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Posted May 7 2011 by Jonathan Brink in God, Humanity, Love with 11 Comments
What if the love of God never left us? We just couldn’t see it until we had exhausted all of our own efforts.
Tags: Rob Bell Categories: God, Humanity, Love
Jonathan BrinkI am an business development and communications consultant. I am also the senior editor and publisher for Civitas Press.
I recently published, Discovering The God Imagination: Reconstructing A Whole, New Christianity. (Civitas, 2011)View all posts by Jonathan Brink →
Joanthan, nnI don’t think it’s a matter of “If” the Love of God has never left us. It’s because the love of God “Has” never left us ! I agree with you 100%. We can’t see it till we are done with ourselves and self centeredness….
where’d you find this video? I’ve heard him tell this story before – I think he’s presenting a key idea that we aren’t aware of the work and the gifts that have been given to us.
Charlie, I remember hearing it before as well, but I don’t remember which book. And I agree with you. Awareness is key.n
Thanks for sharing this video, Jonathan. As an ex-minister in his 50′s, my journey of understanding has had the same revelation and it is detoxing my evangelicalism that warped my evangelism. O how my preaching would have been different had I embraced a fuller theology than the ones I had been taught. Thankfully, God’s love and grace transcend my theological history to lead me into the Truth , the Way, and the Life. I invite you to obscuritus.blogspot.com.n
Thank you Obscuritus. n
Jonathan, sounds like Bell’s been reading your book!
Richard, I wish.n
Yes! Wonderful. Love is love always. Always there from beginning to end. Never a void. Always full, rich, complete.nnIt’s amazing, though, how many times you can think you’ve gotten to the end of Self, and then there’s more . . . nCloser and closer I come, to nothing but Reality. Truth. n Love.
And oh if we could see with clarity what was never ending. n
If you read McKnight’s article in Relevant magazine today, you’ll know that his evaluation of Rob’s definition of the Gospel boils down to: “true but inadequate”. To him, love is just one of many possible and necessary lenses through which the Gospel can be interpreteted. And if I understood him correctly, his major hang-up with Rob’s approach is partially the break with theological tradition which in its mainstream has rejected the idea of unlimited chances to accept grace, and probably also the judicial language in Paul’s letters which suggests to him that more is in play than just being able to see what we had all along. And from his exegetical understanding, the issue of justification doesn’t address mankind’s demand for a perfect sacrifice but God’s own requirement of justice (in a punitive sense).n nMy own question regarding the biblical evidence is more about the Holy Spirit. Whether you look into Acts or into Romans and Ephesians, the actual indwelling of the Spirit in terms of a seal of God and incorporation into the Body of Christ is never described as universal or already existing, although the WORK of the Spirit clearly is. The same could be said about the difference between universal enlightenment through the divine Logos and only partial willingness to receive the incarnate Word which in turn empowers individuals to be born again and BECOME children of God in John 1. To use McKnight’s language again – you have to do something to be saved. Doesn’t this suggest that in terms of God’s love towards us, it has always been VALID but still not a possession in a salvific sense? How else could Paul say in Romans 8 that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ do not belong to Him?
Josh, I think I’m following you. nnnTo me the question of Spirit comes down to breath, which resides in every individual. The question is then does that individual recognize it as the Spirit of God. If they don’t, they wouldn’t consider themselves from God, or part of God. And thus the calling out does not mean it is not there. It simply recognizes the individual is not already aware.nnnFrom Paul’s perspective, I see it as the same thing. Paul is recognizing that the individual doesn’t see, and thus would not consider themselves belonging to God.n
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