Friday, 6 January 2012

Theology of time - essay

Time is Love

Please download, enjoy (if possible) and let me know your views so I can produce a better draft next time round :)

The purpose of this essay is to highlight that a misconceived view of "time" plagues our reading of Scripture (especially the Old Testament), which intertwines with our (mis)understanding of the Spirit's work in both the OT and NT.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Law that Protects

You may find this strange...

But one of my long time ponderings was why did the Lord 'outsource' parenting of kids to the law & angels -i.e. a nanny? In the context of Singapore where everyone outsources their parenting to maids or child-care centres from as young as 6 months - this gave very negative connotations that the Lord didn't want to 'deal' with His kids until they were old enough to engage with in a more meaningful way.

My sinful thinking was quite shattered this morning... when I found I had to discipline my daughter quite severely for an offence she had committed. I found my wife to be much more faithful in the matter - she is more consistent in laying down the rules & regulations and punishing the small offences in small ways. If I had more consistency - and 'more law' for the children - then my the severe discipline would have never been necessary. Anarchy would have been resisted at an earlier stage.

Thus the Lord God, in absolute loving kindness and faithfulness lays down the law to a juvenile world - through his adopted children Israel - preventing sin from spreading into total lawlessness or anarchy. In this way - we are 'protected' from the harsh (but obviously much more patient) wrath that comes hand in hand with a jealous love.

The Pharasaitical understanding of the law, therefore, so obviously becomes tyrannical - for it seeks to keep children under a caretaker - with parental convenience and domination as its motivation. Where else the law in it's proper context - laid down for the young (or lawbreakers) - forms a protective barrier, that allows children to approach near enough to see the grace that is behind, through, and ahead of it. Much like the Levitical arrangement in the camp in the wilderness.

Jesus came when the school teaching had ended - yet that does not mean we do not lay down law for our own children in their own childishness - in  holy and good motivation. The desire of the law however, must surely be the hope of complete intimacy and indwelling. The one-arms length is for our own safety and growth - not for His convenience, and neither is it His desire. He who wants to come down to be so close and never depart....

(more of that thinking in the sermon below)