Christ and the Created Order:
Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science

Thomas H. McCall,

Andrew Torrance

Zondervan Academic

According to the Christian faith, Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation not only of the nature of God the Creator but also of how God the Creator relates to the created order. The New Testament explicitly relates the act of creation to the person of Jesus Christ – who is also a participant within creation, and who is said, by his acts of participation, to have secured creation’s ultimate redemption from the problems which presently afflict it. Christian theology proposes that Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word and Wisdom of God, the agent in whom the Spirit of God is supremely present among us, is the rationale and the telos of all things – time-space as we experience and explore it; nature and all its enigmas; matter itself. Christology is thus utterly fundamental to a theology of creation, as this is unfolded both in Scripture and in early Christian theology.

For all this, the contemporary conversation about science and faith tends, to a remarkable degree, to neglect the significance of Jesus Christ, focusing instead on a generic “God of wonder” or “God of natural theology.” Such general theism is problematic from the perspective of Christian theology on many levels and has at times led to a more or less deistic theology: the impression that God has created the world, then largely left it to itself. Such a theology is far removed from classical Christian renderings of creation, providence, redemption, and eschatology. According to these, the theology of creation is not just about remote “beginnings,” or the distant acts of a divine originator. Rather, the incarnate Jesus Christ is himself – remarkably – the means and the end for which creation itself exists. If we would think aright about our world, study it and live within it wisely, we must reckon centrally with his significance.

What might such a bold claim possibly mean, and why is Jesus Christ said by Christian theology to be so important for understanding God’s overall relationship to the created order? What does this importance mean for science?

Christ and the Created Order addresses these questions by gathering insights from biblical scholars, theologians, historians, philosophers, and scientists. This interdisciplinary collection of essays reflects on the significance of Jesus Christ for understanding the created world, particularly as that world is observed by the natural sciences.


Thomas H. McCall

Thomas H. McCall (PhD Calvin Theological Seminary) is Professor of Theology and Scholar-in-Residence at Asbury University. His recent publications include An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology (IVP Academic, 2015), and Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin (Crossway, 2019). He was the Director of the Henry Center from 2012–2020.


Andrew Torrance

Andrew B. Torrance (PhD University of Otago) is a Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of St Andrews, and a part of the new Logos Institute for Analytic and Exegetical Theology. He is the author of The Freedom to Become a Christian: A Kierkegaardian Account of Human Transformation in Relationship with God (T&T Clark, 2016). Andrew is also co-editor with Thomas McCall of the forthcoming two volume Knowing Creation and Christ and the Created Order: Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science (Zondervan, 2018).


The delicate, sometimes tense conversations that go on between science and Christianity can be fascinating and creative, and sometimes dangerous and destructive. By bringing Christ to the centre of the conversations around creation, this book opens up fresh, challenging, and profound new perspectives. Focusing on Jesus creates vital theological space for reimagining creation and our place within it. This volume has transformative value for those who take the time to dwell within its message.

John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen

This volume is a welcome addition to the conversation on the Christian doctrine of creation. It presents a variety of perspectives that offer fresh insights, challenging ideas, and new terrain to explore. The book's mutually enriching interdisciplinary character makes it all the more robust and enlivening.

Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University

In the large and fascinating global conversation between sciences and religions,the cutting edge is often about specific doctrines or particular sciences. This outstanding anthology of experts in philosophy, theology, and the sciences turns their minds and faith to Jesus and the doctrine of Christ. The result is an outstanding collection that anyone interested in either Christology or religion-and-science will learn from and enjoy. I found the book engrossing.

Alan G. Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary

This ground-breaking collection of essays by eminent scholars from theology, philosophy, and science will transform discussions of science and faith by recognizing the central role of the person of Jesus Christ, since it is he who creates a union between the Creator and creation.

Eric Priest, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of St. Andrews

For a long time, theology, philosophy, and science searched for different truths, as if there were not one truth, a single harmony, a cosmic liturgy in the universe. This book eloquently demonstrates that Christ may be discerned and deciphered in many variations of intonation, articulation, and exploration of the created order.

John Chryssavgis, Theological Advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch

If colliding hydrogen atoms produce rock-liquefying energy, what happens when creator fuses with creature? 'The Word became flesh and dwelt in our midst.' God says yes to creation and its restoration. This dazzling collection is light and heat. Discover why the Christ matters not just for religion ortheology but for all things.

Matthew W. Bates, Associate Professor of Theology, Quincy University

The person of Jesus Christ is patently of first importance for Christian faith yet hardly features in much of the current science-religion dialogue. This admirable and wide-ranging collection of essays reverses that neglect by bringing Christology to the heart of the discussion.

Rodney Holder, Emeritus Course Director, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion