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Jun 03, 2009

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Travis Greene

"The Great Commission (which we will come to shortly) is critical, but compared to the creation mandate it is penultimate and temporary. When the new creation is consummated, the Great Commission expires. If the Great Commission is our ultimate purpose, then when the new creation is consummated we cease to have reason for existence."

I agree, this is absolutely crucial. Otherwise you're left wondering, as I did growing up in evangelical churches, what the heck is the point of everything in the first place? If the plan was to have us end up in heaven, just hanging out with nothing to do (because, of course, everything is perfect and therefore nothing needs to be done), why didn't God just start with that? Why give us bodies at all, if our ultimate fate is "spiritual"?

But of course, the problem with the "traditional view", besides being philosophically unsatisfying, is that it isn't what the Bible teaches at all. Why else would the NT talk about us ruling with Christ? Even in the final vision in Revelation, there still seems to be plenty of work to do.

Re: sustainability, I think one of the best ways to pursue that is a return to more traditional farming practices. We need to read Wendell Berry, not the "life after humans" crazies.

Bob

This is a very readable book on Ethics compared to Bonheoffer’s Ethics, Moral Vision of the New Testament and Christ and Culture. I’m surprised no one has made any comments on Amazon.

I’m still not convinced that this book needed the first two parts. This third section could stand on its own very well. This was one of the best chapters in the whole book. The cultural mandate that has been presented in this book has freed me from many years of distorted liberal and conservative Christianity. I liked how John presented the Great Commission and Culture mandate in a way that makes sense. I can take pride in the fact I’m making a difference in the Kingdom by working a “secular” job.

Michael W. Kruse

Travis

I think this lack of understanding but the creation mandate also needlessly robs many Christians of the joy of knowing how fully they are participating in God's mission. That is a travesty.

I'm not an expert on agricultural production, but it seems that many developed nations have gone through a process of small-scale production to more industrial models, and now there is the ability to return back to some of the simpler methods because the markets and infrastructure have created a highly integrated network that allows for truly productive smaller scale farming.

Some emerging nations have too many people devoted to agriculture on plots that are too small. I suspect some degree of consolidation and introduction of more productive methods is needed. All that is to say that I think different places may need differ prescriptions right now, but our ultimate question has be how to feed the world without the bear subsistence farming or the excesses of destruction from industrial farming methods.

Bob

Thanks for your testimony. I had not realized that there were no customer reviews at Amazon. I'll have to fix that. If so inspired maybe you could add a blurb.

I agree the back half of the book could be its own volume and it is just packed with meaty stuff. One of the things I appreciate the most is how Stackhouse essentially demonstrates that there really are no secular jobs. What an incredible thing it is to one day discover the real significance of our daily work.

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