|I see this way that God constantly goes to metaphors. And Jesus does too in the parables, expecially when talking about the kingdom of heaven. Metaphors are limited in complete understanding and inherently wrong when taken to (theological) extremes.
Even the notion of God as Father has led me to absolutely declare that God is a man….
I wonder how much of our faith, and our understanding of God, comes in metaphors. How much of God’s revelation of himself is purposefully given in ways that keep us from making absolute statements and going to extremes that will make us look silly 500 years from now or sooner…I think this may be truer than may of us may be comfortable with.
Further, by using metaphors that are inherently flawed at extremes, does God keep us from knowing absolutely? Does this help keep our faith from being knowledge? hmm…
|I got this from MaggiDawn, whose blog I just visited for the first time today, looks like some interesting reading…On their way to get married, a young couple is involved in a fatal car accident. The couple find themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven. While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven? When St. Peter shows up, they asked him.
St. Peter says, “I don’t know. This is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out,” and he leaves.
The couple sat and waited for an answer for a couple of months. While they waited, they discussed that IF they were allowed to get married in Heaven, SHOULD they get married, what with the eternal aspect of it all. “What if it doesn’t work?” they wondered, “Are we stuck together FOREVER?” After yet another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking some what bedraggled.
“Yes,” he informs the couple, “you CAN get married in Heaven.”
“Great!” said the couple, “But we were just wondering, what if things don’t work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?”
St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard to the ground.
“What’s wrong?” asked the frightened couple.
“OH, COME ON!!” St. Peter shouts, “It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have ANY idea how long it’ll take me to find a lawyer?”
I downloaded the first chapter from leadership network resources page, it’s near the bottom under sample chapters.
It’s an interesting read, plus he is very clear in his diagnosis of the church.
ps – I’m loving Pete Ward!
This is a link to a new and absolutely hilarious blog that was started by Doug Pagitt. He’s a pastor of Solomon’s Porch, in Minneapolis, you can check out his personal blog on the right. This new blog is to combat reductionistic thinking. It’s true until you think about it!
I’ve been thinking a bunch about escapism theology lately. This is a perspective that we will be taken out of this world and brought to a much better place at the end of the world. This is the view propagated by the Left Behind series and by many evangelical denominations. I’m starting to see a two pronged problem with it, though.
First, it creates a negative view of the world. This is an ancient way of thinking, that sees all matter as inherently evil. After all, isn’t Satan the god of this world? It’s rather silly really – because even if this is a truism, God’s plan and purpose is to redeem it all. I see this as a process throughout time culminating eschatologically, escapism theology sees this as an end of the world event. This allows escapism to alliviate themselves of a command to care for comma tend the gift of the ecological system that we have been given, which directly lends itself to industiralized Christianity. Whereas in processism, which is much different than process theology, the believers are God’s hands to care for and help return the earth into God’s garden of Eden.
Secondly, escapism allows Christians to make converts instead of making disciples. This way allows people to convert, or start the great race, and then sit down, pray and sing and feel good about themselves. Never growing, no adventure. This is possible because of an urgent desire to get folks “saved”, asking questions likem, “If you were to die tonight…”, which is just creepy really. Why is salvation, which is true life, being motivated only by death? Two words for this approach: stupid, stupid. Of course, process salvationism sees the process of moving from an unimage of Christ to an image of Christ as an eternal process, not an event.
So, I’m not an escapist. I see right now as being just as valuable and important and rewarding, as time spent in heaven, and the new earth.