ.

The locus of social ethics in any structure is conformity to Christ, the Lord of all, and not so much a desire to understand creational norms or a defense on the boundaries of the various sovereign spheres. The anxiety to find the right structure dissipates and all energy and faith can now be directed towards Christ who gives life. In sum, Wolters produced a little book with a powerful cosmic scope that can be read fruitfully as an introductory text to a biblical worldview.

The postscript to the second edition of the book addresses several of its earlier weaknesses. Jan 19, Ryan rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wolters begins with explaining what a worldview is and why it is important. For Christians, he explains, worldview is defined by Scripture and the instructions it gives. Importantly, he argues that our worldview encompasses all aspects of our life, not just our theological principles or worship practices.

This means that in the Reformational worldview regards redemption through Christ as the restoration of the original creation. So the whole point of salvation is to salvage a sin-disrupted creation. This pertains not only to personal decisions, etc.