Eden Heaven Fall Salvation Fallen History/ Fallen world Hell
There is much about this story that isgood, right, true, beautiful, helpful, andlife-giving.
There is much about this story that isgood, right, true, beautiful, helpful, andlife-giving. But many of us are seeing weaknesses in it ... biblical and practical weaknesses.
The problem: God’s wrath at our sinWhat matters: church, heaven, Bible,avoiding sinsJesus: important for his bloodMission is: getting more people to “say thesinner’s prayer,” support church, so theycan go to heaven.
The problem: not poverty, war, racism, oppression,environment, corruption, etc.What matters: not justice, opportunity, reconciliation,peaceJesus: not his life, teaching, resurrection, ascension,presence in usMission is: not building a better world, promotinglife and ﬂourishing
So we go back to the Bible for a fresh look ...
CreationIn the beginning God created the heavens andthe earth. Now the earth was formless andempty, darkness was over the surface of thedeep, and the Spirit of God was hovering overthe waters.. (Genesis 1:1) This is God’s world ... It is good! God loves all of creation ... God’s Spirit is active ...
CreationCrisisThe LORD saw how great mans wickedness on theearth had become, and that every inclination of thethoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.The LORD was grieved that he had made man onthe earth, and his heart was filled with pain. (Genesis 6:5-6)
Creation/Crisis Our world is damaged ... By human pride (we will be as gods) judging good and evil (pride) shame and fear (alienation) violence (rivalry) injustice (oppression, slavery)
Creation, CrisisCallingThe LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country,your people and your fathers household and go to theland I will show you."I will make you into a great nation/ and I will bless you;I will make your name great,/ and you will be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses youI will curse;and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."So Abram left, as the LORD had told him… (Genesis 12:1-6)
CreationCrisisCallingA call to service Blessed to be a blessing Rejoining God’s story of creation, joining God in healing the crisis.
Creation/Crisis/CallingIn captivity: God hears thecries of the oppressed...For everything that was written in the past was written toteach us, so that through endurance and theencouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4-5) and God responds.
Creation/Crisis/CallingCaptivity/Conversation Priests, prophets, poets, philosophers through slavery, exodus, conquest, judges, kings, civil war, exile, return, continuing domination
priests - order, worship,rituals, prohibitionsprophets - injusticepoets - emotions,experiences, pain, joyphilosophers - reflection,questioning, quest for truth
Creation, Crisis, Calling, Conversation ...ChristIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was withGod, and the Word was God ... the Word became fleshand dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the gloryof God’s unique child ... (John 1)In the past, God spoke to us in many ways, but in these last days has spoken through God’s Son ... (Hebrews 1)
ChristKingdom of God … Calling everyone into reconciliation with God, one another, and creation Not a kingdom of violence - but of reconciliation.
Christ’s Cross God reveals himself not in the ones who torture and kill ... but in the one who is tortured and killed.
Christ’s Cross The cross is not intended to change God ... but to change us.
Christ’s Resurrection God’s goodness and life are more powerful than our sin and death! The risen Christ lives on in us through the Holy Spirit.
Creation, Crisis, Calling, Conversation,Christcommissioned community
Creation, Crisis, Calling, Conversation,Christ ... Commissioned CommunityThen Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven andon earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciplesof all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of theSon and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Ihave commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to thevery end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to thefellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone wasfilled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs weredone by the apostles. All the believers were together and hadeverything in common. (Acts 2:42-44)
Commissioned Community empowered, united, and formed by the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Jesus) for mission sent into the world for the good of the world.
Creation, Crisis, Calling,Conversation, Christ, CommunityConsummation/CelebrationThe New Jerusalem ... coming down out of heaven. (Revelation 21)Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because youknow that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)
ConsummationGod’s dreams for creation come true!The crisis is healed.The earth is filled with the knowledge of theLord.Justice flows like a stream.Hope ... Courage ... Encouragement
CelebrationRejoicing now at every sign of God’s kingdomcomingGiving now with assurance that every sacrificewill be more than compensatedRefusing to be intimidated or discouraged by thethreats or boasting of evilConfident now that God’s grace and truth will bevictorious!