Creation as intra-trinitarian gift: Postscript 1


I was rethinking through an old post of mine: Creation as intra-trinitarian gift. It begins:

Let’s conceive of creation as an intra-trinitarian gift. Take the rationale for incarnation out of the sphere of human salvation. Instead of finding a place for the incarnation within the larger act of creation, let’s turn it around and locate the rationale for creation within incarnation. In other words, creation occurs to make incarnation possible. Creation really is about God celebrating Godself. Creation is God’s gift to Godself. The cosmos is just the means by which God creatively expresses himself to himself for his own enjoyment. One might conclude that we humans are an afterthought, and in a qualified sense, yes, that’s exactly right…

I noticed no integration of Scripture in that post. That was an oversight, for at the time my thought was on 1Cor 15.22-28:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (emphasis mine)

What is the end or telos of creation? God’s being “all in all.” This is achieved through Christ surrendering the Kingdom to the Father. So the entire redemptive economy ends with an intra-trinitarian gift – i.e., Christ giving the Kingdom (all of redeemed creation) to the Father. Eschatology and protology are a single revelation; the end reveals the beginning. If Christ’s giving fulfilled creation (which includes giving his own humanity as Incarnate) is the end, then that is what it was intended for from its beginning. And so, creation is intra-trinitarian gift.

Have a nice day thinking about it: You are God’s gift to himself.

7 comments on “Creation as intra-trinitarian gift: Postscript 1

  1. It may be wise, in order to avoid pantheism and make an overall mess of things, to make a distinction between the act of giving and the object of donation.


    • Tom says:

      We’re not divine, true. The gift God gives to himself is a non-divine creation.


      • Right, which begs the question as to be meaning of the “intra” – at least it changes things, and likely not quite insignificantly. The act of donation is intra, but somehow what is donated is not. But how is that possible? At least in some (other) sense what is donated cannot be said to be intra.

        We have some “known unknowns” here. At least we know that.

        But how exactly this is so, that is above my pay-grade. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tom says:

        It’s closer to your pay-grade than mine.


  2. My intuition is to say that language of intra/extra is on some very profound level deeply transgressive of the truth it attempts to represent, wholly inadequate to the task we set out for it. Perhaps it needs to be abandoned, or if not, requires a heavy dose of qualification so as not to mislead.

    This ‘rains on your parade’, I do realize, but I don’t mean it that way. Only to complicate things a bit upon further reflection on this topic. That’s how I see it, but I may be wrong, which is likely.


    • Tom says:

      “This ‘rains on your parade’, I do realize.”

      Not my party – St. Paul’s. He’s imagining creation fulfilled finally in the Son’s giving it to the Father. I mean by my language what he means by his. 😛


  3. ah, now I get the “have a nice day thinking” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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