an author never stops writing.

sometimes we use the word author when we relate to God and who He is. we relate him to someone who has written the word of God. but like any other author, couldn’t it be that God has written more than one book. He is written life. He has authored beauty and truth. grace and peace. love. so much more. the Word of God is Jesus not the book. the book was always meant to lead to Jesus. there is more to God than one book. With us, He writes our own stories. He is still writing. Why would we want to minimize God by saying that everything He has ever written for mankind is in one book?

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Bible as a starter.

why do we look to the bible on where our end-theology should come from? what about these pages draw us in and spit us out? i wonder if the bible was supposed to start us on the road to our story with God? I wonder if people like Moses, Jonah, Job, Jesus, and Paul thought: “one day I am going to be a literary giant where people frame ways of life after me?” Now, with this Jesus we can say yes. But, with the others? why and how can we be so sure? Paul was writing letters for churches with specific contexts and specific customs, believes, stereotypes and ideologies, some that aren’t even around anymore. what if the bible was meant to be a guide. a map, but not the map of all maps? what if the end-map was inside of us. What if we can start seeing as a starter to the meal and the meal is the life we live in discovery..yes, look to it for guidance, but not ultimate guidance or some mystical airtight theology. Jesus said it this way” the kingdom of God is within you”. He didn’t say one day it will be, He said it in the present tense. “It is NOW within you” would be a better rendering. God is in you. What He wants for the world and your role in it, won’t be found in pages. It will be found in the paths that we walk everyday. It will be found in the choices we choose to make. You see I wonder if God sits up and has written more stories, I wonder if he is waiting for us to read those, be those stories? Moses wrote out the story to keep records for the Jewish people. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a useful book and I think God can speak through it, I also believe He can choose to speak through a hike in the woods or a new song that just came out on the radio And if we believe God is everywhere, then we don’t get to choose what He wants to use. I think we need to replace the bible with God and not the other way around. At the end of the day, the question we need to be asking is: Is God my center or are the ancient scriptures? Because God has been known to break his own rules.

Brian Mclaren on the Cross

Brian McLaren Calls Hell and the Cross
“False Advertising for God” Listen to Interview
I wonder why the church has never focused on the resurrection/victory of Jesus? We have always focused on the gruesome graphic death of Jesus of Nazareth? I think this is one of the most destructive messages, yes in the cross there is hope, but the story didn’t end there. So, why do we have a problem with that? Brian Mclaren shares his thoughts on this:

“[T]his is one of the huge problems with the traditional understanding of hell, because if the Cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching, then I won’t say the only and I certainly won’t say … or even the primary or a primary meaning of the Cross … is that the Kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of this world by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes thru suffering and willing voluntary sacrifice right? But in an ironic way the doctrine of hell basically says no, that’s not really true. At the end God get’s his way thru coercion and violence and intimidation and uh domination just like every other kingdom does. The Cross isn’t the center then, the Cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.” Brian McLaren

decentralizing the gospel.

like some beautiful planter, we put the gospel in the middle of the table….we decorate it, water it and try to breath new life into it. but what if the gospel wasn’t meant to be the centre? even better, what if the gospel is something more than what it is? in the story of the good samaritan, we have two people that we might say would be experts in the gospel. “experts” in the truth. then we have somebody who comes on the scene who might know a little bit, but for the most part is a heretic. he is outside of the tribe. so his knowledge as vast as it could be is already tainted by the fact that he is “dirty”. yet, jesus flips the whole story on its head by turning not only the gospel (as we know it) but also the person to be like as the point of the story. what if the gospel wasn’t about some systematic approach (4-steps to peace with God), but what if we will be judge by how we treat and to react to the “other”? what if the gospel is more about being like the heretic (I wrote something on this a bit more, below)? what if compassion should be the planter at the center of the table. if you notice, before this story, jesus commissions the seventy and then this story follows after, as if to say this is your mission…this is the direction you should be walking, this is who you should look like.

Another End Time View.

I have been doing some research on this end-time view a bit more…here is the conversation from opensourcetheology.com…check it out!

Paul Seburn referred in another post to the ‘transmillennial’ view on New Testament eschatology. I thought it might be worth examining this separately. There’s a lot of material on the two sites I looked at (www.presence.tv and http://www.transmillennial.com), but I have limited my superficial comments to one introductory essay. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has strong views on the subject. Oh, and while we’re wondering exactly what happened to the future, a happy new year to everyone!

There are certain aspects of the central argument of ‘transmillennialism’, at least as it is presented in ‘The Transmillennial® View’, that I would want to agree with. It seems to me that Tim King is broadly correct in arguing that the eschatological language of the New Testament has in view an imminent state of affairs. I also like the general shift away from a preoccupation with a futurist eschatology, whether personally or cosmically interpreted, towards a covenantal theology that calls upon the church to be a concrete blessing to the world – if the transmillennial worldview can ‘take the church beyond cultural pessimism into a responsible engagement with society’, it is to be applauded.

The introductory article is rather superficial and inadequate material for a thorough critique of transmillennialism, but I would make some general comments.

1. In the first place, I have to say that I dislike the proprietorial stance that they have taken towards the term ‘transmillennialism’ (or do I have to write ‘transmillennialism™’?) and the strong current of self-promotion that runs through the writings on the website. This is not the way to further biblical scholarship: to my mind it lends the whole enterprise a cult-like favour that is likely to alienate people and certainly appears contrary to the fundamentally democratic and open values of the emerging church. To speak of transmillennialism as a ‘sacred trust’ seems to me presumptuous. If the church is moving towards a position such as this, it will certainly not be on the basis of one narrow strand of biblical exposition. It will have to emerge out of a wide-ranging conversation amongst lay and professional ‘theologians’.

2. I think it is a mistake to define this position so strongly as a reaction to the various ‘millennialisms’ that currently mark out the boundaries of much current thinking about eschatology. The movement is meant to ‘stem the tide of present-day millennialism’, but the very term ‘transmillennialism’ keeps us firmly within that arena – just one more combatant in the millennial wrestling match. I hope that we will be able to overhaul the vocabulary of eschatology in a way that will prevent us from falling back into these stale debates. An important part of this overhaul will be a thorough review of the eschatological narrative that underlies the teaching of the New Testament.

3. There is passing reference to the need to establish a Jewish-historical framework for interpretation, but the essay gives no indication as to how this framework has actually shaped the transmillennial position. I suspect that the argument will prove weakest in its understanding of how Jesus and others after him made use of the structures of Jewish eschatology as they reworked the narrative of salvation-history.

4. I think this probably accounts for the fact that transmillennialism has pushed the argument rather too far in its enthusiasm to collapse the whole of New Testament eschatology into the period between Jesus’ death and the fall of Jerusalem. I think that the eschatological narrative is more complex than that, both in the short term and in the long term. On the one hand, it must encompass not just the destruction of Jerusalem but also the expansion of the church out into the pagan world, the confrontation with Rome, and the experience of persecution. On the other, while it may be right to question the notion of ‘resurrection and judgment for individuals at death’ (italics added), I’m not at all sure that a future resurrection and judgment can be dismissed altogether. I do not understand how it can be asserted, as Paul does in his post, that ‘Death and Hades have been utterly taken out of the way’: as I read Revelation 20, the destruction of death (‘death’ and ‘Hades’ are synonymous) remains a future hope – but I am happy to hear arguments to the contrary!

5. It seems to me, therefore, that transmillenialism is susceptible to the same charges of over-optimism that were levelled against post-millennialism. The position may not be ‘utopian’ exactly, but to suggest that we should ‘seek first the kingdom by joining hands in building the civilizations of tomorrow’ seriously misjudges the current status and influence of the church in the world. I think that the church, in approaching the question of mission, will have to acknowledge that it is in a position of considerable weakness – socially, intellectually, spiritually – at least from a western perspective. There is some confusion, inherent in the transmillennial position, between the renewal of the people of God and the renewal of humanity and creation. The New Testament may use the language of cosmic renewal as a metaphor for the renewal of the people of God; I’m not sure that we can expect a literal social renewal within history – isn’t this the classic postmillennialist error?

Changing who G(g)od is…

what if all the destruction we see in scripture wasn’t God sanctioned? what if people in scripture “read the signs wrong”. what if moses was writing as if his jewish God was sticking up for him? what if we’ve got the whole idea of God wrong? yes, there were prophets who challenged their own people. yet, most of our messages today aren’t for our own people, they are for the world. we tend to take the message of anger and hope and focus on anger and take it out into the world. i think God might have had to be that way then to get the point across. see, i think most have a problem with this theory because they assume God is never-changing. where I am at in my walk, i am not so sure about that. and that isn’t a bad thing. because i am trying to explain it, but fail when talking on God because language doesn’t equate God. so, I apologize if it seems like I am falling short in my explanation. jesus told the pharisees that their religion was actually going to get them into hell (the rich man and lazarus). and jesus usually picked up the outsider and gave them hope. jesus too lost faith in the system. religious systems or any system that oppressed. our religion should be fighting for the oppressed. yes, in the name and to the fame of God, that’s why we do what we do. what if God tried to set things right and realized it wasn’t working? (this doesn’t assume God failed; it does assume that God as creator is mastering the art of creating). the word b’ereshit is the same word used in Genesis to speak of God as Creator, but it is also the same word for ‘Creating’. God is still creating. And he invites us into it. But, if he is creator and creating than He might be learning as He goes along. Not the kind of learning we define, but the kind where it is a knowledge of everything, but isn’t drawing from everything, what if he chooses to draw from certain parts of himself and then backs off when he chooses to do so? that may seem like a lot to think about, fair enough. but none of these questions change who God is. God is God with or without my questions. So, God sends Jesus on the scene to give us an example. to share in our humanity. to revolutionize the way we see each other. I think God’s anger is nowhere to be found. Yes, I think we frustrate him, but to be honest, I don’t that is His ultimate filter. I also realize this is just another opinion. there is a lot here, sorry, but would love to hear back!

playground far from home

a bunch of different conversations have come up through a few different contexts about our development as people and worldviews. It has mostly been held to that our development as children comes from home. If you revisit this as a question: Where do learn most of our worldview? It is in highschool. Think about it, we spend an inordinate amount of each day going to 5 or 6 classes, maybe sports after and even after that, maybe hang out with some friends, yep, you’ve guessed it, from school. So our lives are consumed either by school or school-related things. It is really interesting when you think that are ideas of truth mostly come from our teachers and peers. Yes, I do believe that parents have a huge part in the end and ongoing changes and development of their child. But the majority of where we learn what learn happens on the playground far from home.