If I can clear away some of the religious brush and cobwebs that have built up over the years, who knows what we might discover and encounter. Maybe even the reality of God
. I just can't simply buy that the state of the church today is all that God's offering. And in that I'm going to kick off this "process theology
After all, life is a JOURNEY
I believe whole-heartedly in the NOW. Eckhart Tolle's
book sold as many copies as it did (The Power Of Now
) because it spoke to the spirit of man very loudly. And since I am an AND-ALSO
person, I'm going to have it both ways.
Process theology is about BECOMING
as much as BEING
Process philosophy (aka, process theology) identifies metaphysical reality
with change and dynamism. Since the time of Plato, metaphysical philosophers have posited a "timeless" metaphysical reality of substances, objects, or things, while processes
are denied or subordinated to timeless objects. Process philosophy reverses this priority and favors "Becoming" over "Being
I favor both! Literalists
not only have closed the canon (I'm okay with that), but they've closed their minds as well (that I don't like) to anything NEW
. And yet, they accept the changes that Luther
made just a couple hundred years ago. Go figure!
In other words, I believe that God is IN
(more than just IN
) a continual and continuing relationship with His creation and thus us. And He is working with each one of us to bring our potentuality to actuality
. It is not only IN HIM
live and move and have our being, but He in us as well.
God's essence is giving- LOVING!
God is not indifferent, nor aloof. Since God is LOVE
, the world, all of creation is the object of that love. That would also include you and I. Woo-hoo
God created us for a relationship
that would allow Him to express Himself with us, in us, and through us. Not many are allowing that.
Jesus, the Christ fully did and He is our model. Follow Him!
God is not an intruder
, nor is He a visitor
from outer space. While theism
carried the water (no pun intended) for so many centuries, the bucket is now empty. Theism defines God as one who is somewhere "out there" who intervenes in human affairs from time to time. Like this post modern world that we live in, I don't know what's after modern, so we call it "post" modern. I don't know what's beyond theism, but I have a hunch there is a lot of enlightenment. God is not an intruder because God is EVERYWHERE
at work, in varying ways. Why is this? It's because it is the INTENTION
of God to see that ALL
are saved! It's what your Bible says.
God is already here- no intrusion can be had. He is IN the world, and the world is IN Him (panentheism, not pantheism). God is the circumambient Reality outside of whom nothing can exist. And it is His INTENTION
to redeem and restore (Acts 3:21) every creature that He has created.
This is one of the reasons God is called LOVE!
God is everywhere in various means expressing Himself: in ways we don't even know. But, if you want to know the fullness of God's expression, then look to Jesus who was one of our kind, the Word made flesh, our brother. The divine INTENTION
for all of humanhood
is exemplified in Jesus, the Christ. There's no way that we can deny the humanity of Jesus and still say He stood in our place.
Norman Pittenger said it this way (in 1959), "The line of thought which would suggest some catastrophic intrusion
, some entirely unprecedented downthrust without parallel in any degree, makes nonsense both of the actual picture of Jesus in the gospels and the experience of men in finding God in Jesus as their human brother."
Is this really so hard to comprehend?
Jesus doesn't stand in the way of mankind's search for God. Can you hear that? Jesus is the ultimate, express image of God, as the writer of Hebrews said, but not the "only" example. God can be found everywhere, as He is everywhere. Perfectly God meets us in the person of Jesus, while God meets in an imperfect way, others, in other places. God did not mess up, He did not have any oversight in His planning, and He will see to it that ALL
of His creation is restored and He will be ALL in ALL
, not some as I Cor. 15:22-28 says.
It's called GOOD NEWS
It's called the divine intention
(s) of God!
No amount of believing
that something is true
can actually make it so. What we need to concentrate on are those foundational truths that are obviously the intent of God towards all. Here are four to begin. Every man is related to God as creature
to Creator. We are ALL
related to God as objects of His love
. We are agents of God's will
, however slight or great that might be. And, we are related to God through prayer
(or meditation-contemplation). And we have acquired that position thanks to the personhood of Jesus. Man was made for God and Jesus accepted that offer, fully! It is in God that man finds his fulfillment and completion. Isn't that exactly what Jesus did?
The divinity of Christ
is so much bigger than an historical fact; it is a "religious experience
" and an act of faith operating upon those historical facts. What is focused, centered, and constant in Jesus is diffused, scattered, and sporadic in you and I; but, there nonetheless! Jesus shows us how dependent we should be on the living God. God made man "towards him" as St. Augustine
said. Anything short of communion with God will leave a hole in our soul. And, nothing will finally satisfy man but fellowship with God.
Nothing! Norman Pittenger
reminded us (can you believe this guy wrote 90 books?) of the role of the Holy Spirit in the intentions of God when He said, "The Spirit works in men not to destroy their human capacities and their God-given insight into truth, but to confirm and to strengthen, to enlighten and inform, to correct and enlarge those capacities and that insight." I do not believe it was the "intention" of God that we take the burden upon ourselves to "get people saved". Surely we need to be available to be used as whatever vessel God so chooses.
But, using the words of William Porcher DuBose
(1836-1918) an American priest and theologian in the Protestant Episcopal Church, "We think that unless we can force our hearers to accept the precise language
which seems to us, or which has seemed even to the church itself in it's official capacity, to be correct, then we have not really managed to "convert
It's the Spirit!
And, it's God operating IN
Jesus, the Christ! God is seeking for others who can look "somewhat
" like Jesus, the Christ who possessed His most intimate self-expression
. And while I can't see us (you and I) ever attaining to the level Jesus did, it's God's intention
that we at least give that an honest effort. I'm not saying we can't. I'm simply saying few even know that is what God's intention
is in the first place.
The synoptic gospels particularly paint a picture of Jesus (the man) alive in human characteristics, deep in His Jewish historical culture, always praying to the Father and declaring Himself ignorant on the will of God in particular matters. He was a man among men (and women) as you and I; however, He became so much more, and encouraged us that we could do even better than He!
How? I have not a clue. But if Jesus said it, it must be the intention
Let's give it a shot!
Who is there that KNOWS
the divine intention of God? Before starting this subject, I asked myself if the title wasn't in and of itself impossible. But we ALL
have our own interpretations of that exact question, don't we? I think we can agree though that some theories or opinions are far more "probable
" than others. Not everyone camps the same distance from the Spirit. Very foundationally, I think most could agree that the divine intention
of God was to send the best model possible that would reveal His "intentions". Jesus
, the Christ
was that being.
I do not believe it was the intention
of God though to so separate Jesus from us, by removing Him from the context of human history, as most of our Western Christology has done. Without taking away the divinity
of the Christ, we can embrace the humanity of Jesus who lived in time and space
, and had all the fullness of manhood that we (men and women) have. After all this is what so many of the Creeds profess- although the practice comes out of the theological wash
looking much differently.
God has always
been with us- in various forms and manners.Evelyn Underhill
put it this way, "It is only because men already had some knowledge of God, however mediated, that we were and are able to recognize Him when He manifests himself so supremely in Jesus". William Ralph Inge
(1860 - 1954) an English author, Anglican prelate, and professor of divinity at Cambridge said, "The taking of manhood into God was from the first the intention
with which the human race was created."
The Word is the Logos, which was with God, and never was without God
However the church has made the "the words
" more important than the Spirit of the Word. This was never God's intention
- to objectify
that which is subjective
- though real, and even more than real. Don't get lost here. We need to remember the Pauline admonishon that the law brings death, and only the Spirit brings life. So, we need to be careful not to be so enamored by the "words" that we miss the Word
, and fall into a form of "verbal orthodoxy
The most important question for we Christians is still, "What think ye of Christ"? Matthew 22:42
Among other things, I think Christ was the plan that would mirror the plan, model the plan, that God intentioned for all of, even while knowing, not many would accept the baton.
1-Jesus was fully human.
2-Christ was truly divine.
3-Jesus, the Christ is one person.
And to become fully human
: is to become God-possessed- to enter into a super and natural relationship with the Godhead. Man was created for God
and is therefore not complete until he comes to that realization. God's will is that man should become what in the divine intention He is: free, responsible, and responding to His love.
Let's bring this to a close with the more than obvious statement that whatever the intention
of God IS
, that's what WILL BE
! Dr. W. R. Inge
said that "A man is never so truly and intensely himself as when he is most possessed by God". That would be yet another description of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is God's ultimate and most complete self-expression of Himself. That said though, Jesus is Totus Dues
(God through and through), but not Totum Dei
(Everything that God is). God is the Creator of ALL
It's God's intention
that His creation and His creatures will all be restored to Him, which won't always come easy. It's God's intention
that none should perish. It's God's intention
that man be given as many chances as necessary to bow their knee. Bottom line is that nothing (nada, zip, zero) can alter God's intention
Why try? Just give it up and go with the divine flow.
The whole world process is has been created
and is sustained
by God. Everything works because He wills it so. God is "other than" this world, but in it. He energizes
the world, but stands apart, greater than it. God is expressing Himself in and through me as I write this, and in you as you read it.
God is love and if you can fully grasp what that means, you realize that His metaphorical arms
are wrapped around the entire universe, and there is no creature anywhere that in UNLOVED
by Him. Not one!
Baron von Hugel said, "There is so much more for man to learn about God's will and His ways, and the sources of this religious knowledge will continue to grow." How sad that so many Christians are done growing. If we could live a million life times, there would always be more to know about abba Father. Too many people have taken that "Seventh Day Rest
" literally. God's always "at work", seeing that His intentions
are fulfilled- His way.
God is not some abstraction, but a living Spirit who just IS
His innermost nature is loving- a purposeful love that knows the very hairs on our head. He's at work 24/7
with a "Just-n-Time
" ministry that we usually feel is really "too late
" most of the time. He is not remote. The fields of life that He's given us is dependable ground for "seed time and harvest." Isn't it about time that we spent more time each day seeking what His will and INTENTIONS
are for not just us, but for everyone we encounter?
Can you imagine
how awesome life would be?Imagine!