06 June 2012

The world according to God

In his chapter on "The World" in 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know, JI Packer considers the different ways we might regard the world - physical, geographical, racial, anthropological, sociological, cultural...and even personal (think "welcome to my world.")  And then there is the biblical view. 

The biblical idea of the world covers approximately the same area of meaning as our secular notions does.  It likewise denotes this earth with its cosmic environment, and men upon it, or sometimes mankind alone.  There are words both in Hebrew and Greek translated "world" in the English Bible, which mean simply "the habitable (or inhabited) earth."  Yet the standpoint from which the Bible speaks of "the world" is quite different from ours.  For in the Bible "world" is a theological word - a word, that is , which is defined in terms of God.  "The world" is always, and emphatically God's world - the order of things which He made, which He owns, and which He rules, despite all His creatures' efforts to cast off His sway.  The reference-point of the biblical idea of the word therefore, is not man, but God.  What we have to do now is to learn to think of the world God-centredly, as the Bible presents it - not always as it appears to human inspection, but as God sees it, and thinks of it.  For the thoughts of God about it are the measure of what it really is.

From 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know  by JI Packer chapter four, page 55-56.

A helpful reminder that the world doesn't revolve around us.

No comments: