Apocalyptic Cosmic Change

This last year I was introduced to the Apocalyptic Cosmic Rereading of the Scriptures.  I’ve been reading through various authors and listening to as many lectures that I can find.  I’m really new to this, but I wanted to start posting some things that are challenging my thinking.  So walk with me as I think through this, and contemplate it’s implications.  By Apocalyptic I mean “Revelation” Paul uses this term in Galatians “So  when  it  pleased  him apocalyptically  to  reveal  his  Son  to  me,  in  order  that  I  might  preach  him among the Gentiles” (translation Louis Martyn), and by Cosmic I mean all of humanity.  At least that is how I have understood the terms to be used.  Any trained Apocalyptic Theologians please feel free to correct, or expand on anything I’m writing.

Martinus C. de Boer in his chapter from the book Apocalyptic Paul makes some very interesting conclusions regarding what Christ actually accomplished.

“One of these implications is to see the world as it really is now that Christ has appeared on the human scene, and another is to redefine the status and the role of the Law in the light of this event.”

de Boer points out something that I would think should be obvious to Christians, but yet the more I talk to Christians the less this seems to be true. It’s rather odd to me that many Christians never stop to think of what the actual implications of the appearance of Christ are on the human scene. For sure there are countless theology books from the works of Christ to understanding his humanity, but Apocalyptic Theology introduces some rather interesting ways of understanding the scriptures.  I’m sure there is some overlap with other theological conclusions, but atlas I’m not the sort of expert.

The Apocalyptic Rereading deals with the cosmic implication, that seems to be directed at making right Adam’s (our human representative) introduction of Death through Sin to all of humanity. But how? Are Christ implications only of value if someone happens to notice (Douglas Campbell)? I think this is a big problem, where our faith has become the center piece, the game changer, the solution to humanity. So without faith nothing really changed in our world, as if Christ never lived or caused cosmic changes, and Adam’s downfall remains as our cosmic reality and we continue to be ruled and enslaved to Flesh, Sin and Death. If that is the case, then it seem to be indicating that Adam is greater than Christ (although no one would ever say that, but yet that’s what we are left with).

So here is what has me thinking.  One does not need faith to accept the cosmic implications of what Adam caused, because it’s a reality that has occurred. Even if no one believes or has faith it doesn’t change its cosmic implications. That is rather profound for me.  It’s profound in the sense of the point I wish to make that I have already alluded to.

I’ve asked this question numerous times “If Adam was powerful enough to take down humanity, then isn’t Christ more powerful than Adam and capable of redeeming it (all of it just like Adam took it all down)? That is in fact what Paul seems to be indicating in the letter to the Corinthians.

“Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came through one too. In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ.” (1 Cor 15:21-22) CEB (bold emphasis are mine)

I would think that everyone means everyone, and not some, or just the elect, or only those that believe, have faith and confess. And this is my point, like with Adam, our faith or lack thereof doesn’t change what the cosmic implications of Christ appearance are on humanity. That is huge! If that is correct it is the real game changer, Christ is now the new Adam, the new representative of humanity that has conquered and defeated the old Cosmos.

I know, I’ve heard the labels thrown around already “Universalist”.  The extreme fundamental camp has thrown charges at me already “so you are saying I can sin without any remorse or concern because we are all going to heaven?”.  Well no, that’s not at all what I’m saying, but a response to that will have to wait. Well I will say this, God’s grace is not giving to us to abuse it, but rather to be reconciled to God.

de Boer goes on to say:

“Just as Adam stands at the head of the old world or age for all, so Christ stands at the head of the new world or age for all. This cosmic frame of reference is one of the distinguishing marks of an apocalyptic perspective, as is the implicit notion of two world ages”
SO…
“If all died because of Adam, all will be made alive because of Christ. Verse 22 makes explicit the universal implications of verse 21—for both Adam and Christ.”

I’ll leave you with that to think about…for now I’ll continue to be a hopeful universalist.

Yes I still have a lot of questions. For example, what is the purpose of faith?  At some later point I will address that, but not sure when since I’m still doing a great deal of reading.

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5 thoughts on “Apocalyptic Cosmic Change

  1. This is so good Rob. I love the humility balanced with authoritative reasoning. I would love to meet you one day. For now I’ll keep reading.

  2. Are we talking about a metaphorical Adam here? I have had other scholars like Dr. Pete Enns emphasise that Paul’s main point was on CHRIST. Even if Adam never existed (which is my position) the EXPERIENCE of CHRIST is for all humanity.

  3. Muzi, I’ve read some your paper “My Problem with the Bible” I’ll finish it later today. I’m on a very similar journey. I would encourage you to further explore Apocalyptic Theology, I think you will find it very satisfying. They in my opinion get Paul right and you will find much to agree with. I would recommend reading Douglas Campbell book “The Deliverance of God” you will find his conclusions very interesting. Another great recommendation would be Louis Martyn’s Commentary on Galatians.

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