Jesus Creed: Creation Groans; But Why? (RJS)
RJS is a Chemistry professor who is a a regular blogger at Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog. It is a fascinating take on the Romans 8 passage where Paul talks about all creation groaning. She writes:
... Most of the commentaries on Romans 8 I’ve looked at trace the reference back to Genesis 3. This includes John Stott, F.F. Bruce, and N.T. Wright, scholars for whom I have a great deal of respect. So I put forth my thoughts with a bit of caution, but it seems unlikely to me that Paul’s thought was fixed on Genesis 3 as the source of his reflection on creation in Romans 8. Rather, it seems more likely that his primary source was the prophets and the whole of Israel’s story. Images of the earth groaning because of the sins of Israel are common in the prophets. ...
... In the imagery of the prophets there is a curse on the earth. But this curse is not the result of Adam. It also is not a change in the physical nature of the world. It does not reflect some cosmic change in the laws of physics worked by God in response to sin. In a figurative and physical sense, the earth groans result of the covenant unfaithfulness of Israel. Romans 8 turns this dark image around to an eager expectation of the renewal that comes through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to Scripture, and thereby through the renewed children of God, transformed by the working of the grace of God.
I don’t put any of this forward as a final answer – but think it is a topic worth some thought and discussion.
This is part of larger discussion that sees Genesis 1 talking about God ordering creation and Genesis 2 as talking about the formation of Israel. I'm curious to know what the theological brain trust of Kronicle readers think. What do you think?