I am very aware of how much the religious blogging conversation and the players involved have changed over the past several years. Probably the best way to explain how I also have changed would be to simply jump back in and start posting again. Yet, I feel the need to give fair warning that my blogging style, perspectives, and topics of interest may be different than before.
My preoccupation these days is on the following topics:
- The definitive nature of God as love
- Jesus as the full and complete revelation of God
- What it means to be created in the image of God
- The mechanics of the fall and the redemption of mankind
- What it means to participate in the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit
- Experiencing the reality of the kingdom
The following video (13 minutes) is reflective of my views today. I was already pointed in this direction before I quit blogging, but then I was still hesitant about my changing beliefs. Today, I am confident and unapologetic about my “not-mainstream-evangelical” perspective. It seems like there are many others on a similar theological journey.
(I found the link to this video at Jesus Creed last week under a post of this presentation by an orthodox priest. I was interested in this version of the demonstration because I am currently reading and enjoying a book by Brian Zahnd, Beauty Will Save the World.)
The video contrasts the western and eastern views of the gospel. The western view is explained as judicial, a legal contract, retributive, appeasing the wrath of God, and defining sin as moral failure. The eastern view is explained in terms of relationship, covenant, forgiveness and restoration, defeating death, and defining sin as alienation.
Zahnd described the eastern, patristic view of the gospel as “a more biblical understanding of the gospel that does not pit God against Christ.”
Rather than a message that perpetuates alienation, the gospel story that I see in Scripture is that God jumped into our mess in His recovery mission. Through the incarnation and crucifixion, He entered into the depth of our brokenness in order to restore our communion with Him. The Father and Son were always one hundred percent united in this plan.
Do you think the popular western evangelical view of the gospel is shifting, or is this conversation only occurring in the academic realm?