Family Notes 02/11/2016



“I have found the following big picture ideas helpful as a framework for Christian interpretation of Scripture in God-honoring ways,” writes gracEmail subscriber and blogger Bobby Valentine. (Read the entire article excerpted below at:

Creation rebelled and . . . erected a barrier between Creator and Creation. God is working within creation to redeem, restore and even glorify his creation. The Gist of that Story is this: God created the universe as an act of love so that created life can have communion/fellowship with him. Creation Rebelled and vandalized that good creation erecting a barrier between Creator and Creation.

God is working within creation to redeem, restore and even glorify his creation. This is the “grand narrative.” That Grand Narrative, story line, is the skeleton on which the various individual and historically conditioned, texts “hang.” Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22 are bookends to the macrostructure of the canon of Scripture. God chose Israel by grace alone to bring creation back into communion with him. Israel was to be leaven in the rebellious world. Redemption is initiated (Gen 12-Malachi). The Triune God sends the King through Israel. Through his work in his physical body, rebellious creation becomes obedient to the will of God and is redeemed through the death, burial and resurrection of the King (Matt – John).

God’s renewed creation is placed in the world through the church. Here the values of the King, the values of God, are lived out and performed on Earth as they are in heaven. These are the people of the Resurrection. They are not of the old fallen order, rather they are in the world to be the seasoning of redemption to demonstrate what “Heaven” is supposed to be like. The Fall is turned on its head in the church (Acts – Rev 19).

The Return of the King. Redemption is consummated and the evil and corruption that has marred God’s creation intent is fully recognized as defeated and cast out by the resurrection of the body of Jesus. Vandalism is replaced with beautification and glorification (Rev 21-22). Prayer, Worship and reflecting God’s image–these are the beginning points and the ends/goals of interpretation.



On October 18, 2016, author and theologian Neal Punt, a gracEmail subscriber for many years, succumbed temporarily to our enemy Death, and now rests from his labors until Jesus comes again and raises him with all the saved to immortality and eternal life. May God comfort and give peace to the Punt family, as we celebrate Neal’s life, grieve his loss, and praise God for his ministry.

Ordained by the Christian Reformed Church, Punt was author of numerous books and other writings on the afterlife, but especially concerning the nature and recipients of the atonement. His 1980 book, Unconditional Good News: Toward an Understanding of Biblical Universalism, gave me much encouragement during the final writing of The Fire That Consumes.

The theme in all his books is the same: all humans are saved in Christ except those whom the Bible says will be lost. Neal offered this idea, deceivingly simple at first reading, in place of the widespread opinion that all people are lost except those who are finally saved. These two views reflect a deeper difference as to whether Jesus’ life and death actually accomplished atonement or merely made it a possibility.