John Mayer in his song “Waiting on the World to Change”, writes about humanity’s response to each other and dreams of a world in which people take care of other people.
Unfortunately, N.T. Wright would say that while beautifully written, John Mayer’s theology is incomplete. While we might be challenged by the words of Mayer, it is a fragmentary compared to the Biblical view of God’s new creation. Wright believes, that God’s metanarrative, is not just about creating a “nicer” version of this earth, but the entirety of a creation that is both redeemed and a new creation. Meaning, God is not going to simply come and destroy the old world as if pressing the “reset” button, but He is going to “deal” with the evil that is “defacing and distorting it.” (Wright, p. 97). By redemption, he is not simply talking about the salvation of souls, but rather, “in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ… is by no means limited to its effects on those human beings who believe the gospel and thereby find new life here and heareafter. It resonates out, in ways that we can’t fully see or understand into the vast recess of the universe.” (97)
Wright reminds us that “Paul [in 1 Cor 15] is clearly articulating a theology of new creation. Every force, every authority in the whole cosmos, will be subjected to the Messiah, and finally death itself will give up its power… the gospel of Jesus Christ announces that what God did for Jesus at Easter he will do not only for all those who are ‘in Christ’ but also for the entire cosmos. It will be an act of new creation, parallel to and derived from the act of new creation when God raised Jesus from the dead.” (99)
What Wright is suggesting for the Christian church, is to remember, that the redemptive work of God is not just redemption, it is also a renewal. In Wright’s thinking, what the world is looking and waiting for, is not that the world would change, but rather, what the world is waiting for, is redemption and renewal in its fullest sense. This promise is rooted in the promise and guarantee of God’s faithfulness in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.