According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Monday, November 14, 2011

Classic Evangelical Epistemology, Part 2

When I was a child
August 15, 2011 in Bible Thoughts with 7 Comments

When I was a child I thought that the world of my elders was an infinite set of givens.

In The Sparrow, the wise older married woman says she has to decide afresh every ten years if this new person who is completely different from the man she married (and from the man she recommitted to ten years previously) is worth learning to love afresh.
Married people: you don’t “arrive” at your life goal when your kid is born.

Grad students: you don’t “arrive” when you get your job. In fact, landing that great job, sometimes landing a large amount of dollars in a cool city to go with it, can make the failure to experience “arriving” a thoroughly depressing affair.

I was at a fortieth birthday party a few months ago. At one point, the conversation turned to words of wisdom from other men who had passed that milestone. One that stuck with me was this: “If you’ve been diligently pursuing your vocational goals, you have probably accomplished most of them by the time you turn forty. Now you have to figure out how to look toward the future without that kind of hopeful vision for the future driving you.”

In other words, the idea that you’ve done it all already, and haven’t yet arrived, is where the midlife crisis comes from.

Life is full of dynamic processes. We are part of that dynamism as we change, grow, and contribute to our world. And, the world itself is ever changing and opening up new possibilities and heading in unexpected directions and, sometimes, leaving us behind.

There’s a point in all this for theology, but I’m out of space and will have to take it up tomorrow. So here’s a teaser: the baby church in AD 200 had the luxury of thinking its faith was a given for all places and times. The church in AD 2000 should be looking at the world with a more sober grownup’s vision.

Theology Doing Away with Childish Things
Perhaps what we thought was a given needs to be reaffirmed, restated given that the parties in the agreement (the church and its members) are both completely different now.

The idea that one statement, or a cluster of like statements, can continue to define the relationship for two thousand years rests on a static view of the world that does not measure up to reality. The church did not “arrive” when it articulated the rule of faith. It said what needed to be said circa AD 200.

But this does not answer the question of what is necessary or sufficient to be said or done in AD 2000. We must regularly say afresh what needs to be said. This is not only because the world is dynamic and in flux, and not only because the church is dynamic and in flux, but also because God continues to be dynamically at work in both the world and the church.

No comments:

Post a Comment