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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« not rhetoric but an idea worth consideration | Main | Moltmann on Heshel and the pathos of God »
Tuesday
Jan272009

the small god

The Western Christianity I am most familiar with has created a small god, one who isn't God at all by making Him about salvation from the effects of personal sin and impending death. While it is certainly about these things, God's vocation as expressed through the prophets and narratives are much wider than that. God business is to redeem the entire fallen creation. Creation extends to systems that are failed and flawed, people that are failed and flawed, nature that is failed and flawed, governance that is failed and flawed and on and on.

When God's prophet says for example 'let justice roll down like a mighty river and righteousness as an everlasting stream' he is representing the heart of God, the pathos of the Eternal One. Justice isn't about 'justification' as in 'just as if I never sinned' bumper sticker slogans but about meaty, gritty stuff. It's, for example, the backbone of Luke 18:1-8:

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Who might lose heart? The Jews under Rome. The Jews in exile. The Jews in persecution. The oppressed in Israel. What hope could they have? Who is the judge? Rome is the judge who doesn't 'fear God' or 'respect humankind'. They were cruel to any who would pose a threat to their claim. Even the emperor showed such disdain for God that he proclaimed himself to be the divine. Fear God--forget it. And what does the woman (Israel) cry for? Justice to come--like a rolling river and 'righteousness' (not impuned for sin) but right judgement, the antithesis or corrective to human injustice, and vindication for her against the adversary. We often believe that mercy is the only antithesis to judgment--but it isn't. Human injustice is also and a profoundly Biblical manifestation of the antithesis of God's 'righteous judgements'. That kind of 'right' quenches the thirst of the crushed reed like an everlasting stream. The 'rabble' thirst for it. And it will come Jesus says--God will have his way, His rule, His vindication. He will be the sovereign. It may take a long while but--mark my word, says Jesus--it will come. It will come to those without hope as a means of deliverance from evil (not the spiritual devil but the hand of Rome or any other authority that rules). And if we want to be about the business of Jesus then we will seek the kingdom, work for 'righteousness', pray and live like we really mean what we say when we pray 'thy kingdom come on earth (where the real problem seems to be) as it is in heaven' (which is fine, thank you very much).

God is about social justice--so let's not place that to the margin as the agenda of the mainline church and call it the social gospel. He is about the creation--so let's not make that the work of the environmentalist and call those who have convictions towards its redemption 'green and trendy'. He is about the oppressed and freedom for all, be they Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free, which was, of course, anyone and everyone in that ancient time. It still includes anybody and everybody in any era that might follow. Surely that includes the 'rabble' of any society or culture--so let's just be honest about our penchant for reducing or proclaiming the good news as some type of 'prosperity gospel' to make us the head and not the tail or other such nonsense. Constructs we've imagined in order to justify our desire for accumulating 'the stuff of earth' for self while others die for lack of food, water, shelter, and massive injustice.

Let's rid ourselves of the small god and let the expansive God live.

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