When God shows up in human history today, what happens? What does that look like? The gospel spreading? Prayer movements launching? Churches growing? Disciples maturing? Yes, of course. And hungry people being fed. Desperate poverty decreasing. Diseases diminishing. Families living securely. All of these are His concern. The Hebrew word shalom captures it powerfully: “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace … safety, soundness (in body), health, prosperity” (BDB-GESENIUS Hebrew-Aramaic and English Lexicon of the Old Testament). All of that is depicted in an intriguing way in the video below. Hans Rosling’s presentation comprises a refreshing reminder that not all the news is bad. God’s common grace is indeed at work through His imago Dei creatures.
As my colleague, Dwight Vogt put it,
We need to celebrate and point to the source of this progress. This source being the creator God, who made us in his image and gave to us (before the fall) the innate desire and ability to create, improve, innovate, unlock potential, enhance, beautify … to create culture, to make something even better out of this world.
The challenge for every person (all humanity), is to carry out this pre-fall mandate in a post-fall world. We need help. Otherwise, the potential we unlock and create can become a curse instead of a blessing.
In response, God sent his Son and Spirit to break the chains of sin and realign our motives with God’s motives for one another and creation.
– Gary Brumbelow