Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Restoration as deification

What does it mean to be redeemed? As I have been tying thoughts together lately it seems that the church is full of people who are in the process of restoration. The word redemption is a good one, but for this blog's purpose I like the word restoration. It fits what Christ has done and is doing on the cross. Please, let me ease your furled brow.

Redemption carries the definition of delivering or purchasing. However, I think there is another picture of the cross happening, and it is not a matter of deliverance. What if the atonement was better defined as restoration - restoring humanity back to its original identity in and with God. I can't help but think of the history of God since the Fall having a mission of restoring humanity back to the way it originally was. I can't help but to look at Christ and think that this is the part of God that He thought; "This is the part of my image that I will put into humanity." I can't help but think that we are not trying to "be like Christ" as much as we are "being restored to the image of Christ." (All the Eastern Orthodox in the room just said "AMEN!")

As I ponder about the atonement, I think western Christians are terrifyingly afraid of the premise of deification, but I think there is something amazing in it when we can connect it to restoration. I am willing to fight about this if anyone wants to shout a little.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A thought for the new year

So how does one begin blogging after a huge downtime filled with nauseating guilt bereft of an original thought? By taking advantage of the year passing and offering an encapsulating thought of course. However, what thought shall I offer? Ponder...

I want to mention the thought upon which I have struggled through spiritually all year long and will probably continue to take with me into this new year. This is truly the encompassing question that leaves me seeking understanding in my faith as a Christian hoping that I will come to new conclusions and insights.

"What is love?"

If we are called above all else to love our God and love our neighbor, I am finding that this has difficult and compromising actions. However, I want to offer something of a culmination of thoughts that have come as a result to pondering through this question.

1. I have to listen. God deserves my ear. People deserve my ear.
2. I have to speak. God deserves my voice. People deserve my voice.
3. I have to want to love. This sounds basic, but I often find myself asking me in an inter-monologue fashion, "Did I really take the opportunity to love there?"
4. I need to be willing to listen to the people of today gifted as prophets - the people who are trying to speak truth into the Church. I for one recognize that it is human nature to complain, (I love doing it myself) but I also no that many times truth, if it is truth, often comes out of love.
5. In light of number four, I have to surround myself with people who love well and are capable of helping me love well also.
6. I have to ALWAYS wrestle with the thought, "What does it mean to give my life away for the sake of Christ?"

This is a working list, but I hope it gives you an inspirational moment, if nothing more a happy thought.