Friday, 25 June 2010


What is the point of space?

In the beginning the Living God created 'space' to put the world in..
and at the end... that space will be reconciled to the Father, that the triune God may be all in all.. (1 Cor 15)

the church is also said to fill up the space - so that the church is all in all (eph 1)

according to Colin Gunton...
space is required for 'otherness' to happen
one cannot be 'other' unless you have the space between the two persons - that allows otherness even within relatedness

the 'space' within the Triune God then has to be the Holy Spirit
the one that relates and unites the Son with the Father,
and yet goes with the sent out from the Father as the eternal Word of God
and He too will bring Him back as the Father draws Him

of course then, in the creation of the world,
the Spirit is everywhere within the created space
yet there is also an element of cutting off
a space where other created spirits reign instead of the Holy Spirit of God
this is all reconciled in the cut-off Son of the Father,
who will place all of creation back into the proper space of God

but there's another reason for space
space allows growth
thus if the Son is to always grow
He must always be filled by the Father
and then sent out by the Father to 'grow'
and in coming back.. the Father also 'grows'

not that this causes God to be change-able
because His perfection is that He always loves in increasing amounts
hence the overflow into the creation of the world
so this is His unchangeability

but yet in the cross, there must be something different
the 'space' of God is cut open so that others may enter into God
through the wounded side of the sent-out Son
and through this 'rip in the fabric of space' creation is born, and also reconciled in the healing of the wound
yet the scar will always be there to remind us of our birth
in the wounds of Christ

so that God continues to be the same God in everlasting ages
love expanding and growing... for eternity

too far fetched?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Let the Father be Father

After reading a lot of Gunton, Eastern theologians and the frequent mention of perichoresis and koinonia and other terms like that...

Beginning to realise there seem to be another problem arising

On one hand - by making the Trinity this unknowable 'God' - the divine 'stuff'
you tend towards modalism... the One Person God - which is the god of philosophy
and all the characteristics thereof...

On the other though... you make Trinity totally equal in role - the inter-related Persons who are exactly like each other
- now you get community, freely inter-connecting, inter-relating persons
but the total lack of any form of hierarchy and structure
plus a NEW divine 'stuff' - the love/relationship between the Three - instead of this being the Spirt

Yet the Father has always been Father to the Son,
not simply in the incarnation
but from Eternity

He has always been 'greater'
you may want to distinguish that Jesus is also God like God
but yet the Father has always been a Father, and the Son always 'lesser' than the Father hierarchically

But this is a great thing - especially to the Son
since the Son has always somewhere 'to rest His head' - on the 'bosom of the Father'

this would then flow into family structure, church eldership etc
we love having a father, we should love having elders
they are where we can rest our head
be refreshed by, encouraged, admonished, and sent out from them again

this is the structure for Eternity...

and it is in that structure you see the role of the Spirit
not at all like the Father or the Son
but totally 'other' yet uniting the otherness of Father and Son
again something completely different, yet the same oneness

The Spirit is sent from the Father to the Son, and returns to the Father from the Son,
The Spirit is sent from the Son to the church, and returns to the Son from the church

As the Spirit is sent from the Father to the Son, the Son is sent out by & with the Spirit (and in that - also with the Father)
As the Spirit returns from the Son to the Father, the Son is drawn back to the Father by the Spirit
It is the same dynamic with Christ and the church

He must flow from the Source Fountain, and then, like the rain that falls, returns, accomplished in His work - He does NOT flow upwards.

In this we see better the Trinity...
and we begin to love and respect and treasure authority and those above us,
yet we never lose the sense of community, and friendship
for our Father is our Friend
Just like He is to Jesus

There is no need for Trinitarian "equality" (in our understanding)....
there is no need for the church to be "equal" with Jesus - yet we will be truly Divine

Gregory of Nazianzus - "I should like to call the Father the greater, because from Him flows both the equality and being of the equals"

The Father always is Father... He longs for His Son to be like Him, in His Father-hood - hence the creation, but yet as He perfects His Son, He is also made even greater in His perfection
this is the unchanging God

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Solar Flare

John 9:39 Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."

Imagine you're in a dark room

some people are leading you
they claim that they are squinting really hard, with their God given eyes they can see

Others - just admit they are blind.. can't see a thing... lost

Then there's the Light of the world.... the sun bursts into light within the room
(cf John 8 - esp v 12)

Then those who were lost finally see

those who were squinting so hard and claiming to see are now blind...

No Spirit equals machine

The death of Adam (in eating the fruit) caused the absence of the Spirit of God

He is now spirit-less in a way - a puppet controlled by the other spirits

same thing happens in the church: (more Gunton)

“the Spirit tends to be institutionalized, so that in place of the free dynamic, personal and particular agency of the Spirit, he is made into a substance which becomes the possession of the church. It can be argued, then, that the criticism of the mainstream common to many of the ‘heretical’ movements of European church history is that they see the institution as claiming too much o a realization of eschatology, while expecting too little of the community as a whole.”

The church then runs via the zeitgeist - the spirit of the age
whatever that spirit is, so the church runs... a dead machine

Jesus' Relationship with the Spirit at Baptism

Been reading some of Gunton...

not really the focus of the book.. but it brought this to mind:

Augustine on the baptism of Jesus:
"It would be utterly absurd for us to believe that he received the Holy Spirit when he was already thirty years old... but (we should) believe that he came to the baptism both entirely sinless and not without the Holy Spirit"

so the act of the Spirit coming upon Christ is merely a teaching aid for us or something like that - sounds ok?

Now Basil the Great:
"After this (the baptism at the Jordan), every operation was wrought with the co-operation of the Spirit. He was present while the Lord was being tempted by the devil... He was inseparably with Him while working His wonderful works... And He did not leave Him when He had risen from the dead..."

Here- there is a 'new' kind of relationship with Jesus and the Spirit after that point. really?

Here's my 2 bits:

At the point of baptism, Jesus is ready, being 30 years old, to be anointed as the Great High Priest, of the order higher than Levi. Here the high priest becomes one with his people, that is the assembly of God. He now enters via the Spirit not into a new relationship with the Spirit per se, but with the people of God via the Spirit, thus having a new dimension to His relationality, that is the communion of the Spirit. He is now the Head of the body, having been cut off from His Father's headship, He must now come into His own, before He can restore His full body back to the original Head - that God may be all in all once again.

what do you think?

Sunday, 13 June 2010


the text before the famous John 3:16 verse is all about the Son of Man being lifted up like the bronze serpent

the serpent bite caused the venom to flow through Adam's veins

Christ takes the poison in the flesh into His own flesh and instead brings the new Spirit that has the new life blood - coming from the heart of Christ (which is the new heart)

but what is the poison?
it is the lie that God is a slave-driver, God is wicked, God holds back from you, God hates you...
He is not a good Father

then re-read John 3:16 - listen to Jesus slowly and carefully:

For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...

Keep looking to Jesus.. take out the poison...

Throwing out stones

Here is yet another post on creation vs new creation...

The old house (tent) or temple is not going to stand - "not one stone will remain"

This temple was ruined from the beginning, and is destined to fall
the Law props it up... little sticks to prevent it from collapsing on itself

then an 'oddly shaped stone' is removed - since it is thought to be the cause of the problem

that stone is found to be Christ - which was all that was keeping the ruin from total destruction - then that old house is destined for collapsing, and does so at increasing rate and intensity

the odd stone, becomes the cornerstone of the new house

one by one, the old house-makers (the fallen angels) in charge of the house and the ones that set up the Law-beams try to get rid off more corrupt stones

they throw them out to the Odd stone - which they stack up beautifully in this new dynamic house that moves - it is a Living House - not something stagnant

The old house finally runs out of odd stones, and collapses, being cast into the eternal rubbish heap

the new house is incredible, and is sealed with fire - the black stones turn into diamond, wonderfully reflecting the light of the White stone, the Cornerstone, constantly flowing (modern architecture is barely catching up to this), brilliant, and full of life

The Father enters His House, handed back to Him by the cornerstone, and what a house it is... for all eternity

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Why is God not fair?

why doesn't God give us all equal things instead of keeping some rich and some poor?

I get this finally by being a father about to have his 2nd child...

If we get them all the same toys etc..
they won't learn to share...

(Cf 2 cor 8-9 - plus look at the implications of the Exodus quotation)

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Images of Divine Things

From Jonathan Edwards - Vol 11:

108. Bread-corn is much used in Scripture to represent the saints. The wicked are represented by the clusters of the vine, but the godly by bread-corn. They are called Christ's wheat, that he will gather into his barn and into his garner, and we are all said to be that one bread. Now this is remarkable of wheat and other bread-corn: that it is sown and grows before winter, and then is as it were killed, and long lies dead in the winter season, and then revives in the spring and grows much taller than before, and comes to perfection and brings forth fruit; which is a lively image of the resurrection of saints... Therefore 'tis said of Israel, Hos 4:17, "They shall revive as the corn". The reviving of the church after a low state and time of trouble is compared to the reviving of corn from under the earth in the spring in Is 37:30-31.

120. Tongue. God hath fixed to it a natural bridle and fenced it in with a strong wall as it were, even the double row of teeth, to intimate how it ought to be restrained and strongly guarded.

198. As the silkworm, so the bee seems to be designated as a type of Christ who, having spent his life with ingathering with the greatest labor and industry, and laying up in store the most delicious food, having completed his work, is killed; and by his death yields his stores for the refreshment and delight of his murderers.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Why Believe in Jesus

All references in John's gospel on why people believe
Taken from here:

* John the Baptist "came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him" (1:7)
* Jesus revealed God (1:18)
* Jesus is revealed because of John's baptism of people (1:31) and by the Spirit descending and remaining on him (1:33)
* Nathanael believed because Jesus said "I saw you under the fig tree" (1:50)
* Disciples believed because of the miracle at Cana (2:11)
* When Jesus was risen they believed "the Scripture AND the word that Jesus had spoken" (2:22)
* Many believed in Jesus when they saw his miracles (2:23)
* He who believes Jesus agrees God is true (3:33)
* Samaritans believed because of the testimony of the Samaritan woman at the well that he knew her past (4:39)
* Then the Samaritans believed because they heard Jesus for themselves (4:41-42)
* Jesus criticises the official at Capernaum for only believing if he sees a sign (4:48), but then believes his word alone (4:50) and then believes again when he sees evidence of the miracle (4:53)
* the person who believes Jesus' word and the Father's testimony has eternal life (5:24)
* John the Baptist is a testimony to Jesus (5:32). But he relativises that as man's testimony, which he appeals to only so people will be saved (5:34). A greater testimony comes from the Father who testifies to who Jesus is by the miracles he gave to Jesus (5:36) and the OT (5:39). To have the Father's word abiding in you means you will believe Jesus (5:38)
* You can't believe if you seek glory from men rather than God (5:44)
* Believing Moses and believing Jesus are inseparable (5:46-47)
* Jesus implies he is his own miracle proving his identity. He is the equivalent of both the manna and Moses. Believing he is the food and eating of him proves he is the food by satisfying. (6:30-40)
* Peter says that they believed and so came to know that Jesus was the Holy One of God (6:69)
* If anyone wishes to obey God then he will know Jesus is from God (7:17)
* People believe Jesus because of the number of miracles he performs (7:31)
* Jesus says that there are two testimonies to who he is. The Father and himself. If you know Jesus you will know the Father (8:14-19)
* People will know who Jesus is when he is crucified (8:28)
* People believe in Jesus because of his teaching (8:30) but Jesus says that they will only "know the truth" if they "abide" in his word (8:31)
* The Jews ought to believe because he tells the truth (8:46), but actually they don't believe exactly because he tells them the truth (8:45)
* The healed blind man is astonished that the miracle of his healing is not sufficient proof for the Pharisees because God only hears his worshippers (9:30).
* People listen to Jesus because as his flock they know him as their good shepherd (10:4-27).
* The works of the Father that Jesus does bear witness to him (10:25), and people don't believe them because they are not part of his flock (10:26). He encourages them to believe on account of either his words or the miracles (10:38).
* People believe John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus, despite John the Baptist performing no miracles (10:41-42)
* If Martha believes Jesus promises her she will see the glory of God (11:40).
* Jesus prays aloud for the raising of Lazarus so that people will believe in him (11:42).
* Many people believe because of Lazarus (12:10-11)
* Some people don't believe despite seeing the miracles (12:37)
* People don't believe because God has blinded them (12:4)
* Belief in Jesus, is primarily belief in the Father (12:44)
* Jesus predicts Judas' betrayal so that when it happens the disciples will believe in him (13:19)
* People will know Jesus' disciples are his disciples by their love for one another (13:35)
* Jesus asks the disciples to believe him, or believe on account of the miracles (14:11)
* Jesus will make himself to his disciples and not the whole world by sending the Spirit for the Trinity to live in the person who loves Jesus and keeps his word (14:23)
* Jesus predicts his ascension and the sending of the Spirit so that when it happens the disciples will believe (14:29)
* Jesus obeys the Father (by dying?) so that the world will know that he loves the Father (14:31).
* The disciples claim to believe Jesus on the basis of his non-figurative teaching (16:29-30), despite Jesus saying the his teaching is figurative at that time (16:25), although it won't be when he sends the Spirit. Jesus doubts that they really believe already though (16:31).
* The disciples came to know that Jesus is of the Father because of his words (17:6-8)
* People will come to believe through the Apostles speech and by their unity (17:20-21).
* John claims that he has seen the events and knows they are true so his readers should believe on his testimony (19:35).
* Thomas doesn't believe on the testimony of the other disciples (20:25), but believes when he sees the risen Christ (20:28). However, Jesus implies that he should have believed on the disciples' testimony alone, and that others who believe without seeing are blessed (20:29).
* John explains that he recounts the miracles of Jesus so that his readers may believe (20:31).

Some reflections:

* Belief in the Father and the OT is inseparable from belief in Jesus.
* The testimony of John and the Samaritan woman is of secondary importance to the testimony of Jesus to himself and the testimony of the Father in miracles and the OT. But it is valid.
* Belief, obedience and humble searching after God are inseparable.
* Believing is only the beginning. In some cases knowledge of Jesus as the Holy One of God, and seeing the glory of God comes later. Also belief on the basis of testimony of other men, or of miracles, can grow into belief on the basis of Jesus' own words.
* It is implied that people can only fully know who Jesus is after his death and resurrection and the sending of the Spirit.
* Belief in Jesus is not an end in itself but should lead to belief in the Father.
* Belief is dependant on supernatural work of opening blind eyes, and only belongs to the elect.
* The disciples loving unity and spoken testimony is how people are expected to believe after Jesus has ascended.