Chan concludes his book with this contextualized summary of the story of the world:
“The trinitarian family — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — purposed from eternity to enlarge the divine family by including humans so that the extended family could live in perfect communion. The trinitarian family is an ordered family, and humans being made in the divine image and likeness are to reflect that order in their families and ultimately in the ecclesial family.
“Sin disorders the filial relationship with God and fraternal relationship with other humans, turning family members into discrete individuals fighting for individual ‘rights’ and ‘equality’ and bringing dishonor to God and shame to the sinner.
“But at the appointed time the Father sent his Son and Spirit to realize his eternal plan. The Son’s obedient response to the Father destroys the destroyer of the divine order of the universe at the cross and created a reordered community, the ecclesial family, over which God established the Son as its head and big brother. Humans are set free to return to the divine family. Both God’s and their honor are restored.
“The sending of the Spirit who is the bond of love actualizes the family bond, uniting all as one church in the communion of saints in heaven and on earth with the Father through Christ who continues his reconciling work in heaven as the ancestor-priest. The trinitarian work continues to the end of time when the marriage of the Lamb and the bride will be finally sealed and the grand reunion dinner will begin. The whole created order will participate in the eternal liturgy of glorifying God and enjoying his forever.”
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.