Theological Vision 1: Creation and New Creation (Genesis 1.27; Revelation 21)
New Creation serves as a central motif drawing together a host of our issues at hand. For the previous few centuries our Christian imaginations have slumbered, intoxicated by an anemic vision. We have come to accept that our world is heading for destruction, that our cultures matter little, and that our end is in some ethereal spirit home called heaven. This could not be further from the revelation. We see in the book of Revelation and in the teachings of Jesus and Paul that our world is being remade, with the seed of the new creation starting to grow now. Our cultures will not be annihilated. They will be made whole. The vision is one of restoration, transformation, and reinstallation of the first creation, where as Isaiah puts it, “the lion will lie down with the lamb.”
Theological Vision 2: New Humanity (Ephesians Moment; James 3.9, Revelation 7.9)
What unites us together, as Christians, as humans? Anthropologists use categories like “culture” to describe the threads which define essential humanity. This is good. But the revelation gives us categories like “new humanity,” in which we can find a common sense of personhood while still making room for our unique expressions and responses to God’s work in our lives.
Theological Vision 3: Good Samaritan, Genesis 50
The Good Samaritan serves as far greater than a moral example. It is a vision of what can spring forth from an equipped and full heart. It is Christ’s compassionate heart, which ultimately reflects the heart of Israel’s God who “transformed what was meant for evil into the salvation for many.”
Theological Vision 4: Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25; Isaiah 1.17; Luke 4)
In a theological vision, “Community Service” and “My Good Deed for the Day” get transformed from moralistic codes into a lifestyle that binds up the broken hearted, unwittingly visits with God himself, and wisely rebukes oppressors.
Theological Vision 5: Hospitality and Equity (Leviticus 19.34; 1 Peter 2.11-12; 2 Corinthians 8.13)
Equity replaces Equality when we recognize that every person has their own unique sets of skills and needs. We long not to make others feel taken advantage of but that others might have what they need. Justice gets redefined from retribution to the situation where each person can fulfill their unique life calling for the sake of the community.