N. T. Wright on the Importance of Binaries in Genesis

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In my message this past weekend, “Creation and Embodied Sexuality,” I referenced an extended quotation from New Testament scholar N. T. Wright on the importance of the binaries in Genesis. As I mentioned, there is a structural symmetry throughout Genesis 1 that links pairs of differents one to another.  This symmetrical crescendo of creation reaches its high point in God’s creation of humanity and the pairing of sexual difference characterized by male and female. This biological sex difference is a creational goodness of God intended to reflect God’s greater good story in all of creation. Here is the quotation from N. T. Wright, found in a 2014 article in First Things, which is drawn from an interview with Wright:

The binaries in Genesis are so important—…heaven and earth…sea and dry land…male and female. It’s all about God making complementary pairs which are meant to work together. The last scene in the Bible is the new heaven and the new earth, and the symbol for that is the marriage of Christ and his church. It’s not just one or two verses here and there which say this or that. It’s an entire narrative which works with this complementarity … [as] a signpost or a signal about the goodness of the original creation and God’s intention for the eventual new heavens and new earth.

The differences within creation, including the sexual differences of human beings, all point to God’s Good Story, and the ultimate coming together of all things in the Restoration. Human sexuality is not only good, but is theologically significant.

First Week of Lent

This past week, we have entered the season of the church year known as Lent. Lent is more than a worn-out old tradition of the church, but a way to enter more deeply into Jesus’ death on the Cross in order that we might enter more fully into the joys of Jesus’ resurrection.

During this first week of Lent our journey toward the cross is shaped by Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Jesus, as the second Adam, faced the sin of humanity, represented by the first Adam.

This week highlights the way in which Lent is a time of confronting and facing the sin in our life.

Robert Webber says it this way:

Lent is a time to intentionally confront all the ways the first Adam continues to control our lives, to carry these ways to the Cross, to let them be crucified with Jesus, and to bury them in the tomb never to rise again.
(Ancient-Future Time, p. 107).

In what ways is the first Adam continuing to control our lives?

Let this week be a time of ruthless confrontation with the sin in our life that we might die with Christ and rise in newness of life this season of Lent.