Monday, May 22, 2006

Thinking about God's Dream for the Planet


To have a community of voluntary lovers is the creation dream of God.

From the beginning God dreams that those who bear God's image would love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength; and love their neighbor as themselves.

As we know, the first couple blew it for themselves and for all of us. Yet, instead of giving up on the dream, God hunkered down and willed it to come into reality. Even though there was universal wickedness, God chose Noah and his family to start again. God put up with the brazen pride of Babel. God, working through human beings, then through the nation from Abram, then through Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, and now through the Spirit-empowered community, God is calling out and creating the dream people of God.

The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, while extremely important events in themselves, were preparation for the colossal event---Pentecost---when the Father and the Son kept their New Covenant promise to pour out the Spirit of God on all people--old and young, men and women, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor--God will have a borderless community of voluntary lovers.

How great is our God!

He loves and loves and creates and recreates and loves and renews and forgives and chases us down and embraces and loves and loves.

The Spirit, always working with humanity in light of the cross and resurrection, does not count people's sins against them. The Spirit is free to work unhampered on this side of the cross, joyfully preparing "good soil" for the seed of the good news of the kingdom of God.

God enlists us, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, to spread the good news that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them!"

How great is our God!

6 Comments:

At 5/25/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Broken Messenger said...

John,

What do you really mean by "dream?" While I have a pretty good idea that dream here doesn't mean wish, Iersonally, hate the word because it seems to leave God's sovereignty a bit lacking. Could you clarify a bit here?

Brad

 
At 5/25/2006 7:08 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Brad,

I would be the last person to want to impugn God's marvelous sovereignty because I do believe God is sovereign. I am not sold, however, on the God of rigid deterministic theism, the God Dallas Willard describes as "the unblinking cosmic stare." I am convinced biblically of relational theism that allows us to say with integrity, "God desires to have a *personal relationship* with people through faith in Jesus Christ." So, you could easily substitute my term "dream" with the word "purpose."

 
At 5/27/2006 7:19 AM, Blogger jeff said...

So, you could easily substitute my term "dream" with the word "purpose.
Now why would you want to go and do a thing lke that? I thought we'd al finally gotten over that word... :)

To have a community of voluntary lovers is the creation dream of God.
Donald Miller has an excellent talk on the Imago Dei website. He speaks of the difference between worshiping God through genuine relationship versus the 'worship' of God through formulas.

His pursuit of us was not a formula. Why do we think we can successfully aproach Him in that manner?

 
At 5/28/2006 8:18 PM, Blogger Broken Messenger said...

John,

Thanks for the reply. A couple of thoughts...

...the God of rigid deterministic theism, the God Dallas Willard describes as "the unblinking cosmic stare."

John, fair enough. I don't agree with Dallas Willard's assesment of determinism anymore than I agree that God is happy with anything less than himself. I suppose I don't understand the argument how God could be non-deterministic, because to allow any other conclusion than for God to be glorified is evil and God is not evil in any way.

I am convinced biblically of relational theism that allows us to say with integrity, "God desires to have a *personal relationship* with people through faith in Jesus Christ."

A relationship with Christ is certainly personal for us, but to say that God desires our relationship in and of itself (perhaps you weren't saying this...) is a stretch. All who are saved are saved on account of God's name, who he glorified in the person of Jesus Christ so that by Christ he glorifies all those who call upon Christ for salvation and who in faith obey his commands. Any relationship that God might desire is ipso post facto, for God is not a respecter of persons and we only have relation through Christ. In the same way our relation with others is for the sake of Christ because we are not inherently equipped to love others.

Brad

 
At 5/28/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Brad,
I'm not sure how allowing for all things not to be theistically determined, but rather relationally determined is somehow robbing God of His glory. In my view, God is immensely glorified in entering into very real relational dynamics with human beings and out of our fallenness and sin bringing salvation and reconciliation of all things (Colossians 1:20). To God be the glory!!

 
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