This is the final installment of the dialogue on the book "WITH" by Skye Jethani. His four postures have demonstrated all the ways we misunderstand our relationship with God and how we in turn interact with our misunderstood God. The second half of his book focuses on a fifth posture from which the book gets its title. Life "with" God is what a healthy understanding and a healthy interaction with God is meant to be. Jethani states that Relationship is the core of the very purpose of God. God did not create anything so that creation or us could live under, for, from, or over God but rather in intimate relationship WITH God. God did not create and step back from creation but instead has been intimately involved WITH it from the beginning and remains so now.
God is meant to be our treasure, not a tool we use to accomplish a noble cause. In order for God to be our treasure, for us to live WITH God, then we must stop settling for anything less than God's self. Not simply acknowledge God's movements, praise for God's gifts, or in awe of God's creation, we must seek to walk in the very presence of God and allow God to journey with us. Jesus demonstrated this type of relationship when he said, "The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me." John 14.10-11 Granted Jesus is God so that is a little unfair to say he and YHWH have the same relationship we could with God. However, Jesus also says, "Abide in me as I abide in you." John 15:4 and "..the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you." John 14:26
In other words we have an intimate relationship WITH God, Son, and Spirit: the Triune God. How amazing is that! It is not about doing for God, placing ourselves over God, using God to get stuff from him, or even placing ourselves under his laws. It is all about relationship. That was the great thing that was severed in the Garden of Eden. God would walk WITH the people prior to their desire to be equal to God. And that is the great reunion in Revelation when, "...the home of God is among the mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples and God himself will be with them;...See, I am making all things new...no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and the lamp is the Lamb" Rev. 21:3, 5, 22-23
There are practices, rites, prayers, scripture readings, and other spiritual exercises and disciplines that can aid you in being more aware of this relationship. But none of them are the relationship itself. Life WITH God is simply that, being WITH God. May it be so. Thanks be to God.
Interested in environmentalism or just learning more about good creation care? There is an ecumenical group called Green Faith offering free webinars on the topic. Check em out.
Also Rachel Held Evans has a great series called, "Ask a..." where she asks different people to explain their beliefs via questions posted by here readers. She is currently asking an environmentalist. To follow this conversation click here.
Practicing Resurrection one park at a time
Shane Claiborne might be one of the most down to earth leaders in the church today. He and his community The Simple Way are building green spaces in northern Philadelphia. "It used to be easier to get a gun than a salad in this neighborhood." Read this article.
Where do "Biblical Views" come from?
This is a must read article! Because it asks a great question, where do Biblical Views Come from? Quotable:
"In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal.Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception....
That year, Christianity Today — edited by Harold Lindsell, champion of “inerrancy” and author of The Battle for the Bible — published a special issue devoted to the topics of contraception and abortion. That issue included many articles that today would get their authors, editors — probably even their readers — fired from almost any evangelical institution. For example, one article by a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary criticized the Roman Catholic position on abortion as unbiblical. Jonathan Dudley quotes from the article in his book Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell:
God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: “If a man kills any human life he will be put to death” (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.
Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website. If you applied for a job in 2012 withChristianity Today or Dallas Theological Seminary and they found out that you had written something like that, ever, you would not be hired.
At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting."
read the rest by clicking the link above.
Young Adults and Finances
USA TODAY's cover story from Tuesday was titled, "The Cost of Financial Illiteracy" and it discussed the way millennials (18-29 year olds) are poor with finances, buried under college debt, and are leading the trend in unemployment at 12.4%.
Student loans interest rates might be on the rise. But President Obama to demonstrated his passion for keeping loans low by slow jamming with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week.
Dealing with Online Criticism
So if you have posted on a social media site or blog, you have probably encountered criticism for your comments or thoughts. Sometimes these are friends keeping you in check or even a "frienemy" who you went to college with and seems to spend all their free time finding ways to start arguments with you. Or if you blog it could be a complete stranger. Here are some steps at dealing with online criticism.
Where do you read the Bible?
here is a cool article about finding new places to read scripture to help you get out of a rut and engage the scriptures in new ways.
Mark Driscoll is a Wrong!
Blogger Joshua Case shares the ways that Scripture and Faith are deeper than single conservative issues.
The Mystery of Forgiveness
Episcopal Priest and former college president and former baseball coach who wishes to be known online simply as 4peregrini has a great blog that shares his journey of faith. This weeks post is on the mystery of forgiveness. Check it out.