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
Mar032011

above and below; the importance of time

'Time, time, time, see what's become of me...' ~Paul Simon in Hazy Shade of Winter.

'He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all' Jesus~John 3:31

'You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins' Jesus~John 8:23-24

God is 'above'. This is His reality; this is where He is eternal, sovereign, mysterious, deep, this is where he 'dwells'. This dimension or realm is referred to by many various names, heaven being the most commonly understood. God is One but he is not alone, his facets, distinctions, personalities will be revealed by His nature amidst His interactions. In other words, we will come to know Him as He unveils Himself. The unfolding drama enacted on the earth will make Him who He is to us. In that way He changes to us, to our understanding. But He 'Is' in heaven unchanging. He is 'come to be known' on earth as He is revealed to us through ours lens of history. God still 'Is' but we do not know what the 'Is' is like. His realm is somewhat familiar to us because originally we were made to be eternal with him. We feel it; sometimes it comes to us like deja vu and we are caught in a moment of vertigo that is mysterious. We feel eternal calling but can't find our way home. God makes visitation which add to our vague epiphanies. So He often descends in the Old Testament in revelation. He comes down. Reveal is the root of revelation. God comes down to reveal, or unveil, who He is.

It is good to keep in mind that in some way because God 'Is' the eternal God, He is not subject to the final effect of time expired in his reality/dimension. In one way God is quite peculiar and otherly in that He cannot die because He is 'I Am'. He exists outside of time. Humans die all the time. Time, in a sense, is their enemy. God never runs out of time. He lives and is life. His life is everlasting, it lasts forever.

The earth, on the other hand, is 'below', an apt description for a fallen, descended, lower place. It is another place. What unfolds on earth forms a second line, but it is not like the infinity of heaven, it is a timeline, subject to 'was, is, and is to come'. Unlike heaven this realm or existance cannot be all three at once.

The earth in comparison to the heavens is like a dream compared to being awake. It is very real when being experienced but really a shadow of awakened reality. Awakened is what the eternal dimension is. God in His realm just simply and profoundly 'Is'. We read that God never sleeps, never slumbers, and that makes sense because he never needs awakening.  He is without time. He exists. Time is important because time 'runs out' and ends, life ends, relationships end, kingdoms end, stories end. Time exists in the lower realm. Time is extremely important to understand. When the time had fully come God sends His son. In the fullness of time, at just the right time, are phrases that speak of the interruption of this timeline.

The lower realm, region, or dimension is in exile, held captive by its eventual ending which is best understood as death. Death is the epitome of time 'run out', expired. When time expires in a game we know that means it ended. We might say a person expired, it is really a nicer way to say He died. Death touches everything time touches. And everything in this realm this lower story is exiled from eternal. We are hounded by time. We are touched by 'time' east of eden. This is what being put out looks like. This is exile. We are put in a prison where we will expire.

Exile cries for restoration in creation; broken needs restoration to return to its former glory. Time must be no more. An end must come, but a remnant, or rescued, ransomed people will escape. This is one of the lessons of the Exodus. Death comes at an appointed time but some escape and pass through a door to another dimension/realm. The way to enter this realm is to become awakend by the Spirit of God. A soul is touched by the Spirit and made alive.

God enters the lower timeline or story in an effort to restore eternal to mortal man and fallen creation. The lower region is a new deal for God because it is fallen, it is in sin, and he has no sin in Him. When he makes visitation He is subject to the laws and characteristics of this realm. He must work within these boundaries to free those subject to the 'laws' or fallen characteristics of this realm. He is subject to history for the first time as far as we know. He makes 'visitation' to the earth.

These are epiphanies of God. They are almost interruptions, hiccups. He appears in varied forms. He directs His epiphany to a distinct people who will be with God in this task of restoration. One of the attributes the Jewish people give to us is history. They and God interact and form the Jewish meta narrative, the story of God and a particular people. It can be followed because it isn't divided and doesn't cease. The threat of their extinction becomes very nigh at particular times. And this is a big deal in the Bible because El has 'covenented' to partner with them to restore the world. When they are on the brink of annihilation or synchronization to other peoples as illustrated in the dispora or more clearly in the book of Esther this is a very real threat to God.

In a sense if they fail, He fails. But they remain, they survive, even to this day. They are collectively the second main character of the Bible which for the sake of consistency I will call 'Isreal' in this book They have other names in the Bible but for the sake of communication I will use this designation most often. It is one story. The Jews and the Bible give a traceable, unfolding timeline. In this story people come and go, they live and die, genealogies are described but one character remains in this story.

He is El, God.

The protagonist of the Bible. The main character of the Bible is God from one generation to the next. He never dies in the story. Though the illustration is gross, one might say God is like the vampire of folklore. He lives on and on. Everyone else dies.

Why does He come? Why does He insert Himself in the story, interrupt time? Why epiphanies? This is what love does, it rescues, saves, protects, lifts up. It comes. This is who God at His essential core Is, He is this love.

The second world is real but not really the same as the heavens. This world is passing. Again, we can liken this to our dreams. Dreams are experienced and are very real for the moment, they effect us, alter our pulse, make us sweat, they exist, at the same time they are not our reality or world. We even say 'it was just a dream' as if to say it isn't the same as our awakened reality. It is below, substandard, second place. The Wizard of Oz is an illustration that may help here. It was all very real for Dorothy, real people she know, things that were familiar, good and evil, hopes and dreams, all very tangible, yet not reality. Dreams are somehow a part of us but at the some time, outside of us, separate from us.

Time is the key difference between the two worlds. When God enters time he is descending, moving in an unfamiliar place. When Jesus comes as a messenger of God, and God Himself, He comes saying some pretty peculiar things. When told his brothers have come asking to speak to him He said in reply to the one who told him, 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. ' He appears to be a lunatic. But He is not, He just sees through another lens. He sees outside of time. He sees what is real, what is coming, what will be revealed. He doesn't live in dreams or shadows. He lives in another place. He declares, 'I am not of this world'.

And he isn't.

He is not of this world even as He is in this world. He has seen, and believes in another place. It is somewhere over the rainbow. We walk in faith. He walked having been there. God has been walking this path for a very, very long time. A thousand miles or more.

You're packing a suitcase for a place
None of us has been
A place that has to be believed
To be seen

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