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Scheidell 1

Stephen Scheidell
Dr. Yamamoto
HIST 105
20 January 2009
Faith & History
When we begin to approach historical studies in context of the Creation-FallRedemption narrative, we find available a theological perspective that allows for the
understanding and appreciation of historical societies. This specific perspective permits
us to shy away from earlier Christian models that focused (too strongly) on an "us/them"
view of history, which differentiated between ecclesiastical or God's history and (the rest
of) human history. Our model becomes different from such models in that we see God's
hand in history and human activity as essentially one narrative.
From the GenesisI account, we find God, not just allowing, but even calling Adam
follow God in the creation process – Adam's work being the creation of culture. This idea
is first demonstrated by the pattern of the six days of Creation. God creates three
domainsII in the first three days then beingsIII to have dominion over their respective
domains, and then he created one being to have dominion over all domains. Adam's role
in this process becomes to subdue, guard and work within his domain. The work of
naming the animals constitutes part of this work of subduing nature. By naming the
animals, Adam "creates" an artificial environment around him – one substantiated, not by
anything natural, but by this human-created system of meanings.


Here I am treating Genesis as a theological work, so that the historicity or scientific accuracy of its
account are only secondary questions. One can adopt the theological ideas therein without holding to a
literal understanding of the text.
II Day 1, day and night; Day 2, sky and sea; Day 3, earth.
III Day 4, sun and moon; Day 5, birds and fish, Day 6, land animals.

with the varied (human) kings and (human) kingdoms comes the inevitable wars. The present writer has heard it said that the study of history is the study of the causes. Even the openly secular systems of Marx and other SocialistsIV begin with the assumption that political thought aims at this social peace. but it has lost right orientation. Since the Fall. But the Redemption of Christ offers hope – not only for the redeeming of souls. In other words. events and results of wars. The widespread consequences of the fall posed a formidable problem in the work of culture creating. for example. Though a crude interpretation of history. the resulting break in relationship with God also affected his relationship with himself. focused on maintaining the status quo. interpersonal relations and all of the IV I use this as examples. while recognizing that not every political thinker had social equality as his or her primary goal. others and nature. taken within our theological framework it provides the insight that such conflicts are a direct result of the Fall and can be understood as a pivotal part of our narrative. The break of relationship between humans and other humans may have had the most direct and observable impact on history. culture (as God intended) retains its original structural integrity. humankind lost its proper understanding of the God-given mandate of engaging culture. resulting in a culture that thrives on the personal thriving of each individual member. having lost proper order and orientation under God. but also in the orientation of human identity. However. By losing proper standing with God. . humans have riddled societies with problem after problem attempting to create a social utopia in which each individual treats the other as equal.Scheidell 2 Viewing Adam's role in creation as God-ordained leads us to an important understanding: God called us to engage positively with culture-creating. Machiavelli. each human endeavor of this sort fails this project.

human identity. Such an insight affects our treatment and evaluation of cultures in the following way. our orientation becomes one aimed toward joining in the Redemption of every affected arena. how can we continue viewing his sacrifice as a thorough Redemption? Simply put.Scheidell 3 physical world back to God. the view that Christ only came to save souls conflicts with the assertion that the Fall held effective in all of Creation. If the Fall affected all of these realms. at least. we are to redefine the eschatological human identity. we can see that even idolatrous worldviews can operate under. we are to re-assume our position as faithful stewards of the creation with which we are entrusted. V Per earlier example. Therefore. When the human-divine relation. lastly. political thought gains new impetus towards social peace. we cannot. as we said earlier. what can we conclude about Christ's power and Satan's? If Christ can only rescue one of four arenas where Satan has wreaked havoc. Work is to be done in understanding and achieving human relation to the divine. Marx aimed at social peace while rejecting a transcendent point of authority. interpersonal relations and treatment of nature become understood under the Creation-Fall-Redemption narrative. a disjointed fragment of God's vision of ShalomV for Creation. we first appeal to the positive value of their belief systems. and Christ only redeemed the human soul. to authentically live under Christ's Redemptive narrative. Before jumping into the deformation of idolatrous cultures. We attempt to find first what we can learn from them. .