Original Research - Special Collection: Theology and Nature

Jesus: Divine relationality and suffering creation

Annelien C. Rabie-Boshoff, Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a6128 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.6128 | © 2020 Annelien C. Rabie-Boshoff, Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2020 | Published: 22 September 2020

About the author(s)

Annelien C. Rabie-Boshoff, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Johan Buitendag, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The basic challenge that readers of the New Testament face is not only about what Jesus Christ teaches but who he is. Functional Christology has developed at the expense of ontological Christology. This challenge centres on Jesus Christ’s relevance, in terms of his identity, not only for Christians in particular but also for creation as a whole. The question ‘who is Jesus Christ in relation to creation?’ is thus of special interest to this study. Various authors such as Gunton, Gregersen, Peacocke and others have approached this question from different perspectives. The PhD study by Rabie-Boshoff was completed to shed light into the context of dialogue between Christian theology and the science of linguistics in an effort to understand the Genesis 1 creation story. This article refers to part of the study in an effort to make sense of who Jesus Christ is in relation to creation. This provides consolation in a time of worldwide lockdown because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus. The human struggle of making sense of the world is brought into sharp focus in times like these, more so in terms of making sense of their creatureliness and mortality. Although science as a valid knowledge base may provide some answers to this human dilemma, Christians in particular appeal to the Bible and their belief in Jesus Christ. This turn to Jesus, and who he is, provides human beings with enduring and satisfying answers to their suffering and pain.

Contribution: This article is an attempt to contribute to the ongoing discussion on creation in terms of how human beings make sense of creation, considering who Jesus Christ is in relation to creation. Human beings have always been engaged in a process of making sense of the world they live in. Ancient cultures provide such a window, allowing a glimpse into how those cultures perceived their world.


Keywords

Systematic theology; Ethics; Ecology; Environment; Cosmic Christ

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