12 February 2013

Miracles and the Restoration of the Truly Natural

We tend to think of the miracles of the Gospels as interruptions in the natural order. In a fascinating passage that reminds me of Bavinck, German theologian Jurgen Moltmann argues that miracles are not an interruption of the natural order but the restoration of the natural order. We are so used to a fallen world that sickness, disease, pain and death seem natural. In fact, they are the interruption.
When Jesus expels demons and heals the sick, he is driving out of creation the powers of destruction, and is healing and restoring created beings who are hurt and sick. The lordship of God to which the healings witness, restores creation to health. Jesus' healings are not supernatural miracles in a natural world. They are the only truly 'natural' thing in a world that is unnatural, demonized and wounded. . . . Finally, with the resurrection of Christ, the new creation begins, pars pro toto, with the crucified one.
--Jurgen Moltmann, The Way of Jesus Christ (trans. M. Kohl; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993), 98-99 (pars pro toto is Latin for 'part for the whole')

1 comment:

aletheia said...

Beautiful, Dane. :-)