Back to Supra/infra

Back to Supra/infra September 17, 2003

Back to supra/infra: On reflection, I think the main issue in my rethinking of this has been my hostility to any nature-grace scheme, which seems to be encouraged by the infra position. In the infra framework, creation exists (in the decree of God) as creation, without being considered as the object of glorification and redemption. Creation provides the backdrop for the drama of redemption, but has a degree of independence from that scheme, and even a decree of priority to that scheme. It does seem true in some respects that creation is the foundation or the platform for redemption, but I want to insist as strongly that redemption is the platform, the condition for the possibility of, redemption.

Also, my thinking has been influenced by admiration for Aquinas, especially the Aquinas who emerges in Fergus Kerr’s interpretation as an “eschatological foundationalist.” Kerr is talking about epistemology when he uses that phrase, but the notion could be applied in a more global, cosmic sense (and I think it is in Aquinas — the final end of creation, union with God, is the original purpose of the creation). Supra seems to preserve this inherent eschatology more completely than infra. In infra, the eschatological dimension of the original creation is lost; the creation does not exist to be glorified, but simply exists, and then falls and is redeemed. In supra, fall and redemption become the plot line that God has chosen to use to glorify the creation, but creation would be glorified regardless.

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