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I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these.

Is. 45:7 KJV

“ In God’s world good and evil are an ecology. The whole world is an ecology of opposites dancing with each other.  And God loves their dance.  The real sin at the tree of knowledge of good and evil was man trying to manage good and evil as God does not manage them.  God lets evil be.  Given the actions of people God does not, except in very rare circumstances, in the business of preventing their consequences.”

Robert Capon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-ueqWpyKOvo#t=1213

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God spoke in my head. He spoke in one short sentence. It wasn’t my cogitative facility. I know the difference because this has never happened to me before. So, either God spoke to me directly or I’m losing it. I came wide awake and heard the complete sentence/statement. Here it is;
Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
?? yeah,?.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Yeah, I know.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” !
YEAH, I KNOW! Colossians 1 something. ??
Christ in you, the hope of glory.” !!!
Alright then…I’ll get up and read the entire letter!!???
I did.

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A friend made this comment in a discussion (I choose this comment because to a degree it summarizes the discussion up to that point, but the full context is not present, so please do not consider his comment as anything more than a comment at that point in the discussion);

 

 

 I’m wondering about the logic behind, “God can = God will”.  I get the part about him being able to do anything but not so much, will do anything part and therefore does he control everything?  It seems he has chosen in his sovereignty not to control everything.  He could but then what’s the fun in that?

 I think that the fact we try approaching this whole issue from a position of logic indicates we don’t have a clue about God.

 

Our logic assumes that God is outside the system, that he stands aloof, at a distance and exerts some directed force from outside.  That is the room temperature left-overs from Age of Enlightenment Deism.  Protestantism, especially NA Evang. has lost the Trinitarian perspective which has been well preserved in EO, RC (and some strains of Lutheranism and Anglicanism) where God continues to be understood in terms of intertwined relationships, and is referred to as perichoresis or interpenetration (The term first appears in Gregory of Nazianzus but was explored more fully in the work of John of Damascus. It refers to the mutual inter-penetration and indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) (Baxter Kruger has brought this understanding back into the Evangelical view). 

 

It is typical of NA Protestants to think of “God” in a hierarchical sense with God as commander and chief, the Son as second in command and the Holy Spirit as the dog’s leg (and this is based on a misreading of I Cor. 11:1ff then transferred into a “doctrine” of patriarchy). 

 

Now, how does that relate to the concept of “God’s in control”?

 

Just as in perichoresis where “God” is a descriptor of the dance/interpenetration of relationship within the Person of God, so to does “God” interpenetrate His creation.  God is simultaneously “transcendent” and “immanent” to creation.  The logic of God being outside of our system/existence is only half right.  God is also intimately present in our existence.  God is not the deux ex machina (God of the machine, or in our vernacular–“vending machine God”) which we call to our aid when we’re in deep shit.

 

God is and has always been “wrapped up” in creation.  Just as Paul said to the Athenians;

 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

 30-31“God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 

If the reality of life is “in” God, how is it that we speak of God as that which is outside and acting like the kid with the transformer switch that speeds up or slows down the model train?

 

Piss on the logic….not doing so is why the Athenians scoffed at the “logic” of the resurrection.  I’m not an Athenian, so that gives me a leg-up on understanding a little of God and His illogic.  Ignorance is a necessary starting point.

 

 

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The ONLY hope is resurrection. If there were no resurrection of Christ, then the cross is a sham. If Christ is not risen then above all men we are the most pitiful. We spend the first half of our lives “getting it all together”, then we spend the next half of life watching it fall apart–especially our bodies. In striving to “hold myself together” I’m building my own image in which there is really no Christ. When I die to my self sustained (illusory) image and realize that I’m falling apart in every way, then a space is made for me to be made into the image of Christ–in exactly the way He imagines me. I recently had an epiphany concerning Ephesians 1:10. From The Message (in the passage Peterson does a much better job than the NIV);

7-10Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

“summed up” is ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι (aorist verb, middle voice of anakephalaioō). Note that it’s root is kephal, “head” or “source” or “origin” with the prefix ana- which means “again”. An aorist verb in Koine denotes punctiliar action–an action or event which happens at a particular point in time–either past, present, or future. “Middle voice” means that the action is done by the subject; the subject of ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι is Christ/God. anakephalaioō means to sum up (again), to repeat summarily, to condense into a summary, briefly comprehend. Jesus has His own “summation” of us; it’s HIS way of “remembering” us; it’s His story of us that He tells in the summing of all things. It isn’t my story about myself that gets told by Christ, but His story about me that is made know to the universe. Because of “therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” when my hoped for/expected-by-faith resurrection occurs Jesus will recall me into life in just the way He has determined (lots of “predestinating” in the older translations of Eph. 1) to remember me. When I bring up my personal memories of failure and corruption I would expect Christ to say something like, “Hmm, that isn’t my memory of you. After all, I’ve made all things new (kainos , new in nature, form, substance). Please, let me describe you from my eternal memory, then after that I’d like you to flounce off with me to the party my Father has prepared for us since before the foundations of the Earth.” If Jesus did not rise to life again, then he was just another Galilean Jew killed by the Romans. The resurrection is the proof to the pudding and our only hope.

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This is a dream that a lady named Emma relayed to David Grant.  Emma and her husband live somewheres in Aussi land.

Adam and The Lord spent their days together, walking and talking to one another. They delighted in each other’s company.

When The Lord came by one day, Adam was so caught up with the busyness of life he told the Lord, “Not today”. Adam began to let the cares of this world take over time, he still continued to love the Lord however he just had so much else on his plate and he just wasn’t able to do both.

After some time had passed, Adam began reminiscing on the times he had spent with The Lord; he remembered how much he had enjoyed His presence. Adam wanted to enjoy the Lord’s presence again but this time it needed to fit into his lifestyle. So Adam went about building a meeting place where he could go a couple times a week to meet with the Lord.

Adam and some of his friends began the meetings, Adam and his friends sung a couple songs and then Adam would talk to the rest of the group all about the Lord. After, they would have a cuppa and then go back to their lives until the next meeting.

Because The Lord loved Adam and his friends He came to the meetings, everyone would feel Him and enjoy His presence. The Lord would say “I have come because I love you, is anyone willing to walk with me? I have a purpose for each of you, is anyone willing to walk with me now?” They would answer “Not yet Lord, I’m just not ready, I need to learn more from Adam, one day I will”.

This continued from meeting to meeting. The Lord wondered how His Beloved had come to a place where they stopped trusting Him; He wondered how they thought they would learn more by meeting and listening to Adam rather than walking along side Him where He would be able to whisper the Mysteries of the world into their ears. However because He loved them he continued to come to the meetings to see if anyone was willing.

Eventually Adam grew a little tired of The Lords interruptions. The Lord would keep asking the people to go with Him, but Adam needed them to stay and serve in the music team, the Café team, the children’s ministry. Adam placed ear muffs over his ears and all those in the meeting place, now they could enjoy the presence of the Lord but they did not have to listen to all His interruptions.

Some of Adam’s friends began questioning in their hearts; surely there is more than this? The God of the bible wants us to live in relationship with Him, but how can we have a relationship with someone we cannot communicate with? This is when they took off their ear muffs.

The Lord came to the meeting and asked “Is anyone willing to walk with me?”. Those whose ears had been opened heard the Lord and they said “Yes Lord we are willing”. In their excitement they tried to tell the others but the others were not willing “I’m sorry but we’re just too comfortable here, besides Adam needs us to serve his ministry, and this is all we know, we’ve been doing this for years”.

Those who were willing, began to walk with The Lord, they found it so liberating, they were able to not only enjoy His presence as before but now they were able to see Him expressed freely through one another, they were in relationship with Him. Each day whether they were at work, spending time with their families or whatever they were doing, The Lord would be with them delighting in them, He would be speaking to them, giving them His heart for those around them. They were not burdened by another man’s vision any longer; they were being used in the very purpose they had been created for.

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Here’s an interesting perspective relative to The Shack;

 

While I would not claim to be a prophet, I would hazard a guess as to one of the great moments in our time-at least for the Western world. I have heard recordings of President Roosevelt’s address after Pearl Harbor, and President Kennedy’s famous speech as well. And I have listened to Martin Luther King’s freedom address, and watched in serious respect when Barak Obama spoke in the aftermath of Rev. Wright’s publicized diatribes, and recently I watched Sarah Palin’s amazing speech at the Republican convention, yet for my money the most important moment in the West in the last one hundred years was when a fictitious broken-hearted, angry, and cynical white man named Mackenzie met God face to face. And God-appearing as large black woman- ran to embrace him, lifting him in an eternal hug (See William P. Young’s, The Shack). That moment spoke and speaks volumes, and it speaks to places in our souls that we would rather pretend do not even exists. It is way to scary to let ourselves believe that God could be so good. So we settle. We just don’t have a theology to go with our heart’s knowledge.

 

“It is way too scary to let ourselves believe that God could be so good.  So we settle.  We just don’t have a theology to go with our heart’s knowledge.”

 

Think about that.  Is it true, or not true, that God is better than we can imagine–and actually more good than we can dare to trust?

 

(Quote is from Baxter Kruger.  Baxter’s Ongoing Thoughts: The Embrace )

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The Dream

A young lady, whom my wife and I relate to as though she is a daughter, who is a participant with us in the same body of Believers, informed us after our gathering Sunday of a dream she had that was particularly directed to me.It was couched in the motif of my recent ex-profession (pig farming) and in view of I Kings 17 (Elijah and the widow of Zerephath) and had to do with a sow who never ceased from farrowing (giving birth) piglets. After the dream she woke up thinking it was probably the result of some bad bacon or something, went back to sleep and then dreamed that God was directing her to tell me about the dream. So she did. To just the two of us. I asked her why she didn’t tell about it to the whole assembly earlier that day? She said that God directed her to tell me, and that’s what she did.

It isn’t hard to make the connections in the dream. Our “daughter” is notorious for having “prophetic” dreams. Her batting average is probably over 500. I don’t have a heritage in “the prophetic”. Heck, I don’t even have “heritage” in the charismatic.

We, wife and I, are transitioning to another occupation and work is slow right now. I’ve been worried somewhat about the lack of income and get antsy when I feel like I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

The next day we received a call from a friend from our old church. They need six doors hung, a sink faucet replaced and a thing or two more done. (Oh, our new occupation is “handyman services”.)

Yesterday afternoon we found some cash in an envelop with a note on our kitchen counter. (Shushhh, don’t spread the word around, but we don’t lock the front door…)

I asked Alison, “What is this for and why did they do it?”

She flicked me on the head saying, “Oh ye of little faith. You’ve had two confirmations from the Lord of “daughter’s” dream.”

I guess I’m saying all of that to say–I’m convinced that the Lord speaks to us through the members of His Body, and that, most especially, is done simply through the relationships we have one with another.

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