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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Thursday
Apr172008

Have my daughters...or dealing with the elephant before he sits on us

First of all let me make this clear--I do believe in Jesus as center, fully God, as revealed clearly in the New Testament. I am convinced He is The Last Word, the better word of the Book of Hebrews. He is the centerpoint of Christianity, the climax and fulfillment of the long worn, ragged history of the chosen people Israel. Final word, climax, conclusion.  He is all these. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, that monumental answer to the question of Moses, the 'I will be what I will be' finds its resolution and clearest voice in Jesus, at last.

Having said that I must say this; I have questions about the Tanakh and the God revealed there. More and more this questioning voice begs to have attention and gain some resolution. What to do with the God of the Old Testament is no small matter but one that needs careful thought and some unorthodox propositions. This topic is the elephant in the room that catches the eye of all who are looking for a God to believe in, to give them hope.

Recently I heard a thoughtful Christian say 'God has a heart for everybody' and while I do believe this is true today, and could say it honestly now with him, it made me reflect: Was that always so? Did God always have a heart for everyone, Did He always cringe at ethnic cleansing, or insensitivity to other cultures, or imperialism,  or mistreatment of women, genocide, or even rape? Was this always the case with God?

Consider this:

Deut 7:1-6

When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. [ a ] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles [ b ] and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

It seems to me that if we are to be honest before people we need to embrace this scripture and somehow come to terms with it. What is it saying? What is God saying about Himself and His people?

Recently I heard someone preaching on this scripture: 

Genesis 19:4-8

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

What was amazing about the sermon was that nothing was said about the treatment of the daughters, it was simply read over as though it were nothing and in reality it does seem incidental that these young women were offered so easily to be raped...what kind of man offers his daughters, what kind of book brushes over that kind of behavior as "incidental" to the main story line? What kind of preaching focuses on the implied homosexuality while winking at the explicit complicity of Lot in offering his daughters to be raped?

We need to notice and find response for these things in our Bible to a wondering world. Elephants are in the room and even if Christians don't see them those outside of the circle do. The questions being asked in these days are not necessarily extraordinary or accusatory. They indeed are honest inquiries.

This is why I seek to understand scripture, to find a way of making sense of God. I am not trying to "stir people up" or 'shake their faith' so much as deal with embarrassing uncle Ralph, the one we hide from everyone. I trust the story deeply.

I do believe Jesus as center, God as revealed clearly in The Last Word, the better word of the Book of Hebrews--but what of the God of the Tanakh?

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