Free Will and Dominion

Yesterday, in case you didn’t pick up from the things quoted, was Ascension Day. Christ the King, representative of the race of Adam, was taken up into heaven to rule over the universe as one of the holy Trinity.

The human race was made to be God’s vicegerents: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. God made us as priests and kings of creation, with a free will equal to our calling, with a moral greatness. Made in God’s image, we were to come into the communion of the Trinity himself. Simon Chan writes of the biblical narrative in Liturgical Theology (HT: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship):

God created the world in order that he might enter into a covenant relationship with humankind […]. Even if humans had not sinned, Jesus Christ would still have needed to come in the fullness of time, because only through that revelation is covenantal relationship realized in the fullest measure – as communion with the triune God […].

Thus would our created nature, the nature of kings, the nature of the God who acts freely, be fulfilled in the divine Son, who came as the Christ. Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

The estate of man requires free will, indeed freedom from sin and from the tutelage of the Mosaic law, which was unable to save us. This is the fullness of Man’s maturity (that is, Adam’s): we shall be perfect as God is perfect. In him, we’re made free again; in him, we join the majesty of the Almighty King who’s ascended and reigns on high. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. The principle, in dominion, is the gratuitous freedom in which the Lord speaks reality.

The freedom of the Christian has implications in Christian practice. The Church doesn’t operate by slavish devotion to a Qur’an and its exegetes; scholastic propositions aren’t where God exercises authority. Rather, the imperium lies in the Body of the One Man by God’s Word to ratify God’s forgiveness of sins by ritually declaring absolution upon sinners. This is also the newness in which God gives us the call to proceed beyond the clean-unclean distinctions and, by living the Resurrection, to change life itself.

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