Johnson On Unity And Diversity In Scripture

The purposes of Scripture are not unrelated to each other; they are complementary reflections of God’s manifold wisdom. The diversity and unity of Scripture disclose the marvelously diverse and unified plan of God for the whole history of the cosmos. Paul speaks of this purpose of God in Ephesians 1: “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (vv. 9–10 niv). Here is an over-arching statement of the biblical theology of history. History is under God’s control, and is in fact the working out of his purpose (see vs. 11). His purpose is the unification of all things under the sovereignty of Christ. . . . “Both Ephesians and the companion Letter to the Colossians presuppose that the unity and harmony of the cosmos have suffered a considerable dislocation, even a rupture, requiring reconciliation or restoration to harmony.” Although in Ephesians Paul envisions the summing up and unification (anakephalaioō) of “the fragmented and alienated elements of the universe” in Christ as awaiting future consummation, in Colossians he stresses that the reconciliation already has begun in the death of Christ. Yet, in writing to the Ephesians, Paul implies that the reunification of the shattered universe has begun with Christ’s atoning work on the cross when he affirms in Ephesians 3:10 that the church, now composed of reconciled Jewish and Gentile believers, exhibits God’s manifold wisdom to spiritual powers in heaven, bearing witness that demonic forces of evil have been decisively defeated at the cross and “now await their final overthrow.”

Dennis Johnson | Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures, ed. John J. Hughes (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007), 242–243.


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

    Post authored by:

  • Heidelblog
    Author Image

    The Heidelblog has been in publication since 2007. It is devoted to recovering the Reformed confession and to helping others discover Reformed theology, piety, and practice.

    More by Heidelblog ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!