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
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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Parable of Two Sons and One Father

Author, Teacher Jared Byas

Two Sons: My Journey with God & The Bible

by Peter Enns
with Guest Writer Jared Byas
April 21, 2015


Once upon a time there was a boy who loved his father and longed to be just like him. His father seemed all-powerful, all wise, all good. And the father always helped his son, told him what to do and which decisions were for the best.

The boy, he grew, and his childhood was glorious and serene. Whenever he faced a difficult decision, he’d run to his father who would hug him tightly and tell him just which road to take. The boy found such comfort, knowing that he could trust his father with every decision he faced.

At night, the boy would sit with his father by the fire and recount the difficult questions that had confronted him through the day. He’d tell his father his thoughts and hopes, but would always end the same way: “That’s what I want father, but just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” He was glad to trust his father with the answers for his life, to place them in the hands of one who knew far better.

When the boy became a man, his father grew ill. And for the first time, fear assaulted him; it struck him to the core. “I am lost without my father! How can I make a single decision without his clear direction?” And in that moment came the most devastating revelation of all: he was nothing like his father. He was neither wise, nor good, nor powerful.

The father recovered but the son never did.


Once upon a time there was another boy who loved his father and longed to be just like him. His father seemed all-powerful, all wise, all good. And the father never seemed to help his son, rarely told him what to do and which decisions were for the best.

The boy grew frustrated. When he would ask (and I admit, sometimes he demanded) the best path to take, the best road to choose, the father would simply smile and say “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Day after day, the boy would come to him with a decision, a crossroads in his life, and the father would simply say “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The boy felt unacknowledged. Hurt.

He would go to his mother in exasperation, yet she would simply open the book and read ancient tales about the father. Sullen and confused, he would say, “I don’t want to know what my father did; I want to know what I should do right now!”

But in bed at night, when the house was still, the boy would find himself reading the book again and again. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t find clear answers to the problems he faced. He would slam it shut in disgust and say, “I’ll just have to make my own decision.” And so he did.

When the boy became a man, his father grew ill. He stood at his father’s bedside. “Before you go, I need to know one thing. Why did you never tell me what to do? Why did you never answer me clearly? Why did you give me nothing when I needed your direction most?”

His father replied, “Nothing? I gave you everything you needed. Giving you answers is taking; it is to rob you of the gift of the struggle. To be like me requires struggle. The struggle matures.”

The son considered this, and asked his father, “But why did you take the risk? I could have made all the wrong decisions!”

His father answered sternly, “Did you not listen to what I did tell you? Did you not read the book? You know who I am. I will always be with you, even to the end of the age.”

And then the son understood. His resentment melted away and was replaced by inestimable gratitude.

The father recovered and remained with the son, even to the end of the age.

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