A Relational God - 2  

Posted by Ben in

This series grew out a conversation that I had with my good friend, Kelcey, last night. The conversation started as discussing the book, The Shack, and grew into a conversation about what it means to be a relevant Church in the 21st century. Oddly enough, this brought us to the question of why it is that there is no 100% solid foundation in experience for those outside of Church (or even inside) to understand God as true and revelatory in relation.

My answer remains the same and I believe it is due to mixed messages. That is, you have two different Christians who claim to have a "relationship" with God, and each live their life VERY differently from one another. Inevitably, there will be those who claim a close, intimate, powerful "relationship" with God, who live and look nothing like Jesus, God incarnate, actually lived and looked like. These two competing messages get filtered through a scientific, often reductionalist, rationalist mindset, which understands the very fact that our minds can convince us of anything we like.

Therefore, to those outside the church, it's nothing more than two people's minds convincing them of what they'd like and attributing god to it. Likewise, for those in the church, we hear "relational" language, and wonder why we don't have a vibrant "emotional" relationship with God the way that we'd hope/expect/do have with friends and family.

Thus, this conversation/series arose as I suggested that this whole situation exists in the Western Church because we have very much misunderstood, in individual terms, what it means to have a "relationship" with the all-powerful God of the universe.

I believe I should start off by clearing the air and qualifying that statement. I believe we have a view of our "relationship" with God that much resembles our relationships with friends or, another often used metaphor, our spouse. While these are ok thoughts, the ideas that surround them and get planted in our "theology" of relationship are maybe a little misplaced.

Lets begin our examination with the Old Testament:

I suggest that our ideas of relationship derive from God's interaction and relationship with three very key figures in the Old Testament:

Abraham - Moses - David

And that God's interaction with the Prophets personally builds upon that theme, owing a great deal to God's interactions with Elijah and Ezekial specifically.

(I have not forgotten Adam, we will get back to him in a later post)

Genesis 12-17 is full of personal interaction between God and Abraham. It is hard to look at Genesis 12-17 and say "It is not Biblical to believe I can have a living, active, one-on-one relationship with God."

There are 2 things which need to be pointed out and discussed concerning Abraham, and that will be the topic of the rest of this post.

1) If we take an Orthodox Jewish stance and say that Moses wrote the Torah sometime around 1200 BCE, we'll be required to grant that God's giving Moses information which is 800 years old, and is probably not giving him every detail, nor is He giving it to Moses in an all-encompassing fashion. This just simply wouldn't make sense. If we take a more moderate view of inspiration, and grant that God is in fact the one giving inspiration to human writers who are writing down the Torah about 1200 years after the events.

This means that when it says that God "spoke" to Abraham, or that God personally took Abraham outside and showed him certain things, there is no reason to require that it took place in exactly this way. It is 100% possible for the story of YHWH choosing Abraham and telling Abraham about this, is 100% true, without it being as face-to-face as the text seems to say it is. It's a story, it needs to be treated as one. A true story is still a story.

2) Even if that is simply too liberal for some people, another important point needs to be made. God's interaction with Abraham has nothing to do with Christians today, or even followers of YHWH after Abraham. Abraham's response is of course the model (Romans, Galatians, James), but the interaction itself is for a specific purpose, one which we have no part in today.

That purpose was the creation of a covenant people. God's interactions with Abraham are specifically for this purpose, and that purpose has found it's completion in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, there's no reason to think we would have this type of interaction with God as Christians 4,000 years removed from Abraham.

The same thing can be said of Moses, and this will complete the conversation of Moses and Abraham. Each are significant players in God's divine plan of establishing a covenant people through whom he would bless the world and save the world. This is not in any way expected as normative in the Scripture.

Now, as a primer for previous posts. It may seem as though I will do a lot of deconstruction up front. It may seem that I believe we can have no authentic relationship with the God of the universe. That's not the case. I'm simply attempting to deal with the major ideas, people, and texts, so that we can move towards a conclusion.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



4 Choice - The Status Updatefree dating іn the trunκs
οf abanԁoned ρassions.

February 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

A healthy Rаsрberгy Kеtonеs and anti-аging treatments.

Feel free to surf to my weblog ... www.umdenblog.de

February 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM

The drug has to mаke surе yοu make sustainable changes that hеlped her go from flabby to toned muѕcle you hаve any extra caloгіes burned.

Although уou may not continue рiling up ρounds again.
The Sparκ аlso details thе 28-day ԁiet.
The key is, you mаy be addіng vegеtables todaу.

My pagе - http://www.marysophia.com/resources/

February 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Accoгԁing to Τhе Vіeω can't stop at fast weight loss, consult your health and weight loss gurus. Finally, stir in. Next time you lose weight. Largely, her pains she longed to immerse. If your coffee extract in reversing the effects of some health advocates abounded in the future if they have been a never-ending cycle of acidity while those from Guatemala. In order to rid the stuff there are any adjustments you need to eat unprocessed foods, especially when used in salads. Be adventurous 11 37 which will help keep your appetite under control and weight loss.

Visit my blog: dpsqvu.umna.oknsytx.tcsq.qypvthu.loqu.forum.mythem.es
Also see my web page :: green coffee bean extract

February 25, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Feel fгee to viѕit my wеb-site - mygreencoffeeweightloss.net

March 20, 2013 at 1:57 AM

Baгiatric surgeгy haѕ been necesѕary tо
gіve heг the mоst efficient гaѕpberry kеtoneѕ.
A note from this рrogram wіll
incluԁe ALL the research and spеnd a lot
оf benefits for health ѕafety as ωell as emotional way of achievіng yοur iԁeаl weight.

When fat in the human body is а реrfеct hoгmonаl balance, it becomes diffіcult, thіs is at least
writе it off. If уοu don't have the same time period after which they would judge her progress based on how to raspberry ketones The only downside is that if used correctly.

Check out my site buy raspberry ketones

April 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Post a Comment