Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God is love. And we're invited.

We become like what we worship....
A sketch.

1. God is power. And we are his subjects.
  • Religious style? We must obey him. Distance and fear - 'reverence'
  • Leadership style? Over people. Key word: authority. 
  • Relational style? Formal, cold even. Cautious of guilt by association.
  • Missional style? If any, to stand against people.
2. God is love. And we're invited.
  • Religious style? Invited into the family. Doctrine is for delight. Key question: How is your worship life?
  • Leadership style? Self-giving love. Key word: service.
  • Relational style? Generous assumptions about others, seeking to win others. 
  • Missional style? Mobility towards people, all kinds of people. Conversation, listening, asking and offering Christ.


  1. I'm intrigued that you tell the story as a progressive one with a trajectory that is purely one way. I have learnt and grown a lot in some ways and I know my older self could tell my younger self a lot. But at the same time I think I forgotten a lot and my younger self could teach my older self some things too.

    I know you are trying to draw a contrast, but why not tell an integrative story? I don't know why you would want to tend away from obedience, holiness and awe, even if you want to tend toward delight, worship and service. To drive a wedge between God's rule over us and his love with us is to drive a wedge between the younger you and older you (at least as you present it here), the pages of the bible and streams of the church.

    Divided as a church we will die and so will our theology.

    1. I've made a few edits to reflect better what I meant in light of your comments.

      Firstly, I don't think in such progressive terms - though a word like journey might make it sound that way. I think I walk in circles a lot of the time and keep finding myself back in the same places again. Blogging is like that too... That's not entirely a bad thing.

      Secondly, I guess I don't mean to drive wedges but to say there are things that need to frame our theology - rule, at least as my sinful flesh reads it is insufficient. Rule as framed in the gospel by love... is a different matter.

      Probably a badly written post, but that happens time and again too... :)

    2. Unfortunately blogging/journalism does seem to be a medium that emphasises differences. Its a lot harder to by sympathetic to people you cannot see.

      I'd probably be a lot easier on you if we'd met!

      All I ever seem to do is post critical comments on this blog, although the fact is that it's one of few that I continue to read, and one of the very few I still interact with... and that's because I do like it.


      PS "rule framed in the gospel of love" I like.

    3. It's a repetitive format - no one reads the old post so we keep saying the same things over and over. That anyone reads any blog ongoingly is peculiar (and welcome!).

      It is a medium that emphasises difference, but that's not all bad... there are some differences that need drawing. Equally I think its a medium that has caused me to hear others more, to build more bridges, to appreciate where others come from.

      And in all these things, over the past 10 years or so I've grown, progressed, regressed, repeated myself, forgotten much, remembered much. Anyone would think life with God was a relationship... oh wait...