If I were to ask where the story of Christianity began chronologically, I’d guess that most would direct me towards Genesis 1:1. After all, where better to start than “In the beginning?” But the story of redemption does not begin with the heavens and earth. Our story begins in John 1:1. Our story begins “In the beginning” with the Word who is coexistent, coeternal and inseparable from God himself. Our story begins with a father, a son, and the love between. Our story begins with a plan of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration before even the first was ever manifested. God was relational and triune before creation. So if we are to know, love, and proclaim this glorious story, we must seek to better understand the triune nature of the author.
The Triune Redemption
As Advancement Creative was brainstorming and planning how we could best portray the truth, the goodness, and the beauty of God’s story, I was reflecting upon how often the triune nature of God is lost or minimized in some theology. When we decided to rotate through each of the four parts to this story throughout the year, I thought that this could provide an opportunity to reflect on the role that each person of the Trinity plays in each phase of this divine narrative. After all, three times four equals twelve, providing a perfect way to pace each of my reflections throughout the year. Although God did exist before his creation, “In the beginning” it still an excellent place to start. Thus, it seems prudent to begin with the first person of the Trinity and the first stage of our story.
The Father’s role in creation should be seen as similar to role he plays in redemption as a whole. Throughout redemption, generally from the Father comes power and a plan, which is then executed by the Son, and manifested by the Holy Spirit. In John 5:19, we see that it is the Father who plans and that the Son who follows. It is God the Father who is the author of creation, who planned out the entire cosmos as he did the Earth and then granted His Son the life, authority, and power to execute this divine plan (John 5:26-27).
Man’s Reflection of the Father
This ability to plan, create, and wield authority has also been given to mankind through the image of God. Just as the Father wields power and has dominion over all of creation, so mankind is blessed with the command to wield dominion over all that moves on the earth (Genesis 1:28). We can look to the Father’s example to see that this subdual of and dominion over the earth works on two levels: one of utility and one of aesthetics. We are purposed both with making the earth more productive and more beautiful just as our Father creates a universe and crafts a story that is not only functional, but also wonderful.
Even the Father’s method of creation manifests a perfect harmony of beauty and function. The first three days of creation are dedicated to separating and the last three to filling that which has been separated. Isn’t this a glimpse of the divine story that we see every day? We are separated from our comforts, our idols, and our false loves when they inevitably reveal themselves to be impermanent and unreal. We are even separated from God himself as we pursue such shadows. But it is through this state of separated, broken desperation that God fills our lives with true love and fulfilment. Even God’s separating and filling of the Earth was a foreshadowing of the redemption to come.
And It Was Very Good
Within the Cultural Mandate, mankind is given a portion of the Father’s authority, ability, and purpose to create. We are to create both abstract structures such as culture, and physical structures such as skyscrapers, all in an effort to have dominion and subdue the earth. By understanding the Father’s plan within creation, we see that true creation ought to be a marriage of beauty and function, of heaven and earth, just like the great marriage to come. It is this unity of creation that makes the Father’s plan “very good.”
Grady is a writer for A|C and a music composer. He has twice won competitions for Best Composition by Oklahoma Students. Grady will talk to you about Inception as long as you desire and he loves Hans Zimmer's music. All of it.