A Holistic Christian worldview: The Consumation

By Dr. Ken Turnbull, Founding ACU Vice-Chancellor
Published November, 2014

“…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
~ Ephesians 1:9-10


A comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the world (a holistic Christian worldview) requires a mind that is being renewed in Christ from a heart that is united in the fear of the Lord to discern His will. This full understanding enables us Christians to witness the plan of God and to live according to where we are in His plan: His grand narrative of unfolding history. Being reconciled to God through the blood of the cross of our Savior, we receive the Spirit who is from God that we might understand the things freely given us by God. We know truth: the way, the truth and the life that is only found in Jesus Christ. It is into this creational understanding of truth that the grace of God has recreated His elect. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the good works in which we should walk as fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. By God’s Spirit illuminating our understanding we are keenly aware of the futility of all creation in the bondage of corruption. But, His Spirit equally gives us the anchoring hope of our souls, assured that at the redemption of our bodies God will bring freedom to the whole cosmic creation. This is God’s plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in heaven and on earth in Jesus Christ. This is the consummation.

The Christian’s living hope is fixed on the glory of God. Our hope matures as our character is shaped by the experiences of God’s providential work through our lives (Romans 5:2-5). Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we have our hope laid up in heaven and we boldly rejoice in it. This hope of eternal life deeply motivates the Christian to fully apply every gift and talent of which God has blessed him or her in stewardship towards the restorative work of Christ, regardless of the hardship or suffering that it may bring. Every sphere of the Christian’s life - be it as children, parents, students, employees, homemakers, teachers, nurses, doctors, plumbers, carpenters, entrepreneurs, pastors, politicians or artists - is to be completely given to the sovereign control of Christ. It is through our service in the kingdom that is already at work here on earth through the body of Christ that God is fulfilling His purpose in transforming culture through His stewards gifted according to His divine appointment. Fulfilling God’s mandate to fill and subdue the earth for His glory requires that we live and serve according to the holistic understanding of God’s grand narrative. That narrative encompasses not only what we do in the church, but it includes every sphere of His cosmic domain which is being reconciled to the Father in the Son. This is where Christians discover the joy and fulfilment of kingdom service in every aspect of their lives - inside the church, in the home, at school, in the workplace - wherever they have opportunity to apply themselves to work as unto the Lord.

The holistic Christian worldview is unified in the truth of the grand narrative of God from creation, through the fall, by the redemption of Christ, and to the consummation of all things in Christ. As Christians we must strive through the study and application of God’s Word in our lives, by the indwelling work of God’s Spirit, to keep our hearts united in the fear of the Lord as we look to the living hope of eternal life. We must fight the temptation to divide God’s sovereignty in any form, be it over the natural laws or laws over cultural or societal norms, be it over creational structures or the directional effects of sin on creation, be it over the sacred or the secular. As Abraham Kuyper stated, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’ ”