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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Friday
Apr182008

Towards home; at rest

He will be, even as He is, the I am. Sounds confusing but it will soon make perfect sense.

I am persuaded that God emerges in the Old Testament; called the Tanakh in Jewish literature. He emerges into a character that is in a bind, almost stumped, silenced and finished. Israel is in exile. His child, His lover, His people are on the ropes and have been for quite some time. But He will eventually come to a triumphant, surprising renewal. The God who is becoming is getting ready to make His move.The troubled God will make a triumphant return. 

He emerges on the other side of silence. In other words, He changes as the story unfolds and like so many great stories rises up just in the nick of time. It comes in the end when all seemed assuredly lost and without hope. Just then resolution comes, that which was a dissonant chord hanging loosely exposed and vulnerable in history's symphony resolves. In the end the crisis is resolved into a soothing, restful conclusion. And just then, at that very moment redemption occurs for heaven and earth.

This is God and He is solving the dilemma of fallen-ness, of sin, of evil, of Israel.

One of Auguste Rodin’s most famous sculptures is The Thinker statue, a piece originally conceived to be part of another work. The Thinker was part of a commission by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris to sculpt a monumental door based on The Divine Comedy of Dante. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem.

thinkergi0.jpg 

Initially named the The Poet, The Thinker statue was intended to represent Dante himself at the top of the door reflecting on the scene below. However, we can speculate that Rodin thought of the figure in broader, more universal terms. The Thinker is depicted as a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. The unique pose with hand to the chin, right elbow to the left knee, and crouching position allows the statue to survey the work with a contemplative feel. This poet, this thinker, this One, is God at the close of the Tanakh.

Yes, He “will be” even as He is I am. And He is the image we reflect. And we are like Him.

Something drives Him towards this, and in that way He is like us. We emerge into ourselves and something drives us. We become who we are. We are not born who we will be. We become as we relate and experience our life. Perhaps we are not as noble as God but we both walk this earthly path seeking resolution and redemption.

I believe God redeemed Himself in Jesus and solved His dilemma along the way. It happened all at once. This moment was and is the most crucial moment for Him, the crucible moment for His people, and the christening moment for you and I and all of creation.

This is about that.


Reader Comments (2)

From ‘time to time’ (to use a darylinian phrase), I sit down at my PC and peruse some of your latest entries. I find myself fairly open to this “Centerpoint Christianity” theology. It seems plausible, fairly logical, etc. From what I can understand the basic premise (super-duper simplified) is that God views/understands the world, or His people differently now then he did during the time of the Old Testament (or Tonka or something).

I do not find myself thinking, “Why doesn’t Daryl put his money where his mouth is?”, “Can’t he just fall in line like the rest of us?”, or “He’s bothering me, why doesn’t he just ‘can’ it?” Etc.

However, what I am having a hard time grasping is the implications of this belief, for today and moving forward.

Say everything you have laid out in this blog is the “gospel” truth (I am not suggesting you are claiming that, but just for the sake of argument (like arguing is such a great medium) let’s say that it is).…. God used to be ok with genocide, he used to have favorites, violence used to be his primary intervention tool…(don’t mean to be sarcastic or disrespectful, just trying to quickly get to my point)…..

Bent the way I am – sometimes more swayed by emotion than logic – I wonder: How would I, your friends, your family and/or the church be any different? What is so compelling that would draw us to this paradigm shift? Would we be more inclined to better “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… and your neighbor as yourself? Would the fruits of the Spirit be more evident in our midst? Would my sometimes boring life, have more meaning? Would my golf game improve? Would God be more attractive to the lost (in other words – what were preaching now is not only second rate, it also is a misrepresentation of the truth)?

How has this changed you? Are you more at peace? Are you finding it easier to be more Christ like? Are your relationships more genuine? Are you more effective and at ease with sharing The Story with others? Or maybe your not there yet, but the more you grasp, the closer you become?

To conclude, I am not saying, “Shut-up Daryl, and go away!” I am not thinking, “He is getting old and bitter”. You may very well be on to something with this Centerpoint Christianity theology. Maybe I just need to come to believe there is some truth here, and stop looking for some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But I also believe is that where there is Truth there is Life.

Would you be willing to articulate more of the Life part?

Your buddy,

Kevin

April 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Vredeveld

Hi Kevin

In response to your questions let me say first of all...where truth is there is sacrifice and until we come to grips with that, there is no "abundant life" as we have supposed in modern Christianity.

In other words the test case for truth is not that I feel better or seem to have success or happiness or whatever. Truth stands irrespective of what I may or may not be. To reduce it to less is a mistake.

The second thing which I think you have grasped is that the gospel as I am expressing is more believable and inviting to those outside the circle of Evangelical faith. I do believe it is a much more compelling story and could help people to receive the sacrifice of Jesus as the turning point in the course of human existence and enter gratfully into this Life (capitalized because it is God's life).

When God lays down domination systems as the means to make others comply that is HUGE. Most folks "outside of the circle" see Christianity as another oppressive metanarrative that seeks to conquer all other stories and are suspect of that type of story. This could be an intriguing story that draws investigation and response--something the gospel ought to do.

Let's imagine that the message we have proclaimed is indeed an incomplete rendering of the gospel. Let's say what I am suggesting is plausible (none of us know it all). If people were to rethink Jesus and by implication rethink their own ways of operation we would see amazing changes. James and John would not see the point as "sitting at the right place or having the upper hand position". They missed the point then and so do we if we don't get the "level playing field" gospel and become ambassadors of this "gospel" message.Everything and everyone would change if this gospel were embraced.

As for me I am watershed--a voice in the wilderness--in good company, except John the precursor to the emptied Christ lost his head over opening his mouth. Not a pretty picture. Yet Jesus did not rescue him. Haven't you ever wondered why? I think He truly would have if it were not for his commitment to this utter change of power play. It makes that story make sense and surprising in a good sort of way. And for me, I long for the Bible to make sense, this is simply who I am.

April 23, 2008 | Registered CommenterDaryl Underwood

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