This book examines the New Testament teaching that Christ was the one through whom God made the world. While scholars usually interpret this doctrine as arising from the equation of Jesus and the Wisdom of God, Sean McDonough argues that it had its roots in the church's memories of Jesus' miracles. These memories, coupled with the experience of spiritual renewal in the early church, established Jesus as the definitive agent of God's new creation in the New Testament writings and the teachings of the Early Church. Following the logic that 'the end is like the beginning' Christ was taken to be the agent of primal creation. This insight was developed in light of Old Testament creation texts, viewed from within a 'messianic matrix' of interpretation. God gives his Word, his Spirit, and his Wisdom to his Messiah from the very beginning; and the Messiah, the radiance of God's glory, establishes the cosmos in accordance with God's purposes. Creation is the beginning of messianic dominion; he rules the world he made.
McDonough carefully substantiates his thesis through a detailed exegesis of the relevant New Testament texts in the context of related texts in Judaism and Greco-Roman philosophy. He concludes with a survey of the doctrine of Christ as Creator in the work of six theologians: Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athanasius, Karl Barth, Jurgen Moltmann, and Wolfhart Pannenberg.
Sean M. McDonough was educated at Harvard College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the University of St. Andrews. From 1997-2000 he taught at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji, where he served as Lecturer in New Testament. Since 2000, he has taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachussetts, where he is Associate Professor of New Testament.
1. Introduction; 2. Memories of Jesus: Creation in the Gospels; 3. Creation and the Moral Order; 4. Creation: The Beginning of Messianic Dominion; 5. Only Connect: Creation and Meditation in the Hellenistic World; 6. The Problem of Philo; 7. Through Whom? Messianic and Demonic Mediation in 1 Corinthians 8-10; 8. Old Dominion: Creation in Colossians; 9. 'In the beginning, Lord...': The Contribution of Hebrews; 10. Union in Labor: Creation through the Son in the Gospel of John; 11. Jesus and Genesis: Tentative Steps Towards Theology