Home » Cultural Christianity » Jesus, For Us; Not Jesus, Who Ostracizes Us

Jesus, For Us; Not Jesus, Who Ostracizes Us

The Lord has really been working on my heart again, in a fresh way. In a way that makes it break for people who are tragically lost without Jesus in their daily and lived lives and reality. I am not talking about a Fundy or eleisonany other version of Jesus, I am talking about the real Jesus in whose presence we all live, move and have our breath. The Jesus who is for us. I wrote this on my Facebook wall just now:

Jesus is not a politic, he is not a mechanism of a theological system, he does not belong to one tradition or church; he is a person for us, with us, he has chosen to not be God without us because he is love.

It is possible for real encounter with this God, particularized in the man from Nazareth, Jesus Christ. I am impressed with the idea that there are broken hurting people all over in this world, and they need a fresh encounter with this God; a God unconditioned by his political domestication, his denominational co-opting, etc. etc. People need to know that this God will meet them right where they are at, and that this God will not ask them to be conformed to a particular para-Jesus representation, or into a Fundamentalist or Liberal mold from on high; but that this God will ask them to simply be liberated through con-formation into his image, where there is finally liberty. Liberty not to be for a particular sub-culture in the name of Jesus, but liberty to be for the Father, by and from the Son, through the Holy Spirit. This God is able to penetrate whatever part of the sub-culture, whatever political identity we have been imbibed with. He does not ‘save’ us to be a Republican, a Conservative, a Liberal, a Libertarian, a neo-Puritan, an Antinomian; he saves us to participate in his life, which is what he created for to begin with.

I am tired of mentally ostracizing people simply because they are not fitted to my born reality. Jesus loves every person of every stripe; indeed, he became every person of every stripe, and by his stripes we have been healed. The Gospel, the good news, is good news for everyone; and the Good News does not call us to be for a particular church denomination, or a particular evangelical sub-culture. We have been called to be for God, in Christ—and this looks exceedingly different than the way it has often been painted in North American evangelicalism, or any evangelicalism.

I was really pressed to express this because I just finished watching one of the most tragic love stories I have ever watched (it was a true story). The context was Nazi Germany. I don’t need to share all of the details from that movie, but suffice it to say, it broke my heart, and caused me to cry out to Jesus (literally!).

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Jesus, For Us; Not Jesus, Who Ostracizes Us

  1. @Bobby: I can always appreciate your thinking, I mean all of us theological types do it, hopefully think! And we are affected in many ways and places! But, WE must have theological definition! I see here that you are somewhat affected by an Orthodox (EO) place in your connection with some idea of Theosis! But indeed as Peter Leithart takes on 2 Peter 1: 4, exegetically, the whole subject is much different for the Reformers, and the Reformation. And so it must be too for us, who seek to follow in that so-called tradition. See here btw and edited Baker Book: Partakers of Divine Nature, The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions, (2008, Michael Christensen and Jeffery Wittung). With chapters even on Luther (touching the new Finnish interpretation), and too J. Todd Billings wrote the chapter on John Calvin: United to God through Christ. A rare piece on Calvin’s aspect here!

    Again, rock on mate! 😉

    Like

  2. @Fr Robert,

    I have a whole blog with massive archives that indicate my informing theology; and EO isn’t part of it. Barth ✓ (participationist, actualist, particularist), T. Torrance ✓ (participationist, vicarious humanity, reformed doctrine of theosis), Calvin ✓ (double grace, union with Christ), John Webster ✓ (constructive of all the aforementioned). Eastern Orthodox no-✓. I am quite defined, I think. And this post flowed from a heart defined in the way that it is.

    Like

  3. @Jerome,

    Me too! Amen to that! In fact my heart breaks hard, it is hard for me to express here on-line. But I know it is Jesus, it definitely is not me!! Thanks, brother.

    Like

  4. @Bobby: Well mate your post above was most certainly NOT really theological, at least by historical theology, and you certainly sounded negative towards anything classic Reformed!

    “I am impressed with the idea that there are broken hurting people all over in this world, and they need a “fresh encounter” (?) with this God; a God unconditioned by his political domestication, his denominational co-opting, etc. etc. People need to know that this God will meet them right where they are at, “and that this God will not ask them to be conformed to a particular para-Jesus representation” (all the Reformers held to some idea of the Church Catholic and somewhat visible), or into a Fundamentalist or Liberal mold from on high; but that this God will ask them to simply be liberated through con-formation into his image, where there is finally liberty. Liberty not to be for a particular sub-culture in the name of Jesus, but liberty to be for the Father, by and from the Son, through the Holy Spirit.”

    This statement is much more towards the EO, than towards the Reformed…”con-formation into his image”! A nice idea, whatever that means theologically in the Reformational and Reformed camps? Again, sounds more like the beginning of “Theosis” to my Reformed mind!? And I do know something about the theology of the EO myself. Not to mention your co-author holds to some kind of “Theosis” himself! Just a point mate, so before ya go throwing-out such open-ended statements, which surely don’t sound “Reformed”, you will always hear from me! (Friendly and theological disagreement 😉 ) And btw, there is simply NO doctrine of “Theosis” in the true historical Reformed Theology & Divinity. Sanctification.. yes! 🙂 As even Billings gives the footnote to the Francois Wendel quote: “Calvin fears “anything that might have led to the admission of any deification of man, even by way of Jesus Christ, and even in his person.” See too, as again Billing notes (footnotes, 2)…”the “sharp separation” of God and humanity, see Philip Walker Butin, ‘Revelation, Redemption, and Response: Calvin’s Trinitarian Understanding of the Divine-Human Relationship (Oxford, 1995). I have the book myself, a must read for Reformed and Calvin students!

    *Note, I would disagree with Billings piece on John Calvin and his idea that Calvin teaches a definite doctrine of “deification”! (See his chapter on Calvin, in the book: Partakers of the Divine Nature, etc.) Note, too, that Billings sees the doctrine foremost of the “Forensic elements in Calvin’s Doctrine of Union with Christ”, then the sanctification, in the sense of participation. Noting his book: Calvin, Participation, and the Gift, (Oxford).

    Rock on! And a Happy New Year…whew 2014 is a coming! I will be 65 in the Fall of 2014, Lord-willing? 😉

    Like

  5. P.S. Before ya load-up on me… 😉 , I am only really pressing the separation between, or better the biblical reality, that God’s Word does NOT teach “deification”, but only “sanctification”! Noting exegetically 2 Peter 1: 4! (Again see Leithart, who does a full work-up on this verse, on his blog) Btw, I could myself accept the term “deiform”, as long as it is only a participation in the Life and Spirit of God!

    Like

  6. No, you’re reading too much into this. Myk Habets successfully argues for a Reformed doctrine of theosis in Thomas Torrance.

    On con-formation into his image, that comes directly from Scripture:

    29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

    But I wasn’t writing this as a theological treatise, but as an expression based upon my own theological impulses, but an expression and reaction nonetheless to a tragedy I witnessed by watching a movie.

    And I’m going to close comments on this now, because I really didn’t write this particular post to argue theological points.

    Like

Comments are closed.