Our Father, above us and
all around us …
May your unspeakable
Name be revered.
Here on earth may your kingdom
On earth, as in heaven, may your will
Give us today our bread for
Forgive us our wrongs as we
Lead us away from the perilous trial;
liberate us from the evil.
For the kingdom is yours and yours alone,
the power is yours and yours alone, and the
glory is yours and yours alone,
Now and forever. Amen.
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human God created the world as perfect, God created the world as good, but
Situation: What but because our primal human beings – as individuals, and as
is the story that
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did groups – have rebelled against God and
we find not maintain the absolute filled the world with evil and injustice
ourselves in? perfection demanded by God, like a terrible disease. God wants to save
God has irrevocably determined humanity and heal it from its sickness,
that the entire universe and all it but humanity is hopelessly lost and
contains will be destroyed, and confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
the souls of all human beings – wandering farther and farther into
except for those specifically lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
exempted – will be forever human beings will spiral downward in
punished for their imperfection sickness and evil.
Basic Since everyone is doomed to Since the human race is in such desperate
Questions: What hell, Jesus seeks to answer these trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
questions did questions: how can individuals question: what must be done about the
Jesus come to be saved from eternal mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
answer? punishment in hell and instead the general human condition and its
go to heaven after they die? How specific outworking among his
can God help individuals be contemporaries: living under domination
happy and successful until then? by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message: Jesus says, in essence, “If you Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
How did Jesus want to be among those groups – including your own religious
respond to the specifically qualified to escape leaders - are leading you farther and
crisis? being forever punished for your farther astray. I have been sent by God
sins in hell, you must repent of with this good news – that God loves
your individual sins and believe humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
that my Father punished me on God graciously invites everyone and
the cross so He won’t have to anyone to question and reject what they
punish you in hell. Only if you have been told and instead follow a new
believe this will you go to path. Trust me and become my disciple,
heaven when everyone else is and you will be transformed, and you will
banished to hell.”2 This is the participate in the transformation of the
good news. world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3 This is the good news.
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant