more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.

 

The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.


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Monday
Mar242008

God, Interrupted

“God Interrupted”

003_GIRLINTROSGirl-Interrupted-Posters.jpg I have never seen the movie “Girl, Interrupted” but I like the title. And the premise. It’s catchy. It describes something I am thinking about when I try to understand the Bible.

The thought of an interruption in the upper story of God is very intriguing. And plausible. Here is the concept I propose: The Bible is essentially two stories. One the beginning story—is really an upper story that is timeless; it goes on forever untouched by stain, sin, separation, or anything we can really imagine. It is in fact so “otherly” that it is indescribable in terms we might grasp or begin to understand. We can employ metaphorical terms to try explaining the glory of the upper story, but in truth they fall pitifully short. The Book of Revelation attempts it as does the writer of Isaiah. But we suspect they are trying to describe something with a language that has yet to be imagined with words that fall short. The upper story exists as One, with no fragmentation, and with no telling—since it has no timeline, and a language so high we are at a loss. The upper story ismarked by shalom in an eternal state or dimension. Enough speculation and wonder.

This upper story is somehow interrupted. A second story emerges, or takes over. It is a literary triumph, a creative narrative, and a record of a people in relationship with God in the context of history. Time is very real in this dimension. In fact the idea of running out of time is a key mark of this dimension.

The moment when “God interruptus” occurs is discernible. It happens in a moment, an instance in the garden when Adam eats the proverbial apple. The interruption, which I will call the lower story, begins with an expulsion from timelessness and shalom into a dimension of chaos. The long story will resolve thousands of years later. The expulsion was from a garden, mythical or real named Eden and the final resolution will occur dramatically in a garden as well--Gethsemane. This lower story is the main text of scripture, the unveiling of God’s struggle. It reveals, in a way we can certainly grasp, His struggle with himself, His struggle with His creation, His dilemma of dealing with an unknown commodity. The unknown of the lower story is the understanding of Himself in relationship with fallen creation. I suggest this is new to God since He was in the beginning and in the end without sin. The affect of sin is something entirely new to God. He has no history with it. No prior understanding of what it is like.I know how critically foriegn it is to say God learns or changes but it is crucial to understand that he changes only in the context of this lower dimension. In His heavens He is eternal and unchanging. he is at rest, in Shalom.

This lower story is a new deal for God.

In the upper story He remains for all time, as if the interruption doesn’t matter or didn’t happen for it is in the end, finally resolved. In the upper story He is the perfect One, a picture of wholeness and unity. There is certainly no conflict within or without, all is somehow ordered and right. It is a description of peace—shalom.

But it is not so in the fallen lower story that we are accustomed to. The second story that interrupts and takes over for a time is the story we are familiar with. It is as though the bottom drops out of heaven and the resulting narrative, something new, begins on lower level.

The lower story is far different and it is also His story, our Story, and the story that frames mankind. It is a work of literature; it is a narrative, a study in character, an unveiling of how God works it out. It is really His story as He serves as the protagonist throughout.

It is for our intents and purposes the way back into the garden. It is a long and complex journey for we who are created in the image of God are deep and complex characters. It is fascinating to watch this story unfold.

Jack Miles poses an insightful question about how we read and ingest scripture: “Why take so narrowly instrumental an attitude toward a work of the imagination?" Now that is a good question. Why not let the story breathe new life in we the creation. Why, when our lives are so defined as relational, unpredictable, multifaceted, and unmanageable, do we try so hard to master this gift of scripture? To box it, get it, master it. Why, when it can ignite our imagination for the glory of the anticipated indescribable upper story do we limit its grand potential?

This is one of the things this book is about.

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