“Out of our mother, the church, then, is born a race of new Adams and Eves, reborn by water and the Spirit in order to fulfill the original mandate of Adam to worship and obey God and to share His rule over creation. The reconciliation of Jew and Gentile is the seed of the re-creation of a new human race within the human race. Jew and Gentile have in Christ become one new Adam. The people of the kingdom is not merely a fulfillment of the Mosaic order of things, or of the Davidic kingdom. The church is the fulfillment, the coming into fullness, of the Adamic order. In the church, we find the purposes of God for humanity beginning to be fulfilled. She is the continuing creation of a new humanity in the midst of humanity. In the church, as Irenaeus put it, ‘God has re-formed the human race.’
The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost illumines the fact that the church is the fulfillment of the Edenic order. Filled with the Spirit, the apostles spoke in tongues, undoing the confusion of Babel. The people of God were reborn at Pentecost as a new race united not by poltical coercion, but by the one Spirit of God. As the Spirit hovered over the waters of the first creation, so at Pentecost the fulness of the Spirit was poured out upon the church. United to Christ by the Spirit, the church is the beginning of the new creation.
Roman Catholic historian Christopher Dawson echoed Irenaeus when he wrote that ‘Christianity is not to be identified either with ethical idealism or with metaphysical intuition. It is a creative spiritual force, which has for its end nothing less than the re-creation of humanity. The Church is no sect or human organization, but a new creation – the seed of the new order which is ultimately destined to transform the world.'”
Peter Leithart, The Kingdom and the Power, p.165