procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

clear and present word part iii

continuing my series after a hiatus, with Part 3 of my thoughts on the summary points from Mark Thompson's A Clear And Present Word

3. Christian theology is talk about God made possible by God's prior decision to be known.

at a weekend away this weekend, the leader prayed, thanking God that he knows us. as he said this, i realised what a profound, yet (as is often the case) straightforward and fundamental truth this is. remembering what a great joy it is that we do not remain in darkness, yet have had the light of God shine into our lives, c/f John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. that is, being known by God means being shown the light that brings life, namely Christ.

i also realised how distinctive this idea remains among other religions, as they seek to worship the impassible architect, or submit themself to a vengeful god with sacrifice after sacrifice in the uncertain hope that they will be spared their god's wrath.

not to mention the agnostic, who is mightily offended that anyone could be so arrogant as to presume to know the supreme being who may or may not hold all things together.

yet at the heart of the Christian's claim to know God is Thompson's point: we know God because he first knew us.

so i say to my atheist and agnostic friends, that, as Hebrews 4 so well puts it,
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

we are not in the dark. nor have we of astonishing intellect and insight sought and found the light-switch for ourselves.
no. God, in his great mercy has revealed the great mystery that is the Word become flesh.

series links: i, ii


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