The first one that has been really chewing in my soul is the idea that creation needs redemption.
I guess this has always been in the background of my theology. I think about Paul writing that the creation is groaning. I think about how all of the earth suffers under the sin of humanity and our greed and destruction. But for the first time, I started thinking about how this planet itself has also fallen and committed acts against God’s will and needs to be redeemed.
Now – I don’t think that the oceans have a will. I don’t think that the skies and the clouds do things intentionally – but in many ways neither do we. But this world is not as God created it. And when a tsunami strikes land in southeast Asia and 225,000 people die – I don’t think that is God’s will. Moltmann said time and time again that God is with those who suffer, not the cause of the act. He said time and time again that an act against creation is an act against God.
So, in putting various pieces together, we could talk about an ecological soteriology. That as Christ redeems us, Christ redeems the world. That all of creation is taken through the cross to the promise of the resurrection.
We spend so much time worrying about theodicy, looking for God as the cause of these events, instead of thinking about God as the one who will ultimately redeem even the world from the suffering it has caused. God in Christ through the power of the Spirit bears all of these things through to the new creation. And that is an amazing thought to behold