Celebrating Distinction

from Aug 10, 2016 Category: Ligonier Resources

In this excerpt from the teaching series Only Two Religions, Peter Jones explains why the biblical distinction of Creator and creation is under attack.

Transcript

In seventeen hundred years of existence, the Christian West has more or less honored the principal of “two-ness”—as how we live in God’s created world. From that, we get notions of human dignity, of human rights—where human beings are made in God’s image. This is an ennobling notion that Paganism has never discovered, never really affirmed. And this is what we bring to the world even now—this immense understanding of the dignity of the human being. The image of God includes dominion just as God is Lord of creation, so man is given dominion over the rest of creation and is thus distinguished from it.

Remember I talked about the destruction of the binary of species which of course destroys that very notion. Here the Bible affirms the massive distinction of humanity from the rest of creation. And two it affirms that the image of God is communion with difference. Communion—obviously the joining together—but of things that are different and are always different, namely male and female joined together in one flesh. And only that can produce or can obey the command of the Lord to multiply and fill the earth. So that understanding of who man is, is part of his calling as a creature on this earth.

Our present world has lost this notion of a predetermined created existence celebrating the idea of distinction. And so our world rejoices in the liberation of heterosexual normativity as if it is an impingement upon us and destroying who we are. Whereas, as a matter fact, it’s telling us exactly how we are glorious in the world God has created. And so in this world that is fighting this battle as to who we are as human beings—that’s the real struggle in our time—who are you, who are we? I’m proposing these two possible ways of thinking: either “one-ism” or “two-ism.” “One-ism” as you now know I hope, affirms that the world is self-creating and explains itself—everything is made of the same stuff.

I like to use the term “homo-cosmological”—everything is the same, it’s based on the same essence in things. How about “two-ism”? Well, the world is the work of an external Creator who caringly made it. But that Creator is distinct from the world He made. There are thus two kinds of existence: the Creator who is uncreated and everything else which is created. The Bible starts that way, doesn’t it? The programmatic statement in the Bible is: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” There was God and then everything else is creation—everything else. And everything else in the Bible you see is commentary on that first line of the Bible. Isn’t that amazing? You see, this is where we need to place our feet if we want to take a witness to this world, committed to destroying the very notion ourselves and God. It’s simple but profound.